In its noms for feature documentary writing, the Writers Guild of America has tapped pics in an eclectic mix of genres, opting for nature, romance, corporate scandal and a pair of political investigations.
The nominations, announced Tuesday, went to “Cowboy del Amor,” written by Michele Ohayon; “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” by Alex Gibney, based on the book “The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron” by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind; “The Fall of Fujimori,” by Ellen Perry, Zack Anderson and Kim Roberts; “March of the Penguins,” narration written by Jordan Roberts, based upon the story by Luc Jacquet and screenplay by Jacquet and Michel Fessler; and “Street Fight,” written by Marshall Curry.
Winner will be announced Feb. 1 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
“Enron,” “Penguins” and “Street Fight” are among the 15 films on this year’s short list of documentaries up for possible Oscar noms.
“Penguins,” produced by Warner Independent and Bonne Pioche, is by far the top grosser among the five WGA nominees with a worldwide cume of $113 million, including $36 million overseas. “Enron,” produced by Magnolia and HDNet Films, has topped $4 million domestically.
“Cowboy del Amor,” produced by Homeland Film Prods., follows a former cowboy-turned-matchmaker who seeks Mexican wives for American men; “Fujimori,” produced by Stardust Pictures, centers on former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori, who has fled to Japan; “Street Fight,” self-produced by Curry, explores the 2002 mayor’s race in Newark, N.J.
The WGA created the award last year to boost the profile of documentary writers and to help organize the sector, most of which is not under guild jurisdiction. The union noted Tuesday that there has been a 45% hike in U.S. docus containing a writing credit.
The WGA presented the first docu trophy to Morgan Spurlock for “Super Size Me” last year. Those nominees did not include Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” as Moore chose not to submit his film.
When the WGA announced creation of the docu nod in late 2004, it excluded nonfiction works from its original screenplay award, which eliminated Moore’s chances of taking home a second WGA trophy for original screenplay. He won the guild’s original screenplay award in 2003 for “Bowling for Columbine.”