“Moonlight” won over “La La Land” for best original screenplay at Sunday evening’s 69th annual Writers Guild of America Awards, but they won’t be squaring off at next Sunday’s Oscars.
“Moonlight” was nominated in the original screenplay category in the WGA Awards because the play by Tarell Alvin McCraney it was based on, “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,” was never produced.
However, the screenplay by Barry Jenkins was considered an adapted screenplay for Oscar consideration and received a nomination in that category.
The other nominees for best original screenplay were the writers from “Hell or High Water” and “Manchester by the Sea,” both Oscar nominees in the category, and “Loving.”
The Oscar field also includes the writers from “La La Land,” “The Lobster” and “20th Century Women.”
Eric Heisserer won for best adapted screenplay for his script for the science fiction film “Arrival,” winning in a field that also included the writers of “Deadpool,” “Fences,” “Hidden Figures” and “Nocturnal Animals.”
“I’d been obsessed with Ted Chiang’s stories for a long while, this one in particular,” Heisserer said of the author of the short story “Story of Your Life,” from which “Arrival” was adapted from.
“It took me a number of years for find to producers crazy enough to think they could make this into a film. Partly it was my poor pitching skills. I would start by saying `This is a non-franchise sci-fi film with a female lead about linguistic relativity.
About that time, they’d kick me out the door. It was great to find people that were excited about it like I was.”
Heisserer and the writers of “Fences” and “Hidden Figures” are also nominated in the category for next Sunday’s Oscars, along with Luke Davies, who wrote the screenplay for “Lion.”
In the television categories, FX was a four-time winner. “Atlanta” won for comedy series and new series, “The Americans” for drama series and “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” for adapted long form.
The award for “The Americans” was its first writing award at either the WGA Awards or Emmys.
Other television winners included Vera Herbert in episodic drama for “The Trip” episode of NBC’s “This Is Us”; Susannah Grant in original long form for HBO’s “Confirmation”; and Robert Carlock for episodic comedy for the “Kimmy Goes on a Playdate!” episode of Nextflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
The writing staff of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” won for comedy/variety sketch series. HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” won for comedy/variety talk series.
The WGA Awards were presented at The Beverly Hilton in a ceremony hosted by actor-comedian Patton Oswalt. A separate ceremony was held
simultaneously in New York.
A series of special honors were presented.
Writer/director Richard Curtis, best known for films such as “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” received the WGA’s
Valentine Davies Award for Humanitarian Service, recognizing his work including the co-founding of the Comic Relief anti-poverty crusade.
The late Iranian writer/director Abbas Kiarostami was awarded the 2017 Jean Renoir Award for International Screenwriting Achievement for a career that includes the films “Taste of Cherry,” “The Wind Will Carry Us” and “Close- Up.”
Veteran television writer Dan Wilcox, best known for his work on the classic series “MASH,” received the 2017 Morgan Cox Award in recognition
of his “exemplary service” to the union.
Grant, the original long form winner, earlier received the Paul Selvin Award in honor for her script for HBO’s “Confirmation,” which “best embodies the spirit of constitutional rights and civil liberties.” She is best known for her screenplays for “Erin Brockovich” and “In Her Shoes.”
Writer/director Oliver Stone received the Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement, honoring a career that includes films such as “Platoon,” “Born on the Fourth of July,” “JFK” and “Wall Street.”
