Alex Gibney To Receive Writers Guild Award for WikiLeaks Documentary

Alex Gibney To Receive Writers Guild Award for WikiLeaks Documentary

Gibney's “We Steal Secrets” is the first doc to receive the guild's Paul Selvin Award

Alex Gibney has become the first documentary filmmaker to receive the Writers Guild of America, West's Paul Selvin Award, the WGAW announced on Wednesday.

The award goes to a WGA member whose script, in the words of the guild, “best embodies the spirit of constitutional and civil rights and liberties.” Gibney will receive it for his documentary “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WilkiLeaks.”

The documentary follows the rise of Julian Assange's WikiLeaks, and focuses on the case of Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was sentenced to prison for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks.

Also read: WikiLeaks Doc Director on Julian Assange: ‘The Balls of This Guy – I Thought, ‘Wow.’

“[Gibney's] work has been a filmic conscience for our times,” said WGAW president Christopher Keyser in a statement announcing the award. “In ‘We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks,’ Mr. Gibney tackles issues arising out of us living, increasingly, in a surveillance state – from the public's right to know and the press’ right to publish, to the treatment of whistleblowers. The work raises questions that are fundamental to the preservation of our constitutional and civil rights and liberties.”

Assange criticized the movie when it was released by posting an annotated (but incomplete) transcript of the film online.

“We Steal Secrets” is one of two documentaries that Gibney released in 2013; the other, “The Armstrong Lie,” is on the Oscar shortlist of 15 films still in the running for the doc award.

Also read: Writers Guild Nominations: ‘Her,’ ‘Nebraska,’ ‘August: Osage County’ Have the Write Stuff

Previous recipients of the Paul Selvin Award have included Tony Kushner for “Lincoln,” Tate Taylor for “The Help,” Dustin Lance Black for “Milk” and Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander for “The People Vs. Larry Flynt.”

Gibney will receive the award at the WGA ceremony on Feb. 1 at the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles.

  • Arbed121

    And perhaps the Writers Guild will ask for their award back once they realise that Alex Gibney has made a deliberately deceitful film, for instance by twice showing a photo of a supposedly “deliberately torn during sex” condom – a photograph Gibney took from the Swedish police forensics report – but he doesn't tell his audience that on the next page of the report it states the forensics lab could find no trace at all of DNA – neither male nor female – on the used-looking condom. There is no way on earth Mr Gibney could miss that fact, if his research and motivations were honest. It is unconscionable that he chose to withhold vital facts such as this from his “documentary”. No reputable documentarian does that.

    • SiMoebus

      The writer guild has done more research on the story that some would like to admit. Do worry they gave the reward to a worthy person.

      • Arbed121

        Oh hi SiMoebus, haven't seen you in a while, how you doing?

        Look, don't take my word for it, read the Swedish forensic report for yourself:

        assangeinswedenbook [dot] com/2013/07/01/the-lab-results/

        Prefer it in the original Swedish? Here:

        wlcentral [dot] org/sites/default/files/AssangeSexAllegations%20FUP[1] [dot] pdf

        You'll find the lab results that there's no DNA on the condom alleged by the woman to have been used and deliberately torn during sex on page 85. The photo Gibney used in the film without telling his audience that it was fake evidence is on page 81 – you can't miss it; Gibney certainly didn't.

        • SiMoebus

          Arbed121. Maybe, you can explain why people like you have gone from “Sweden makes it a crime to have sex without a condom” to “one of the condoms have no DNA on it.”

          What is amusing is that you seem to believe a seal condom was given to the lab. Maybe, thinking about that deeply would present a certain quandary for this “no DNA” argument.

  • Emma_Goldstein

    Julian Assange refused to be interviewed by Alex Gibney for “We Steal Secrets.” Gibney then portrayed Assange as an arrogant rock star.

    Here’s Assange, after sixteen months in a room in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, answering questions from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. (10/16/13)
    http://www(dot)youtube(dot)com/watch?v=wvm5XnI1Q2E (1:33)

    What kind of person does he seem like to you?

  • Arbed121

    Just so you understand, SiMoebus – there are TWO deliberately torn condoms in the forensic report, one from EACH woman. One has no DNA (but the fact that it's in the forensic report at least matches what the woman has alleged in her statement), the other – a fragment of condom – does have DNA on it, but the fact that this fragment has been sent to the lab doesn't match at all what the woman has alleged Assange did in her *formal* statement to police. Her story appears to have changed at some point.