UPDATE: The WGA continues to line up its award recipients. On Monday, the guild said that Amarcord screenwriter Tonino Guerra would receive the Jean Renoir Award for Screenwriting Achievement, an international honor. The 90-year-old writer won’t be attending the event, held February 5 at the Renaissance Hollywood. Last week, the WGA announced it would be honoring Diane English and Steve Zaillian. Releases below:
Los Angeles — Iconic Italian screenwriter Tonino Guerra has been named the recipient of the Writers Guild of America, West’s 2011 Jean Renoir Award for Screenwriting Achievement, given to an international writer who has advanced the literature of motion pictures and made outstanding contributions to the profession of screenwriter. Along with other Guild honorees, Guerra will be feted at the 2011 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Saturday, February 5, 2011, in Hollywood.
In creative collaboration with some of the most prominent directors in world cinema, including Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Andrey Tarkovsky, Francesco Rosi, and Theodoros Angelopoulos, prolific screenwriter, author, poet, and artist Guerra has penned over 100 screenplays during a career spanning six decades.
“Tonino Guerra is by any standard one of the great writers of our times. His medium is the screenplay. He has written or co-written more than a hundred films, among them L’avventura, La notte, L’eclisse, Red Desert, Blow-Up, and Zabriskie Point for Antonioni; Amarcord for Fellini; Nostalghia for Tarkovsky; Landscapes in the Mist for Angelopoulos; and Exquisite Corpses for Rosi. Guerra’s work is the brave and moral thread that runs through the fabric of modernist cinema. He is a breathtaking poet, a generous collaborator, and is possessed of the largest heart. We are fortunate to have him among us and thrilled to honor his astonishing – and astonishingly influential – body of work,” said WGAW Board of Directors member Howard A. Rodman.
Los Angeles – Emmy Award-winning Murphy Brown creator Diane English has been named recipient of the Writers Guild of America, West’s 2011 Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television, honoring lifetime achievement for outstanding television writing. English will be feted, along with other honorees, at the 2011 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Saturday, February 5, 2011, in Hollywood.
“Diane English is a total class act – a trailblazing, supremely talented writer whose groundbreaking body of work has helped to both equalize and revolutionize television, while raising the bar for insightful, caustic, and moving writing on primetime TV. Her unique voice influenced not only a generation of women writers, but all creative artists who strive to deliver quality work,” said WGAW President John Wells.
And Steve Zaillian:
Los Angeles – Academy Award-winning screenwriter Steven Zaillian will receive the Writers Guild of America, West’s 2011 Laurel Award for Screen, honoring lifetime achievement in outstanding writing for motion pictures, to be presented at the 2011 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Saturday, February 5, 2011, in Hollywood.
“Steven Zaillian’s best scripts not only function as intelligent, thought-provoking works that uplift and inspire audiences, but often, as in the case of his screenplays such as Schindler’s List, they act as witness to crucial chapters in our collective history. His impressive body of work provides a benchmark that all screenwriters aspire to,” said WGAW President John Wells.
Zaillian is perhaps best known for his screenplay for the acclaimed Holocaust drama Schindler’s List, based on the novel by Thomas Keneally. In 1994, Zaillian received an Academy Award for his screen adaptation of Schindler’s List, as the film went on to garner multiple awards that year, including Academy and Golden Globe Awards for Best Picture. Zaillian’s work on the film also earned him a Writers Guild Award (Best Screenplay, Based on Material Previously Produced or Published), a BAFTA Award (Best Adapted Screenplay), the Humanitas Prize (Feature Film), and PEN Center USA’s Literary Award.
Zaillian’s other screenplays include Awakenings, based on the book by Oliver Sacks, M.D., for which he received both Academy and Writers Guild Award nominations (Best Screenplay, Based on Material from Another Medium), The Falcon and the Snowman, based on the book by Robert Linsday; Jack the Bear, based on the novel by Dan McCall, and American Gangster.
His co-writing screen credits include box-office hits Hannibal (Screenplay by David Mamet and Steven Zaillian, based upon the novel by Thomas Harris), Clear and Present Danger (Screenplay by Donald Stewart and Steven Zaillian and John Milius, based on the novel by Tom Clancy), the Martin Scorsese-directed period drama Gangs of New York (Screenplay by Jay Cocks and Steven Zaillian and Kenneth Lonergan, Story by Jay Cocks), for which Zaillian shared both Oscar (Best Writing, Original Screenplay) and WGA nominations (Best Original Screenplay), and The Interpreter (Screenplay by Charles Randolph and Scott Frank and Steven Zaillian, Story by Martin Stellman & Brian Ward).
Not only sought-after as a screenwriter, four-time WGA nominee Zaillian has also carved out a career as an in-demand multi-hyphenate, having written and directed such acclaimed films as Searching for Bobby Fischer and the Writers Guild Award-nominated A Civil Action. Both films, as well as All the King’s Men, earned him Humanitas Prize nominations. In addition, Zaillian has served as executive producer or producer on many of the films he’s written and directed, as well as other films including Welcome to the Rileys. In 2009, Zaillian received the Austin Film Festival’s Distinguished Screenwriter Award.
Most recently, Zaillian has adapted Stieg Larsson’s best-selling novel for the currently filming American remake of global phenomenon The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, for which Zaillian is also serving as executive producer.
Born in 1953 and a WGAW member since 1980, screenwriter Zaillian grew up in Los Angeles and attended Sonoma State College, later graduating from San Francisco State University with a degree in Communications in 1975.
Awarded to a Writers Guild member who has advanced the literature of motion pictures and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the screenwriter, the WGAW’s Laurel Award for Screen has been presented in past years to such notable screenwriters such Horton Foote, David Mamet, Lawrence Kasdan, Robert Benton, Budd Schulberg, and Barry Levinson.
The 2011 Writers Guild Awards will be held on Saturday, February 5, 2011, simultaneously at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel-Grand Ballroom in Los Angeles and the AXA Equitable Center in New York City. For more information about the 2011 Writers Guild Awards, please visit www.wga.org or www.wgaeast.org.