15th Annual Final Draft® Awards
January 2, 2020
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 2nd - Final Draft, a Cast & Crew Company, now in its 29th year as the industry standard for screenwriting software, today announced the honorees for the 15th Annual Final Draft Awards. Academy Award® winning screenwriter Quentin Tarantino will be presented with the Hall of Fame Award for his prolific contribution to the art of screenwriting. Tarantino’s latest film, Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood, has grossed over $372 million worldwide and earned numerous accolades including a win for best screenplay from the New York Film Critics Circle and five Golden Globe® nominations.
This year’s New Voice Award for Film recipient is writer-director Lulu Wang whose critically-acclaimed sophomore feature, The Farewell, has been racking up kudos throughout awards season including being named to the prestigious American Film Institute’s top 10 films of the year and receiving two Golden Globe® nominations, two Spirit Award nominations and four Critics Choice Award nominations.
The New Voice Award for Television will be presented to Steven Canals, the dynamic co-creator and executive producer of the acclaimed FX original series Pose, which after a stellar presence throughout Emmy® season, was recently named to the American Film Institute’s Top 10 list and will return for its third season in 2020.
Final Draft will soon announce the winners of the 2019 Big Break® Screenwriting Contest who will also be honored at the event.
The 15th Annual Final Draft Awards will be held at the Paramount Theatre on the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood, CA on January 21st and will be hosted again this year by comedy duo Randy and Jason Sklar (The Sklar Brothers). Previous Final Draft Hall of Fame Award winners include Aaron Sorkin, Nancy Meyers, Lawrence Kasdan, Paul Schrader, Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, Callie Khouri, Steven Zaillian, Robert Towne, Oliver Stone, and Sydney Pollack, among others. The New Voice Award was introduced in 2017 and past recipients include Liz Hannah, Issa Rae, Boots Riley and Tanya Saracho.
“Quentin Tarantino is an iconic filmmaker whose bold and imaginative storytelling has been thrilling audiences for almost three decades,” stated President of Final Draft, Scott McMenamin. “He’s left an indelible mark on cinema that is distinctly his and it’s our honor to recognize him. We are equally thrilled to be honoring two brilliant, groundbreaking new voices in film and television that are telling fresh, thought-provoking stories. They perfectly embody the tenets of the New Voice Award with their original and provocative storytelling with narratives that focus on the universal journey of the human experience. We can’t wait to see what stories this year’s honorees will choose to tell next.”
About Quentin Tarantino
With his vibrant imagination and dedication to richly layered storytelling Quentin Tarantino has established himself as one of the most celebrated filmmakers of his generation. His latest film, Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood is his ninth feature film in his acclaimed career.
Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight received many awards, including Ennio Morricone’s only Oscar® along with Golden Globes, BAFTA and ASCAP wins for the composer; while Tarantino was nominated by BAFTA and the Golden Globes for his screenplay, Jennifer Jason Leigh by the Academy and BAFTA for supporting actress and Robert Richardson by the Academy for his Ultra Panavision 70MM cinematography. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Damián Bechir, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern and Michael Madsen, the film is set in Wyoming in the 1870s as a blizzard overtakes eight travelers in a stagecoach lodge who come to realize that they might not make it to their destination after all. The film debuted worldwide in approximately 100 theaters retrofitted with 70MM anamorphic film projectors screening exclusive 182-minute roadshow prints complete with an overture, intermission and printed programs. Most recently a special four-chapter extended version curated by Tarantino became available on Netflix.
Tarantino won his second Oscar® for Best Screenplay for Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz (in his second Academy Award®-winning role), Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington and Walton Goggins. Set in the Antebellum South, Django Unchained chronicles a freed slave’s search for his long-lost wife. Django Unchained was nominated for five Golden Globe Awards (with wins for Waltz and Tarantino for Best Screenplay), five BAFTAS (again, with wins for Tarantino and Waltz and editor Fred Raskin) and five Academy Awards®, including Best Picture. Django Unchained grossed over $425 million worldwide.
Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino’s World War II epic, assembled a renowned international cast, including Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Michael Fassbender, Melanie Laurent, Til Schweiger, Mike Myers and Christoph Waltz, who won an Academy Award® for his portrayal of Colonel Hans Landa. First shown in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, Inglourious Basterds was a critical and box office sensation, garnering numerous awards, including six BAFTA nominations, four Golden Globe nominations and eight Academy Award® nominations, including Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Achievement in Directing. Prior to Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino thrilled audiences with Death Proof, starring Kurt Russell and Zoë Bell. Paired domestically with Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror on a double bill called Grindhouse, Death Proof was shown in competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
In Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Kill Bill Vol. 2, Uma Thurman, as The Bride, enacted a “roaring rampage of revenge” on her former lover and boss, played by David Carradine. Shot in China, Japan, the United States and Mexico, the film co-starred Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox and Michael Madsen as Carradine’s team of assassins. Tarantino wrote and directed Jackie Brown, a crime caper loosely based on Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch, starring Pam Grier, Robert Forster, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda and Michael Keaton. Grier garnered both Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for her performance in the title role. Forster was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor and Jackson won the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the Berlin International Film Festival for his performance as Ordell Robbie.
Tarantino co-wrote, directed and starred in Pulp Fiction, which won numerous critics’ awards, a Golden Globe and Academy Award® for Best Screenplay, and the Palme D’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. (Tarantino made a return visit to Cannes ten years later to take on the prestigious role of jury president.) The time-bending crime drama stars John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer and Christopher Walken. Tarantino wrote, directed and starred in Reservoir Dogs, which made an auspicious debut at the Sundance Film Festival and marked Tarantino’s first trip to Cannes (out of competition) and the beginning of his career as a filmmaker. Reservoir Dogs co-stars Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi and Harvey Keitel.
Following the success of Reservoir Dogs, the screenplays that Tarantino wrote during his tenure as a video store clerk became hot properties: Tony Scott directed Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette in True Romance and Robert Rodriguez directed George Clooney and Salma Hayek in From Dusk Till Dawn. In addition to their collaborations From Dusk Till Dawn and Grindhouse, Tarantino also joined Rodriguez as a special guest director on his hit Sin City. Tarantino joined Rodriguez, Allison Anders and Alexandre Rockwell by directing, writing and executive producing a segment of the omnibus feature Four Rooms. For television, Tarantino directed the season five finale of “CSI.” The episode, titled “Grave Danger,” garnered Tarantino an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. Tarantino made his television directorial debut in 1995 with an episode of the long-running drama “ER.”
Tarantino’s diverse work as a producer exemplifies both his commitment to first-time filmmakers and his support for his experienced peers and colleagues. Tarantino served as an executive producer on Eli Roth’s Hostel and Hostel: Part II, Roger Avary’s Killing Zoe, Katrina Bronson’s Daltry Calhoun and Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn. The longtime fan of Asian cinema presented Yuen Wo Ping’s Iron Monkey to American audiences in 2001, Zhang Yimou’s Hero in 2004 and RZA’s The Man with the Iron Fists in 2012.
About Lulu Wang
With the rare ability to captivate audiences with her sincere storytelling, Lulu Wang continues to establish herself as a writer and filmmaker to watch.
Recently announced, Wang will serve as executive producer and writer on the upcoming Amazon Original series, The Expatriates. Wang will also direct multiple episodes. Based on the best-selling novel by Janice Y.K. Lee, The Expatriates, from Amazon Studios and Nicole Kidman and Per Saari’s Blossom Films, will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in over 200 countries and territories.
In July 2019, Wang released her second feature The Farewell, which she both wrote and directed. The story follows Billi (Awkwafina), who returns to China after decades in America to join a household of relatives as they convene to say goodbye to the family’s elderly matriarch under the pretense of a shotgun wedding.
