Oscar 2005: Writers Guild Docu Screenplay Nominees

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 Mich 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.

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 include:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Scripts need not be written under WGA jurisdiction.

4. 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.

5. Foreign-language films are not eligible; however, such films covered by the International Alliance of Writers Guilds (IAWG) will be considered.