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Quentin Tarantino, Lulu Wang and Steven Canals Honored at 15th Annual Final Draft Awards

January 30, 2020
3 min read time
Photo: Temma Hankin 


 LOS ANGELES, January 22, 2020 -- The 15th Annual Final Draft Awards wrapped with a wonderful event last night at Paramount Studios in the Paramount Theater.  Quentin Tarantino (writer/director of “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood”) was presented with the Final Draft Hall of Fame Award by filmmaker Walter Hill (“Aliens” and “48 Hours”), Lulu Wang (writer/director of “The Farewell”) received the New Voice Award for Film presented to her by Academy Award® nominated “Parasite” writer/director Bong Joon Ho and Steven Canals (co-creator of the FX hit series “Pose”) received the New Voice Award for TV presented to him by “Pose” stars Mj Rodriguez and Angel Bismark Curiel. Comedy Duo Randy and Jason Sklar (The Sklar Brothers) served as the evening’s MCs and the event was presided over by Final Draft President Scott McMenamin.

The Grand Prize Big Break Screenwriting Contest winners were Steven Anthopoulos, Feature Grand Prize winner for his film “My Summer in the Human Resistance,” and Todd Goodlett TV Grand Prize winner for his hour-long pilot  “The Arsonist’s Handbook.”

When presenting the New Voice Award for Film to Lulu Wang, Director Bong Joon Ho joked, “In the past 20 years of being a screenwriter, I’ve spent many sleepless nights writing in Final Draft.”  He  went on to praise Lulu Wang’s masterful film  “The Farewell” by saying, “It is one of the most beautiful and delicate films of  last year.”   Wang accepted the New Voice Award for Film and thanked Director Bong “for encouraging Americans to get over the one-inch tall [subtitle] barrier.”  She then encouraged “all writers out there, to be the master of your own story.”

“Pose” stars, Mj Rodriguez and Angel Bismark Curiel presented the New Voice Award for TV to Steven Canals.  Rodriquez recounted the two-year struggle that Canals faced in getting “Pose” made.  He said that Canals “expanded our industry by giving all LGBTQ people of color a foot in the door. He evolved our understanding of what it means to be human, to dream, to love, to create family, and above all to be your unapologetic self; these are the gifts that Steven Canals has given us.  Canals recounted his artistic struggle since he was 15 years old and said that he hopes to, “Force the masses to wrestle with the stories of the forgotten.”

Walter Hill presented Quentin Tarantino with the Hall of Fame Award; he opened-up by saying “If you need an ‘Old-Voice’ (in reference to New Voice Award) candidate, I have one for you.”  He went on to praise Tarantino as one of the most special screenwriters of our time and introduced the Tarantino film-clip presentation which received cheers and applause throughout. Tarantino then took the stage to a standing ovation from the crowd.  Tarantino said, “I believe screenplays are meant to be read” and that “it’s all about the emotional experience when you read it.”  He went on to praise Hill and his writing partner on “Pulp Fiction,” Roger Avary, who actually had the unenviable job of typing Tarantino’s hand-written manuscript, also received applause from the audience when he was introduced.  Tarantino took the opportunity to encourage the crowd, full of screenwriters, to hold on to their original ideas.  He said that executives are looking for your spec script; they are looking for your voice, they want to read that diamond bullet script.” 

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