January 3, 2006


    Los Angeles and New York – The Writers Guild of America, west (WGAw)
    and the Writers of America, East (WGAE) have announced nominations for
    outstanding achievement in documentary writing for the screen during
    the 2005 season:

    COWBOY DEL AMOR, Written by Michèle Ohayon, Homeland Film Productions

    ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM, Written By Alex Gibney, Based on
    the book The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous
    Fall of Enron by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, Magnolia Pictures and
    HDNet Films

    THE FALL OF FUJIMORI, Written by Ellen Perry & Zack Anderson & Kim
    Roberts, Stardust Pictures

    MARCH OF THE PENGUINS, Narration Written by Jordan Roberts, Based upon
    the story by Luc Jacquet and screenplay by Luc Jacquet & Michel
    Fessler, Warner Independent Pictures and Bonne Pioche

    STREET FIGHT, Written by Marshall Curry, Marshall Curry Productions

    The guild’s Documentary Screenplay Award was established to honor the
    writer’s role in documentary film. This recognition is also part of the
    Writers Guild of America, west and the Writers Guild of America, East’s
    broader efforts to build a community of nonfiction writers and to
    ensure these writers receive the benefits and protections of a Writers
    Guild contract.

    Since the creation of the award, there has been a 45 percent increase
    in U.S. documentaries containing a writing credit. It is an effort
    widely embraced by the documentary community, with over 400 filmmakers
    attending last year’s reception and submissions for the award nearly
    doubling this year.

    Julia Bacha, co-writer of Control Room and 2005 Documentary Screenplay
    Award nominee, had this to say about life after her nomination:

    “Ever since I received a Writers Guild nomination, it’s been much
    easier to convince people – both inside and outside the film industry –
    that a big part of what I do in the editing room is actually writing.
    Until then, I faced significant resistance to the notion that a
    documentary, especially one without voice-over narration, could claim
    to have a script. Now, when producers approach me with a project, they
    often ask me to both edit and write it. And that’s not only because
    they know this will make their documentary more attractive to me, but
    also because they want to capitalize on the potential prestige of a
    Writers Guild Award nomination.”

    The WGA Documentary Screenplay Award will be given out at a reception
    for nonfiction filmmakers on February 1, 2006, at The Hollywood
    Roosevelt Hotel.

    “Getting recognition for documentary writers on par with narrative
    screenwriters is a story of grit and determination worthy of, well,
    documentary writers. The Writers Guilds have been steadily working on
    ways to provide benefits and protections to these writers and this
    award is a big part of that work,” said WGAw President Patric M.
    Verrone. “We hope the documentary community will embrace our overall
    efforts the way it has this award.”

    “We are thrilled with the warm reception the documentary community has
    given this award. These writers tell some of the most compelling and
    provocative stories in modern cinema. We are delighted to honor them,”
    said WGAE Council President Chris Albers.

    The inaugural award was given out in February 2005, with Morgan
    Spurlock’s Super Size Me taking the top honor.

    Qualifications to be eligible for the WGA Documentary Screenplay Award

    · Documentaries submitted for entry must contain an on-screen
    writing credit and have been exhibited theatrically in either New York
    or Los Angeles for one week in 2005.
    · The credited writers of these documentaries are required to
    join the WGAw’s Nonfiction Writers Caucus or WGAE Nonfiction Writers
    Committee in order to be considered.
    · Scripts need not be written under WGA jurisdiction.
    · The script must be feature length (over 45 minutes), and
    documentaries that received their first public exhibition on broadcast
    or cable television are not eligible for screen awards.
    · Foreign-language films are not eligible; however, such films
    covered by the International Alliance of Writers Guilds (IAWG) will be

    Further questions about the WGA Documentary Screenplay Award may be
    directed to John Koch in the WGAw’s Marketing and Member Outreach
    Department at (323) 782-4510, or to Sherry Goldman for the WGAE’s
    Public Relations at (718) 224-4133.

    For more information about the 2006 Writers Guild Awards, please visit
    wga.org or wgaeast.org.

    The Writers Guild of America, west and the Writers Guild of America,
    East represent writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, and new
    media industries in both entertainment and news. The unions conduct
    numerous programs, seminars, and events throughout the world on issues
    of interest to, and on behalf of, writers.


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