The film first premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, earning Wang a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize. After its success at Sundance, A24 picked it up for worldwide distribution and released the film in select theaters on July 7. Since then, Wang’s sophomore feature has garnered a multitude of praises, including Variety naming Wang among its “Top 10 Directors to Watch in 2019.” The film was recently nominated for multiple awards including “Best Feature” and “Best Screenplay” at the 2019 Gotham Independent Film Awards, “Best Feature” at the 2020 Independent Film Spirit Awards, as well as “Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language” at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards.
Wang’s debut feature film, Posthumous, stars Brit Marling and Jack Huston. Released by The Orchard in 2014, the indie romantic comedy follows a struggling artist who finds himself accidentally reported dead. On behalf of the debut film, Wang was awarded with the Chaz and Roger Ebert Directing Fellowship at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards, as well as earning the 2014 Film Independent Project Involve Directing fellowship.
About Steven Canals
Hailing from The Bronx, Steven Canals is the co-Creator and Executive Producer of the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-nominated and Peabody Award-winning FX drama series POSE. Named one of the Best TV Programs of the Year by the American Film Institute in 2018 and 2019, POSE recently finished its second season on FX and will return for a third season in 2020.
A 2015 graduate of UCLA’s MFA Screenwriting program, he began his journey as a storyteller in high school, producing the documentary short "Turf Violence: What's It All About?" co-funded by HBO Family. Steven went on to earn a BA in Cinema, and a Masters in Student Affairs & Diversity from Binghamton University. He moved to LA in 2012 after a 9-year career in Higher Education. While attending UCLA, Steven served as a Research Assistant at Hungry Jackal Productions. In 2016 Steven was a Staff Writer on Freeform’s Dead of Summer, the same year his short film, Afuera, premiered at the LA Film Festival. He made his TV directorial debut with the eighth episode of the second season of POSE titled "Revelations."
About The Sklar Brothers
The Sklar Brothers, are a post-modern take on a stand-up comedy duo. Neil Strauss of the New York Times once wrote “Their comedy accepts the reality of being twins but does not use it as a crutch. Instead, they work their physical and mental similarities and correspondences, their status as imperfect carbon copies of each other. In their comedy the straight man is often an echo.” They have released 6 critically acclaimed comedy albums, have had two Comedy Central Half Hour Presents specials, and currently have a one hour stand up special on Netflix, titled What Are We Talking About and another one hour special that premiered on the Starz Network in May of 2018 called Hipster Ghosts. Hipster Ghosts is still available on the Starz App or at starz.com.
Randy and Jason are also writers, directors and actors appearing in a wide variety of shows from Entourage to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia to Curb Your Enthusiasm to Better Call Saul. They are currently recurring characters, the Drs. Green, on TruTV’s Those Who Can’t. However, they are perhaps most well known for their show Cheap Seats, a cult hit that appeared on ESPN Classic for 77 episodes.
Their popular sports/comedy podcast View From the Cheap Seats is available on the Starburns Podcasting Network. Their hit podcast Dumb People Town with cohost Dan Van Kirk is currently being developed as a narrative animated show with Sony for You Tube Premium.
About Final Draft, a Cast & Crew Company
Final Draft, a Cast & Crew Company, has published Final Draft® software – the number-one selling screenwriting application in the world – for over 25 years. Final Draft automatically paginates and formats your script to industry standards, allowing writers to focus on what they do best – writing scripts. Used by such industry giants as J.J. Abrams, James Cameron and Aaron Sorkin, Final Draft software is the professional’s choice and the entertainment industry standard. In addition to its flagship software product, Final Draft offers the annual Big Break® Contest – a screenwriting competition that launches careers, and awards over $100,000 in cash and prizes. Final Draft also offers Final Draft Mobile for iPhone and iPad, making creativity truly portable. To learn more about Final Draft and its products and services, visit: www.finaldraft.com
Written by: Final Draft