Final Draft, Inc., the screenwriting software company, named Birdman best original screenplay and Gone Girlbest adapted screenplay in its 10th Annual Final Draft Awards tonight on the Paramount Studios lot.  Birdman’s win tonight arrives after key wins at the SAG (best ensemble), DGA and PGA awards. While Birdman is nominated for best original screenplay at the Oscars, it’s not in the running at this Saturday’s Writers Guild Awards.  Gone Girl, however, did land a WGA adapted screenplay nom, but was overlooked by the Academy in regards to writing. Tonight’s Final Draft ceremony was hosted by Night at the Museum co-scribes and The State comedy alums Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant.  The Final Draft Hall of Fame Awards went to its first writing team: Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski whose Big Eyes from the Weinstein Co., about the life of 1950s pop painter Margaret Keane,  was in the awards conversation this season.

The nominees and winners of the Screenwriters Choice Awards in each category are:

Best Original Screenplay

  • Birdman – Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris,  Armando Bo  (winner)
  • Boyhood – Richard Linklater
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
  • Interstellar – Christopher Nolan & Jonathan Nolan
  • Nightcrawler – Dan Gilroy

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • American Sniper – Jason Dean Hall
  • Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn (winner)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – James Gunn & Nicole Perlman
  • The Imitation Game – Graham Moore
  • The Theory of Everything – Anthony McCarten

Best Television Drama

  • Downton Abbey – Julian Fellowes
  • Fargo – Noah Hawley
  • Game of Thrones – David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
  • House of Cards – Beau Willimon
  • True Detective – Nic Pizzolatto (winner)

Best Television Comedy

  • The Big Bang Theory – Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady (winner)
  • Louie – Louis C.K.
  • Modern Family – Steven Levitan & Christopher Lloyd
  • Orange is the New Black – Jenji Kohan
  • Veep – Armando Iannucci

Awards for the Big Break Screenwriting Contest, designed to spotlight the undiscovered talent of exceptional aspiring screenwriters, were also presented. Winners and finalists are awarded over $80,000 in cash and prizes, and the grand prize winners are flown to Los Angeles for the awards show and brought to meetings with top industry professionals.

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/AdventureFlesh & Blood by Josh Cobb
  • Comedy/Rom-Com13.1 by Chad Rhiness
  • Drama10 Angels by Peter Wulff
  • Family/AnimatedLarry, Lord of Darkness by Jeff Hand
  • Period/Historical/WarThe End-of-Summer Guest by John Orlock
  • Sci-Fi/FantasyMan Alive by Joseph Greenberg
  • Thriller/HorrorThe Web by Sven Mund

Television winners:

  • Half-Hour SpecBrooklyn Nine-Nine “The Subway Sniffer” by Michael Salomon
  • Half-Hour PilotHow I Got Hanged “First Last Words”by Ty Freer
  • Hour-Long SpecThe Blacklist “William Henry Booker (No. 58)” by Christopher Iannacone
  • Hour-Long PilotAfter The Mergeby Derek Asaff

All 11 Big Break winners will participate in the first-ever Final Draft/New York Film Academy Fellowship in Writing for Film & Television, a 12-week master class – one for film writers and one for television writers – held on the Burbank campus of the New York Film Academy. Previous winners from The Big Break Screenwriting contest include 2010 winner Larry Brenner, whose script Bethlehem sold in a six-figure deal to Universal. 2012 Big Break Contest grand prize winner Craig Houchin’s script Ludlow is in development at Katonah Pictures, while 2010 co-winner Adam Perlman landed a spot on the writing staff on HBO’s Newsroom.