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February 12, 2018
6 min read time

Final Draft, a Cast & Crew Entertainment Company, now in its 27th year as the industry standard for screenwriting software, on Thursday February 8th hosted the 13th Annual Final Draft Awards at the Paramount Theatre on the Paramount Studios lot. 

Hana & Chad Callaghan and Greta Heinemann were also announced as the grand prize winners of Final Draft’s Big Break Screenwriting Contest. 

Click here for footage of last week's event!

 LOS ANGELES, CA – Final Draft, a Cast & Crew Entertainment Company, now in its 27th year as the industry standard for screenwriting software, on Thursday February 8th hosted the 13th Annual Final Draft Awards at the Paramount Theatre on the Paramount Studios lot.  Hosted by comedy duo Randy & Jason Sklar and with over 500 entertainment professionals in attendance, the theme of the night was finding your voice. Liz Hannah, co-writer of Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-nominated The Post, received the New Voice Award, presented by one of the stars of The Post, Bradley Whitford. Accepting her award, which recognizes a rising and vital talent, Hannah said, “Anyone that’s ever felt like your voice hasn’t been heard, and that your voice has been ignored, we are all listening.”

Former WGA West President and screenwriter Howard A. Rodman (Savage Grace) was honored with the Hall of Fame Award for his longtime devotion to writers and the writing community through his work with the WGA, USC and the Sundance Institute. Both Robin Swicord (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Sundance Senior Manager of Episodic Program Producer Michelle Satter lauded Rodman for his amazing efforts for writers everywhere. Furthering the night’s theme, Rodman said “As Final Draft well knows, and has demonstrated by its New Voice honorees – last year the extraordinary Issa Rae, this year the deeply talented Liz Hannah – the future of screenwriting is diverse and inclusive.”

The winners of the Big Break Screenwriting Contest were also announced. Mother/son writing duo Hana Callaghan and Chad Callaghan also won for their TV pilot Portia’s Law, which was submitted in Big Break’s Diversity category, introduced by Final Draft this year to help recognize and encourage writers from diverse backgrounds. Greta Heinemann won the Feature competition for her script Anatomy of a Breakdown (formerly City Under Fire). Each of the Big Break Screenwriting winners receive over $80,000 in cash and prizes including $10,000 in cash, a trip to Los Angeles including meetings with screenwriters and producers as well as other industry professionals, script consultations with key counselors as well as admission to the August 2018 Script Pipeline Secret Door Pitchfest and admission to one Robert McKee Story Seminar.

Big Break Screenwriting Award winner for TV, Portia’s Law by writing duo Hana Callaghan and Chad Callaghan, is set in 1878.  Abandoned by her philandering husband, and threatened with having her children taken from her unless she can provide for them, Clara sets out to become the first female lawyer in California.  In order to practice the law, she much first change it.

Greta Heinemann’s winning entry Anatomy of a Breakdown was inspired by true events that took place in Los Angeles in 2013. The film is a cop thriller about a female LAPD training officer who finds herself on the kill manifesto of her disgraced, former trainee, a young African American man.  As the LAPD embarks on a highly-publicized manhunt and racial tensions rise across the city, our heroine is forced to confront past demons but also the possibility that the accused might actually be innocent.

About Howard A. Rodman

Howard A. Rodman is a screenwriter, novelist and educator. He is past president of the Writers Guild of America West; professor and former chair of the writing division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts; an artistic director of the Sundance Institute Screenwriting Labs; a member of the National Film Preservation Board; chair of USC’s Scripter Awards; a former member of the executive committee of the Writers Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; and a fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities.

His films include Savage Grace, directed by Tom Kalin and starring Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne; and August, starring Josh Hartnett, Rip Torn, and David Bowie—both of which had their US premieres at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Rodman's screenplay for Savage Grace was nominated for a Spirit Award in the Best Screenplay category. Rodman also wrote Joe Gould's Secret, which opened the 2000 Sundance Festival. His original screenplay F. was selected by Premiere Magazine as one of Hollywood's Ten Best Unproduced Screenplays. His novel Destiny Express, an historical romance set in the pre-war German film community, was blurbed by Thomas Pynchon, who called it "daringly imagined, darkly romantic—a moral thriller."

On the small screen, Rodman wrote several of the episodes of the Showtime anthologies Fallen Angels and The Hunger, adapting Jim Thompson, David Goodis, et al. for directors Tony Scott, Steven Soderbergh, and Tom Cruise. These garnered him two separate Cable Ace nominations for Best Writing.  In addition to the multiple outings for Soderbergh (who repaid the favor by giving sleazy characters in both Traffic and The Underneath the name of "Mr. Rodman"), Rodman has worked with Chantal Akerman, Clive Barker, Peter Bogdanovich, Rodrigo Garcia, Michael Jackson, David Lynch, Chris McQuarrie, John McTiernan, Errol Morris, Maurice Sendak, David Siegel & Scott McGehee, and John Woo. His current projects include feature adaptations of the New York Times Bestseller The Monopolists by Mary Pilon, and the French crime novel West Coast Blues by Jean-Patrick Manchette.

About Liz Hannah

Liz Hannah is the co-writer of The Post, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. The thrilling drama follows the story of the unlikely partnership of Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of The Washington Post, and its volatile, driven editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they come together with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned four decades and four U.S. Presidents. The script was written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer and features an acclaimed ensemble cast including Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford, Zach Wood.

Originally from New York, Hannah moved to Los Angeles to attend graduate school at AFI. After graduating with an MFA in Producing, Hannah spent the next few years working in development at Denver & Delilah before eventually leaving to write full time. Hannah’s script for The Post was ranked second on the 2016 Black List before being purchased by Amy Pascal’s Pascal Pictures two days before the US Presidential election.

Currently, Hannah is developing a female anthology series for UCP based on Ann Shen’s book, “Bad Girls Throughout History”, a limited series at Amazon entitled “The Mercury 13” with Bradley Whitford, Amy Pascal, and Star Thrower, and a feature script, Only Plane in the Sky, for MGM, which was adapted from the Politico article by Garrett Graff.

About Randy and Jason Sklar

Hosts Randy and Jason Sklar currently recur in the TruTV Series Those Who Can’t as well as in several episodes of AMC’s hit series Better Call Saul.  The Sklars recently produced the documentary, Poop Talk, which will be released in February 2018. They also notably hosted and produced History Channel’s United Stats Of America and created and starred in the ESPN cult hit series Cheap Seats, along with being guest hosts on Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle. They are currently developing the pilots Work From Home with David Kohan and Val Kilmer Ruined Our Lives with Bill Lawrence.

Click here for footage of last week's event!

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