Her Warren Jeff's doc Prophet's Prey, and his anti-Scientology doc are recognized
Two of America's best known documentary filmmakers are in the running for a Writers Guild Award.
Oscar-nominated writer-director Amy Berg earned a WGA nomination today for her film Prophet's Prey, an unsparing look at Warren Jeffs, the imprisoned leader of the FLDS [Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints].
She will go up against Oscar winner Alex Gibney, nominated for Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, a deeply unflattering view of Scientology creator L. Ron Hubbard and the practices of the church he founded. Gibney wrote and narrated the film, which is based on Lawrence Wright's book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief.
Berg and Gibney are in contention with a third celebrated documentary filmmaker: Oscar-nominated writer-director Brett Morgen, who earned a WGA nomination for Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck.
Morgen tweeted, "I'd like to thank the WGA West for recognizing the contributions of a writer in a doc without narration."
Only four films were nominated in the Documentary Screenplay category this year. The fourth is Being Canadian, written and directed by Robert Cohen.
The Writers Guild Awards recognize documentary work in a couple of additional categories, which saw nominations go to a variety of PBS series:
DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – CURRENT EVENTS
“American Terrorist” (Frontline), Written by Thomas Jennings; PBS
“Gunned Down: The Power of the NRA” (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS
DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS
“Firestone and the Warlord” (Frontline), Written by Marcela Gaviria; PBS
“The Forgotten Plague” (American Experience), Written by Chana Gazit; PBS
“The Great Math Mystery” (Nova), Written by Daniel McCabe; PBS
“Secrets, Politics and Torture” (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS
The Writers Guild Awards will be presented Saturday, February 13 at a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.