'Arrival' & 'Moonlight' Win Best Screenplays at the 2017 WGA Awards
by Alex Billington
February 20, 2017
With just one week to go until the Academy Awards, the Writers Guild of America has announced the winners of the 2017 WGA Awards. Last year, the big WGA winners were Spotlight (Original), written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy, as well as The Big Short (Adapted), written by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay; plus Alex Gibney's Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief winning the award for Best Documentary. What have fellow writers determined to be the best scripts of 2016? The big winners are Arrival (Adapted), written by Eric Heisserer adapted from Ted Chiang's short story, and Moonlight (Original), written by Barry Jenkins. I'm so happy for both of these outstanding films! Congrats to both.
Arrival and Moonlight are two of the best films of 2016, so it makes sense that they've won this award. And I'm happy for Barry and Eric. The other 2017 nominees for Best Original Screenplay were: Hell or High Water written by Taylor Sheridan; La La Land written by Damien Chazelle; Loving written by Jeff Nichols; and Manchester by the Sea written by Kenneth Lonergan (this one would've been my other choice to win). The other 2017 nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay: Deadpool written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick, based on the X-Men comic books; Fences written by August Wilson, based on his own play; Hidden Figures written by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, based on the book of the same name from Margot Lee Shetterly; and also Nocturnal Animals written by Tom Ford, based on "Tony & Susan" from Austin Wright.
As for the documentary side of things, Robert Kenner & Eric Schlosser won the Best Screenplay award for their nuclear missile documentary Command and Control, which first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016. The other 2017 documentary nominees were: Author: The JT LeRoy Story, written by Jeff Feuerzeig; and Zero Days, written by Alex Gibney (who won last year). For the full list of winners from the 2017 Writers Guild Awards, including all the television and animation awards, visit the WGA.org website. I'm very happy about the two feature films that won this year, but as always I wish more of my favorite docs were nominated. Oh well. Onwards to the Oscars next! Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees.