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2014 Writers Guild Awards Nominees Revealed. '12 Years' 'Fruitvale,' 'Butler,' or 'Mandela' Ineligible

by Tambay A. Obenson
January 3, 2014 1:54 PM
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'12 Years a Slave'

UPDATE: I've been informed by the WGA that 12 Years A Slave, Fruitvale Station, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, God Loves Uganda, 20 Feet From Stardom, and The Square are indeed ineligible for a WGA nomination because they were not written under the guild's jurisdiction.

Here's the original post...

Hot off the presses, the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have announced nominations for outstanding achievement in writing for the screen during 2013. 

Winners will be honored at the 2014 Writers Guild Awards on Saturday, February 1, 2014, at simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York City.

As can be expected, debates abound on who should and shouldn't be on this list of nominees. It's par for the course.

I'll leave that to you folks to sort out. 

In terms of diaspora representation, there really is none this year. The only real contenders this season are 12 Years A Slave, Fruitvale Station, The Butler and Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. And none of them are nominees.

In the documentary category, there's no diaspora representation there either. No God Loves Uganda, no 20 Feet From Stardom, no The Square.

Maybe there's a perfectly good reason why they weren't nominated, although none is obvious to me [And there is, see the update above].

Here at the guild's rules:

Feature films eligible for a Writers Guild Award were exhibited theatrically for at least one week in Los Angeles during 2013 and were written under the WGA’s Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) or under a bona fide collective bargaining agreement of the Writers Guild of Canada, Writers Guild of Great Britain, Irish Playwrights & Screenwriters Guild, or the New Zealand Writers Guild. Theatrical screenplays produced under the jurisdiction of the WGA or an affiliate Guild must have been submitted for WGA awards consideration.

Documentaries eligible for a Writers Guild Award featured an onscreen writing credit and were exhibited theatrically in Los Angeles or New York for one week during 2013. Theatrical documentaries must have been produced under the jurisdiction of the WGA or an affiliate Guild to be eligible for awards consideration.

The Writers Guild Awards honor outstanding writing in film, television, new media, videogames, news, radio, promotional, and graphic animation categories. 

The awards will be presented jointly at simultaneous ceremonies on Saturday, February 1, 2014, in Los Angeles at the JW Marriott L.A. and in New York City at the Edison Ballroom.

For more information about the 2014 Writers Guild Awards, please visit or

Here's the full list of nominees:


American Hustle, Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell; Columbia Pictures

Blue Jasmine, Written by Woody Allen; Sony Pictures Classics

Dallas Buyers Club, Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack; Focus Features

Her, Written by Spike Jonze; Warner Bros.

Nebraska, Written by Bob Nelson; Paramount Pictures


August: Osage County, Screenplay by Tracy Letts; Based on his play; The Weinstein Company

Before Midnight, Written by Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke; Based on characters created by Richard Linklater & Kim Krizan; Sony Classics

Captain Phillips, Screenplay by Billy Ray; Based on the book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty; Columbia Pictures

Lone Survivor, Written by Peter Berg; Based on the book by Marcus Lutrell with Patrick Robinson; Universal Pictures

The Wolf of Wall Street, Screenplay by Terence Winter; Based on the book by Jordan Belfort; Paramount Pictures


Dirty Wars, Written by Jeremy Scahill & David Riker; Sundance Selects

Herblock – The Black & The White, Written by Sara Lukinson & Michael Stevens
The Stevens Company

No Place on Earth, Written by Janet Tobias & Paul Laikin; Magnolia Pictures

Stories We Tell, Written by Sarah Polley; Roadside Attractions

We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks; Written by Alex Gibney; Focus Features

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  • Alias | January 3, 2014 6:31 PMReply

    So, evidently, Ridley remains unguilded, as it were? I wonder why he wouldn't have rejoined the WGA following the strike? And if "12 Years" was a signatory project wouldn't everyone involved be required to be a member of a union?

  • JDB | January 3, 2014 3:17 PMReply

    It makes sense that Fruitvale wasn't nominated either. I'm sure he wasn't in the WGA at the time. It was the same last year with the writers of Beasts Of The Southern Wild.

  • DK | January 4, 2014 2:01 PM

    The passion for, and significance of, Oscar Grant's story has clouded objectivity around Fruitvale. Fact is, if you've read it, it's not a very good script (i.e., at the least, doesn't make for a good read). It's rudimentary in its construction, description, language, and more or less, puts the journalistic research around the incident into very crude "script form." Coogler gets credit for finding and telling the story, no doubt, but as a screenplay in and of itself? No.

  • JDB | January 3, 2014 3:15 PMReply

    Look up John Ridley and the Writer's Strike. He dropped out of the Guild and made a lot of people upset.

  • Wesley Lovell | January 3, 2014 2:29 PMReply

    WGA prohibits any film not made under a WGA agreement or affiliated international trade organization agreement from being nominated. 12 years a Slave, Philomena and a number of films were ineligible. This list should be taken with a grain of salt.

    I'd expect anyone covering the Academy Awards precursors to know these rules.

  • Harry Lime | January 3, 2014 2:10 PMReply

    12 Years a Slave was ineligible for the nomination.

  • Curtis | January 3, 2014 2:21 PM

    Why wasn't it? I'm reading the rules and I don't see anything that disqualifies it. Was it not written under a WGA agreement? That's the only rule I see that maybe it violates. Isn't John Ridley who wrote the screenplay a WGA member?

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