13th Annual Final Draft Awards to Honor Liz Hannah, Howard A. Rodman

Jan 23, 2018 | Press

The 13th Annual Final Draft Awards to be Held at the Paramount Theatre on February 8, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA – Final Draft, a Cast & Crew Entertainment Company, now in its 27th year as the industry standard for screenwriting software, today announced the honorees for the 13th Annual Final Draft Awards. Former WGA West President and screenwriter Howard A. Rodman (Savage Grace) will be given 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. This year’s New Voice Award will be given to Liz Hannah whose screenplay The Post has garnered critical accolades and announced her as a major talent. The event will be hosted by comedy duo Randy and Jason Sklar and will be held at the Paramount Theatre on the Paramount Studios lot on February 8, 2018.

“We are truly honored to induct Howard A. Rodman into our Hall of Fame,” commented Scott McMenamin, President of Final Draft. “His dedication to the field of screenwriting and education as well as commitment to the WGA makes him the perfect candidate for this award.”

“Final Draft is also proud to be honoring Liz Hannah with this year’s New Voice Award,” McMenamin continued.  “Her journey with The Post is an inspiration to all screenwriters, and the themes of the film could not be more relevant.”

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.

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.

The Final Draft Awards recognizes three levels of achievement. The Hall of Fame Award honors a writer whose work has had a profound influence on the industry. The New Voice Award recognizes a rising and vital talent. The Big Break Screenwriting Contest awards aspiring writers with more than $80,000 in cash and prizes.

Previous Final Draft Hall of Fame Award winners include Aaron Sorkin, Nancy Meyers, Lawrence Kasdan, Paul Schrader, writing team Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, Steven Zaillian, Robert McKee, Robert Towne, Stephen J. Cannell, Oliver Stone, Syd Field and Sydney Pollack.  The New Voice Award was introduced last year and honored Issa Rae.  The evening offers those in the field of writing the chance to acknowledge outstanding work while also welcoming new writers into the fold.

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.

About Final Draft, a Cast & Crew Company

Final Draft, a Cast & Crew Company, has published Final Draft® software – the number-one selling screenwriting application in the world – for 25 years. Final Draft automatically paginates and formats your script to industry standards, allowing writers to focus on what they do best – writing scripts. Used by such industry giants as J.J. Abrams, James Cameron and Aaron Sorkin, Final Draft software is the professional’s choice and the entertainment industry standard. In addition to its flagship software product, Final Draft offers the annual Big Break Contest – a screenwriting competition that launches careers, and awards over $80,000 in cash and prizes. Final Draft also offers the Reader® and Writer® apps for iPhone and iPad, making creativity truly portable. To learn more about Final Draft and its products and services, visit: www.finaldraft.com

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