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'Education,' 'Basterds,' & More Ineligible for WGA Awards

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Jan 07, 2010 | 4:13am EST

News has surfaced over the past few days about a series of screenwriters, who, despite plaudits for their films which have been steadily forthcoming in the form of nominations and prizes from various groups, are not eligible for contention in the Writers Guild Awards.

Among them: Nick Hornby (An Education), Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious BasterdsTom Ford and David Scearce (A Single Man), Joe Penhall (The Road), Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell (District 9) and the team behind In the Loop. The Wrap, IndieWIRE and InContention have spelled out the reasons for the rather unfortunate omissions.

Hornby has been a member of the WGA for 10 years, a representative for Hornby told IW, but after production of An Education was completed, a new rule was instituted that Hornby also had to be a member of his local WGA in the UK, which he was not.

The Wrap's Steve Pond (responding to a story from MovieLine the other day that suggested Harvey Weinstein had perhaps dropped the ball by electing not to send screeners to WGA members for four of his films) counters that Tarantino is not a member of the WGA or the DGA, and his films (Weinstein Co.'s Basterds in this case) are not made under those guilds' agreements.

(IC notes the only WGA nod Tarantino has ever received was as part of the writing team on a CSI episode in 2006.)

Further, Weinstein Co.'s A Single Man and The Road were likewise not the work of WGA members and not covered by applicable agreements, Pond adds.

Nine, written by WGA member Michael Tolkin and the late Anthony Minghella -- a member of the WGA East during his lifetime -- is the only Weinstein film that is eligible, a spokesperson for the guild told Pond.

Under WGA rules, one does not have to be a member to receive a nomination, but the film must have been written under the guild's Minimum Basic Agreement, or under a collective bargaining agreement of one of several international guilds, Pond notes.

Meanwhile, IC says District 9 was not written under the guild's guidelines and the writers are not WGA signatories. 

Fantastic Mr. Fox and Up are also ineligible, IC explains, because animation companies do not sign agreements with the guild and are not signatories, even if sometimes the writers of animated films are signatories.

The WGA announces its nominees Monday, January 11.

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