February 2, 2006
Writers Guild taps ‘Enron’ for documentary award
By Jesse Hiestand
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The writer/director of
"Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" is the second winner of
the Writers Guild of America's award for best documentary
writing, the union said Wednesday.
Alex Gibney, who also has been nominated for a documentary
feature Academy Award, was set to receive the honor from actor
James Woods during a ceremony in Hollywood in Wednesday
"Enron" beat a field that included the matchmaker film
"Cowboy del Amor," the political thriller "The Fall of
Fujimori," the blockbuster nature study "March of the Penguins"
and the mayoral saga "Street Fight."
In addition to "Enron," "Street Fight" and "Penguins" also
were nominated this week for an Academy Award. The two other
Oscar contenders are "Darwin's Nightmare" and "Murderball."
Gibney wrote, directed and produced his documentary about
Enron, based on the book "The Smartest Guys in the Room: The
Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron" by Peter Elkind and
Bethany McLean. By coincidence, the fraud trial of former Enron
Corp. founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling got
under way this week in Houston.
Gibney is producing "Possibilities," a film about Herbie
Hancock, and "The Ten Commandments," a series of 10 hour-long
films on each of the different commandments. Steven Soderbergh
is executive producer on the latter.
The WGA's documentary award was awarded for the first time
last year to Morgan Spurlock for "Super Size Me."
The guild has been working to organize nonfiction writing,
most recently by establishing a first-ever contract for
low-budget documentaries just two weeks ago.