Writers Guild Awards to Honor Focus Films' James Schamus

Revered by his peers for his ability to tell beautiful and complex stories, James Schamus will be presented with the Evelyn F. Burkey Award for bringing honor and dignity to writers at the 66th Annual Writers Guild Awards New York on Saturday, February 1, 2014.

A member of the Writers Guild of America, East since 1997, Schamus received an Academy Award nomination for "Best Adopted Screenplay" for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and won "Best Screenplay" at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival for The Ice Storm. As the co-founder of Focus Films, he championed writers with original voices and projects that tackled thought-provoking subject matter, from Brokeback Mountain and Milk to Lost In Translation and this year's Dallas Buyer's Club.

Established in 1978, The Evelyn F. Burkey Award honors those who, like the award's namesake, have dedicated their professional life to supporting and helping writers. Burkey helped create the Writers Guild of America, East, in 1953 as the union of film, television and radio writers, independent of precursor organizations. She was the WGAE's executive director until her retirement in 1972. The Burkey Award continues her mission by recognizing a person or an organization "whose contributions have brought honor and dignity to writers."

"As a writer, teacher and studio executive, James Schamus has honored the art of screenwriting and championed the work of his colleagues with commitment and taste, making him an excellent choice to receive the Burkey Award," said Michael Winship, president of Writers Guild of America, East. "As a friend and associate, I am especially delighted that James is receiving this honor. The films he has written and overseen combine great style and substance, entertainment and purpose."

Comedian W. Kamau Bell will host the New York Ceremony, which is supported by Screencraft. The Writers Guild Awards are held simultaneously in New York and Los Angles with the Writers Guild of America, West holding its ceremony at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles.

For additional information about the 2014 Writers Guild Awards, please visit www.wgaeast.org.

The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) are labor unions representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media, and broadcast news. The Guilds negotiate and administer contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of their members; conduct programs, seminars, and events on issues of interest to writers; and present writers' views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit www.wgaeast.org. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, West, visit www.wga.org.




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