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Moonlight and Arrival win big at Writers Guild Awards


Story by Jack Foley

GAY coming-of-age drama Moonlight and sci-fi classic Arrival emerged as the big winners at the Writers’ Guild of America awards.

The former film took the prize for best original screenplay and the latter for best adapted screenplay.

Moonlight chronicles the heartrending tale of a gay man’s coming of age in Miami. It is directed by Barry Jenkins.

Arrival, meanwhile, took best adapted screenplay for Eric Heisserer, whose script was based on Nebula award-winning short story, Story of Your Life, by Ted Chiang.

A WGA award is considered a reliable predictor for Oscar results – although this year could be different given that Moonlight and Arrival will be competing against each other given that the former has had to shift categories because it is based on an unpublished text by award-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. It means that at the Academy Awards, Moonlight is in contention for best adapted screenplay.

Both films will be up against Hell or High Water, La La Land, Loving and Manchester By The Sea.

The WGA also gives out a number of TV writing awards, with Atlanta winning best comedy series and best new series, and The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story taking best long-form adapted programme.

Spy drama The Americans claimed the award for best drama series.

Veteran filmmaker Oliver Stone also received the Laurel award for screenwriting achievement, while The West Wing luminary Aaron Sorkin took home a television writing achievement accolade.

Full list of winners


Best original screenplay

Best adapted screenplay

Best documentary screenplay
Command and Control

TV, radio, new media and video games

Best comedy/variety sketch series
Saturday Night Live

Best comedy/variety talk series
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

Best drama series
The Americans

Best children’s episode
Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street (Mel v The Night Mare of Normal Street)

Best children’s long form
Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas

Best daytime drama
General Hospital

Best on-air promotion (television, new media or radio)
CBS On-Air Reel

Best TV news script – analysis, feature or commentary
CBS Sunday Morning Almanac

Best TV news script – regularly scheduled, bulletin or breaking report
Muhammad Ali: Remembering a Legend

Best television graphic art and animation
The Real History of Cinco de Mayo

Best comedy/variety special
Triumph’s Election Special

Outstanding achievement in video game writing
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Best original short form new media
The Commute (The Party)

Best quiz and audience participation
Hollywood Game Night

Best radio documentary
Chernobyl: 30 Years Later

Best radio news script – regularly scheduled, bulletin or breaking report
World News This Week

Radio news script – analysis, feature or commentary
Morley Safer: A Journalist’s Life

Best animation
BoJack Horseman (Stop the Presses)

Best documentary script – current events
Frontline, The Choice & Inside Assad’s Syria

Best documentary script – other than current events
Jackie Robinson, Part One

Best adapted short form new media
Fear The Walking Dead

Best adapted long form
The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

Best original long form

Best new series

Best comedy series

Best episodic comedy
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Kimmy Goes on a Play Date)

Best episodic drama
This Is Us (The Trip)

Humanitarian service
Richard Curtis

International screenwriting achievement
Abbas Kiarostami

Morgan Cox award
Dan Wilcox

Paul Selvin award
Susannah Grant

Screenwriting achievement
Oliver Stone

Animation writing award for lifetime achievement
Mike Judge

Television writing achievement
Aaron Sorkin

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