Louie Psihoyos' THE COVE pulled off a pretty remarkable feat tonight, winning the Writers Guild Award for Documentary Screenplay and thus becoming the first nonfiction feature to sweep all four of the guild prizes awarded for documentaries - the Producers, Directors and Editors. The American Society of Cinematographers does not offer a documentary prize.
In so doing, THE COVE continues a nearly non-stop winning spree leading up to this year's Oscars, which will be presented two weeks from tomorrow, and where THE COVE is widely expected to win the Best Documentary Feature prize.
The WGA prize went to THE COVE's writer Mark Monroe. Of the six nominees in the category, THE COVE was the only film whose director was not nominated for the writing prize (other hopefuls included CAPITALISM's Michael Moore and GOOD HAIR's director Jeff Stilson and star Chris Rock).
Early on, THE COVE was shut out by the Gothams and Spirit Awards and was only nominated for the Pare Lorentz Award (not Documentary Feature) at the IDA Awards, which it did not win. At the time, the momentum appeared to be with Robert Kenner's FOOD, INC. and Sacha Gervasi's ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL, the latter of which triumphed at the IDA's despite not making the Academy's documentary feature shortlist (that film will likely take the Spirit Award for Best Documentary Friday night prior to the Oscars).
But beginning with a series of critics prizes in December and continuing with three wins at last month's Cinema Eye Honors, it now appears all but certain that Psihoyos and producer Fisher Stevens will take home the Oscar.