Helgeland won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay for “L.A. Confidential” and was nominated for “Mystic River.” He directed and wrote “Legend,” “42,” “A Knight’s Tale” and “Payback” and wrote “Man on Fire,” “The Taking of Pelham 123,” “Conspiracy Theory,” “Green Zone” and “Blood Work.”
Helgeland has also won awards from the Writers Guild of America, as well as the PEN Center Literary Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award and the USC Scripter Award. Universal launches “Legend,” starring Tom Hardy, on Oct. 2.
Previous Distinguished Screenwriter Award recipients include James L. Brooks, Lawrence Kasdan, Callie Khouri, Frank Pierson, Harold Ramis, Caroline Thompson and Steven Zaillian.
The festival, which launches Oct. 29, will also present a reading of Norman Lear’s un-produced teleplay “Guess Who Died?” The writing team, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, will bring their un-produced screenplay “Rosaline” to the festival for a reading to be directed by Alex Timbers.
The festival will present 150 panels with appearances by Michael Arndt, Charles Burnett, John Ridley, Gary Ross, Shane Black, Jack Burditt, Peter Craig, Chad and Carey Hayes, Mark Heyman, Angela Kang, Todd Kessler, Simon Kinberg, Jenny Lumet, Kelly Marcel, Jonathan Nolan, Nicole Perlman, Jason Reitman, Phil Rosenthal, Terry Rossio and Liz Tigelaar.