Liz Hannah and Josh Singer will receive the WGA West’s 2018 Paul Selvin Award for their screenplay The Post. The award, named for the guild’s late longtime general counsel, is given each year for a work that “best embodies the spirit of constitutional rights and civil liberties that are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere.”
“Liz and Josh’s work on The Post embodies what the Selvin Award is all about,”said WGAW President David A. Goodman. “Using the lens of history they’ve created a movie that dramatizes a timeless struggle: the vital importance of journalists holding our government accountable in the face of public servants’ bald and desperate efforts to hinder freedom of speech and the press. The WGAW Board of Directors is proud to honor these two exemplary writers on an amazing and timely film.”
Both will be honored at the Writers Guild Awards ceremony on Sunday, February 11, at The Beverly Hilton.
The Post, which chronicles The Washington Post’s decision in 1971 to publish the Pentagon Papers in defiance of the Nixon administration, was Hannah’s first screenplay, ranked No.2 on 2016’s Black List, and acquired by producer Amy Pascal shortly before the 2016 Presidential election. The film was released by 20th Century Fox just before Christmas 2017.
Hannah is currently developing a female anthology series for Universal Cable Productions, and penning a feature film script, Only Plane in the Sky, for MGM, adapted from a Politico article by Garrett Graff, which follows President George W. Bush and his White House team on Air Force One following the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
Singer made his screenwriting debut in 2013 with the journalistic drama The Fifth Estate, which centered on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. He co-wrote 2015’s Spotlight (with director/co-screenwriter Tom McCarthy), which chronicled The Boston Globe’s dogged investigation and ultimate exposé of systematic sexual abuse covered up by the Catholic Church. The film won Writers Guild, Academy, and BAFTA Awards for original screenplay and an Oscar for Best Picture, among numerous accolades.
Most recently, Singer wrote the script for the upcoming Damien Chazelle-directed Neil Armstrong biopic, First Man, starring Ryan Gosling, which will be released by Universal in October 2018. He is also currently working on a musical biopic on Leonard Bernstein with Martin Scorsese attached to direct for Paramount.
Previous Selvin recipients include Tony Kushner, Margaret Nagle, Dustin Lance Black, Eric Roth, Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, Alex Gibney, Tate Taylor, John McNamara, and most recently Susannah Grant.