'Great Debaters' scribes to receive Selvin Award

The WGA West has tapped “The Great Debaters” screenwriter Robert Eisele and story collaborator Jeffrey Porro as recipients of its Paul Selvin Award.

Nod is aimed at celebrating written work that embodies the spirit of constitutional rights and civil liberties. Both writers, along with other WGA lifetime achievement and service honorees, will be feted at an April 23 awards luncheon at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel.

“This screenplay is a profound story of the power of words and collective resolve, two things that writers are always willing to employ and embrace,” said WGA West president Patric Verrone.

“The Great Debaters” recently won four NAACP Image Awards. It also won the Christopher Award, a Golden Globe nomination for drama, the National Board of Review’s Freedom of Expression Award and the Producers Guild of America’s Stanley Kramer Award.

Project had its genesis in 1997 when Porro discovered a magazine article on the Southern student debaters featured in the film.

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