Brian Knappenberger – director of The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz - has won the best documentary screenplay award from the Writers Guild of America (WGA), besting such docs as Red Army and Finding Vivian Maier.
The awards – which were handed out on Saturday at a ceremony in Los Angeles – span the mediums of film, television and radio, and have been presented since 1949.
As previously reported, in order to be eligible for entry in the feature-length doc screenplay category, films must have screened theatrically in LA or New York for at least a week in 2014. The WGA also limits its award nominees to scripts that meet the terms outlined in the guild’s minimum basic agreement, or the standards of the projects’ affiliated writers guilds.
Knappenberger beat out Red Army writer-director Gabe Polsky, Finding Vivian Maier’s writer-directors Charlie Siskel and John Maloof, and writers Mark Bailey and Keven McAlester, who penned Rory Kennedy’s Last Days in Vietnam.
Both Finding Vivian Maier and Last Days in Vietnam will compete for the Best Documentary Feature prize at the 87th Academy Awards on February 22.
Elsewhere, winning best documentary script for current events was Michael Kirk and Mike Wiser for the “United States of Secrets: The Program (Part One)” episode of PBS doc strand ‘Frontline,’ while the team also picked up the award for best documentary script for non-current events programming for the “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis” episode of ‘Frontline.’