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Screenwriters Old and New Rejoice at the 10th Annual Final Draft Awards

Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant

Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant

The 10th Annual Final Draft Awards took place February 12, 2015 the Paramount Pictures theatre in Hollywood. Each year this awards show celebrates Final Draft’s Big Break Screenwriting Contest winners bringing them to the stage alongside industry leaders accepting Screenwriter Choice Awards as well as a coveted Final Draft Hall of Fame Award.

This years show was hosted by writing partners Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant who’ve penned nine films together as well as the screenwriting book “Writing Movies for Fun and Profit”.

The comedy duo’s spot on timing guided the audience laughing to the presentation of the first award of the night The Big Break Screenwriting Contest TV Grand Prize which was won by Christopher Iannacone of Reseda, California for his Hour-Long Spec “William Henry Booker (no. 58)” (The Blacklist).  Upon accepting the award Mr. Iannacone said, ” The truth of the matter is, when you’re in the early stage of your career you don’t often get a lot of external validation.  This is really an extraordinary honor.”

The Big Break Feature Grand Prize went to Chad Rhiness of Brooklyn, NY for his script “13.1”  Upon receiving his award he graciously thanked his writing professor Jim Bernstein at the University of Michigan.

CEO Final Draft Marc Madnik with son.

CEO Final Draft Marc Madnik with son.

Actor Eric Andre introduced the Best Television Comedy Screenwriter Choice Award which was taken home by The Big Bang Theory written by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady.  The Best Television Drama was introduced by actress Alanna Masterson (The Walking Dead) and was won by True Detective written by Nic Pizzolatto.  Next up actor Jeremy Sisto introduced the Best Adapted Screenplay award which went to “Birdman” and was accepted by writer Alexander Dinelaris.

Scott Alexander

Scott Alexander

The Hall of Fame Award was the last award of the evening with past inductees including Lawrence Kasdan, the late Syd Field, the late Sydney Pollack, Robert Towne, Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, Oliver Stone and the late Stephen J. Cannell.  This years Inductees were Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski who met as freshman roommates at USC’s School of Cinema.  On a whim, they wrote a screenplay during their senior year, which sold a week after graduation.  Best known for writing unusual biopics of larger-than-life characters, their films include: Ed Wood, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Man on the Moon and most recently Big Eyes, the strange-but-true story of Margaret and Walter Keane.  They were inducted by their close friend screenwriter Daniel Waters (Heathers, Batman Returns) who shared wonderful stories of them all living together in Silverlake in the early 1980’s.

Next year will mark the 25th anniversary for Final Draft software and CEO Marc Madnick has promised another amazing celebration. For more information on Final Draft and their various awards visit

The full list of winners:


Actor Eric Andre

Actor Eric Andre


Best Original Screenplay: “Birdman,” Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo
Best Adapted Screenplay: “Gone Girl,” Gillian Flynn
Best Television Drama: “True Detective,” Nic Pizzolatto
Best Television Comedy: “The Big Bang Theory,” Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady


The Imitation Game screenwriter Graham Moore

The Imitation Game screenwriter Graham Moore

Grand Prize winners:

Feature – 13.1 by Chad Rhiness
TV – “The Blacklist: William Henry Booker (No. 58)” by Christopher Iannacone
Feature Film winners, by genre:
Action/Adventure – “Flesh & Blood” by Josh Cobb
Comedy/Rom-Com – “13.1” by Chad Rhiness
Drama – “10 Angels” by Peter Wulff
Family/Animated – “Larry, Lord of Darkness” by Jeff Hand
Period/Historical/War – “The End-of-Summer Guest” by John Orlock
Sci-Fi/Fantasy – “Man Alive” by Joseph Greenberg
Thriller/Horror – “The Web” by Sven Mund

Television winners:

Half-Hour Spec – “Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Subway Sniffer” by Michael Salomon
Half-Hour Pilot – “How I Got Hanged: First Last Words” by Ty Freer
Hour-Long Spec – “The Blacklist: William Henry Booker (No. 58)” by Christopher Iannacone
Hour-Long Pilot – “After The Merge” by Derek Asaff


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Written by Christopher Legato


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