Mike Judge, best known for “King of the Hill,” “Beavis and Butt- head” and “Silicon Valley,” received the Animation Writing Award for
“The West Wing” and “The Newsroom” creator Aaron Sorkin was honored with the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing
Here is a complete list of winners:
— “Moonlight,” written by Barry Jenkins, story by Tarell Alvin McCraney
— “Arrival,” screenplay by Eric Heisserer; based on the story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang
— “Command and Control,” telescript by Robert Kenner and Eric Schlosser; story by Brian Pearle and Kim Roberts; based on the book “Command and Control” by Eric Schlosser
TELEVISION AND NEW MEDIA
— “The Americans,” Written by Peter Ackerman, Tanya Barfield, Joshua Brand, Joel Fields, Stephen Schiff, Joe Weisberg, Tracey Scott Wilson; FX
— “Atlanta,” Written by Donald Glover, Stephen Glover, Stefani Robinson, Paul Simms; FX
— “Atlanta,” Written by Donald Glover, Stephen Glover, Stefani Robinson, Paul Simms; FX
LONG FORM ORIGINAL
— “Confirmation,” Written by Susannah Grant; HBO
LONG FORM ADAPTED
— “American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” Written by Scott Alexander, Joe Robert Cole, D.V. DeVincentis, Maya Forbes, Larry
Karaszewski, Wally Wolodarsky, Based on the book The Run of His Life by Jeffrey Toobin; FX
SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA – ORIGINAL
— “The Party (The Commute),” Written by Linsey Stewart & Dane Clark; youtube.com
SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA – ADAPTED
— “Part 4 (Fear the Walking Dead: Passage),” Written by Lauren Signorino & Mike Zunic; amc.com
— “Stop the Presses (BoJack Horseman),” Written by Joe Lawson; Netflix
— “The Trip (This Is Us),” Written by Vera Herbert; NBC
— “Kimmy Goes on a Playdate! (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt),” Written by Robert Carlock; Netflix
COMEDY / VARIETY TALK SERIES
— “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” Writers: Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Josh Gondelman, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeff Maurer, John
Oliver, Scott Sherman, Will Tracy, Jill Twiss, Juli Weiner; HBO
COMEDY / VARIETY SKETCH SERIES
— “Saturday Night Live,” Head Writers: Rob Klein, Bryan Tucker Writers: James Anderson, Fred Armisen, Jeremy Beiler, Chris Belair, Megan
Callahan, Michael Che, Mikey Day, Jim Downey, Tina Fey, Fran Gillespie, Sudi Green, Tim Herlihy, Steve Higgins, Colin Jost, Zach Kanin, Chris Kelly, Erik Kenward, Paul Masella, Dave McCary, Dennis McNicholas, Seth Meyers, Lorne Michaels, Josh Patten, Paula Pell, Katie Rich, Tim Robinson, Sarah Schneider, Pete Schultz, Streeter Seidell, Dave Sirus, Emily Spivey, Andrew Steele, Will Stephen, Kent Sublette; NBC
COMEDY / VARIETY – MUSIC, AWARDS, TRIBUTES – SPECIALS
— “Triumph’s Election Special,” Written by Andy Breckman, Josh Comers, David Feldman, R J Fried, Jarrett Grode, Ben Joseph, Matthew Kirsch, Michael Koman, Mike Lawrence, Brian Reich, Craig Rowin, Robert Smigel, Zach Smilovitz, Andrew Weinberg; Hulu
QUIZ AND AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
— “Hollywood Game Night,” Head Writer: Grant Taylor; Writers: Michael Agbabian, Alex Chauvin, Ann Slichter, Dwight D. Smith; NBC
— “General Hospital,” Writers: Shelly Altman, Anna Theresa Cascio, Andrea Archer Compton, Suzanne Flynn, Janet Iacobuzio, Elizabeth Korte, Daniel James O’Connor, Jean Passanante, Dave Rupel, Katherine Schock, Scott Sickles, Chris Van Etten, Christopher Whitesell; ABC
CHILDREN’S SCRIPT – EPISODIC AND SPECIALS
— “Mel vs. The Night Mare of Normal Street (Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street),” Written by Laurie Parres; Amazon Studios
CHILDREN’S SCRIPT – LONG FORM OR SPECIAL
— “Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas,” Written by Geri Cole & Ken Scarborough; HBO
DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – CURRENT EVENTS
— “The Choice 2016 (Frontline),” Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS
— “Inside Assad’s Syria (Frontline),” Written by Martin Smith; PBS
DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS
— “Jackie Robinson, Part One,” Written by David McMahon & Sarah Burns; PBS
NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT
— “Muhammad Ali: Remembering A Legend (48 Hours),” Written by Jerry Cipriano, John Craig Wilson; CBS News
NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY
— “CBS Sunday Morning Almanac, June 12, 2016 (CBS Sunday Morning),” Written by Thomas A. Harris; CBS
— “Chernobyl: 30 Years Later,” Written by Andrew Evans; ABC News Radio
RADIO NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT
— “World News This Week August 26, 2016,” Written by Tara Gimbel Tanis; ABC News Radio
RADIO NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY
— “Morley Safer: A Journalist’s Life,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS Radio Network
ON-AIR PROMOTION (TELEVISION, NEW MEDIA OR RADIO)
— “CBS On-Air Reel,” Written by Brian Retchless; CBS On-Air Promotion
TELEVISION GRAPHIC ART AND ANIMATION
— “The Real History of Cinco de Mayo,” (Gawker Media Group), Graphic Animation by Elisa Solinas; youtube.com
— “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End,” written by Neil Druckmann, Josh Scherr; additional writing by Tom Bissell, Ryan James
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