Cord Jefferson to Receive Special Award From WGA West

The writer-director recently won an adapted screenplay Oscar for his debut film, “American Fiction”

Cord Jefferson (Getty Images)
Cord Jefferson (Getty Images)

Cord Jefferson will receive the Writers Guild of America West’s 2024 Paul Selvin Award for his “American Fiction” screenplay, which he adapted from Percival Everett’s novel “Erasure.”

He will be honored at the 2024 Writers Guild Awards on Sunday, April 14, at the Hollywood Palladium (This year’s ceremony is happening after the Oscars, effectively the end of movie “awards season,” because of the WGA strike in 2023).

Jefferson’s screenplay has already won him an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and many other awards. It is also nominated for an adapted screenplay WGA award.

The writer-director made his debut with “American Fiction” after working as a journalist and a writer on TV series including “Succession,” “The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore” and “Watchmen,” which earned him an Emmy. He also won WGA awards for “Succession” and “Watchmen.”

In addition to the Oscar, “American Fiction” also won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture, the Critics Choice Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, several Black Reel Awards, including Outstanding Screenplay, and Independent Spirit Awards for Best Screenplay and Best Lead Performance for Geoffrey Wright. 

The Selvin Award is named after Paul Selvin, who was general counsel to WGAW for 25 years. Each year, the honor is given to the “member or members whose script best embodies the spirit of the constitutional and civil rights and liberties that are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere,” according to a WGAW statement. Barry Jenkins, Adam McKay, Dustin Lance Black, Alex Gibney, Susannah Grant, Eric Roth, Michael Mann, George Clooney and Tony Kushner are among previous recipients of the Selvin Award.


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