CATEGORIES Documentary, Awards, Lionsgate Films, Sony Classics, Scripts, Oscar Watch, Miramax, Oscar News, Awards, CinematicalAs long as the Academy gives separate screenwriting Oscars for original screenplay and adapted screenplay, they should also consider honoring non-fiction screenplays. Not all documentaries have writers, but many do -- according to the Writers Guild of America the number of docs with writing credit has increased by 50% in recent years. That is why the WGA began awarding non-fiction screenwriters two years ago; Super-Size Me was the first to be honored.
I'm not sure why the WGA announced the doc noms separately from the rest, but in doing so the guild is allowing for the category to be given less attention. Of course, with the news that Borat is nominated for the adaptation prize, everything else about the WGA Awards is being overshadowed (I paid more notice to the Borat news, too). But I think it is important for documentary fans to know that the WGA does honor non-fiction writers. Maybe one day they'll even go and split up the category to distinguish between the original and adapted non-fiction scripts (there may not be enough of the latter, though).
The nominees for the 2007 Documentary Screenplay Award are: Deliver Us From Evil (written by Amy Berg); The Heart of the Game (written by Ward Serrill); Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos (story by John Dower and Mark Monroe; screenplay by Mark Monroe); Who Killed the Electric Car? (written by Chris Paine); Why We Fight (written by Eugene Jarecki).
Surprisingly, of these films only Deliver Us From Evil has been shortlisted for the documentary Oscar. Also noteworthy are the docs that have a writing credit, are eligible for an Oscar and aren't one of the WGA's nominees: Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?; Jonestown: The Life and Times of People's Temple; The Trials of Darryl Hunt; The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends; Storm of Emotions. I do wonder which of these was even eligible for WGA consideration, if any. I also wonder if Al Gore should have been recognized for his writing of the major material documented in An Inconvenient Truth. Anyway, judging by the one overlap, I figure Deliver Us From Evil is the best bet for the Oscar.