Docs

Brett Morgen’s “Jane” takes doc prize at Writers Guild Awards

Brett Morgen‘s aural-driven feature-length film Jane has taken the top documentary prize at the 2018 Writers Guild Awards. The 90-minute film (pictured), produced by National Geographic Studios in association with Public ...
February 12, 2018

Brett Morgen‘s aural-driven feature-length film Jane has taken the top documentary prize at the 2018 Writers Guild Awards.

The 90-minute film (pictured), produced by National Geographic Studios in association with Public Road Productions, was feted with the Documentary Screenplay award, beating out the likes of Ted Braun‘s Betting on Zero, Barak Goodman’s Oklahoma City and Alex Gibney‘s No Stone Unturned.

Jane enjoyed its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, where it picked up the Critic’s Poll for Best Documentary. The doc profiles Goodall’s revolutionary research, her relationship with cameraman and husband Hugo van Lawick, and the Kasakela chimpanzee community that she studied in the Gombe Stream National Park, located in the western Kigoma Region of Tanzania.

Meanwhile, Martin Smith was awarded the Documentary Script – Current Events award for his work on PBS ‘Frontline’s Confronting ISIS, which investigates the successes and failures of the U.S.-led efforts to degrade and destroy ISIS.

The program bested ‘Frontline’s Poverty, Politics and Profit from writer Rick Young, and CNN’s Unseen Enemy, written by Janet Tobias.

Stephen Ives, writer of PBS ‘American Experience’s The Great War: Part II, came away with the honor for Documentary Script – Other Than Current Events. The project details the efforts of America’s first mass conscripted army and their efforts to help the French hold the line at Belleau Wood.

Also nominated in the category were Frontline’s Divided States of America: Part One from writers Michael Kirk and Mike Wiser; ‘American Experience’s Rachel Carson, written by Michelle Ferrari; ‘American Experience’s The Great War: Part III from Rob Rapley; and PBS’s The Vietnam War,Episode Six: “Things Fall Apart” from Geoffrey C. Ward.

The WGA Awards includes prizes for film, television and radio, and have been presented since 1949. Eligible documentaries for a Writers Guild Award in the screenplay category were screened theatrically in Los Angeles or New York for at least one week in 2017.

Theatrical documentaries must have been produced under the jurisdiction of the WGA or an affiliate guild to be eligible for awards consideration.

The Writers Guild Awards honors outstanding writing in film, television, new media, video games, news, radio, promotional, and graphic animation categories.

Winners were honored at the 2018 Writers Guild Awards ceremony on Sunday (Feb. 11) at concurrent ceremonies in New York at the Edison Ballroom and in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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