Argo and Zero Dark Thirty have won the top screenplay honors from the Writers Guild of America.
The Adapted Screenplay Award went to Chris Terrio for Ben Affleck’s Iran hostage drama Argo.
Mark Boal took the Original Screenplay prize for Kathryn Bigelow’s film chronicling the manhunt for Osama Bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty.
Malik Bendjelloul won the Documentary Award for Searching for Sugar Man, about the 1970s musician Rodriguez.
The guild was the last of Hollywood’s major trade unions to hand out awards before next Sunday’s Oscars.
Argo and Zero Dark Thirty have won the top screenplay honors from the Writers Guild of America
Argo has emerged as the best picture favorite at the Academy Awards, after scooping the top prize at the BAFTAs and Golden Globes, in addition to awards from the Directors Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild and the Producers Guild of America.
“I’ve never actually won a call-your-name award before,” Chris Terrio said backstage after winning his award.
Prizes for television writing were also handed out, with Breaking Bad winning Best Drama series.
The writers of Louis claimed the prize for comedy series and Lena Dunham’s Girls was named Best New TV series.
The US Senate Intelligence Committee has demanded more information about contacts between the CIA and the makers of Osama Bin Laden film Zero Dark Thirty.
Kathryn Bigelow’s film is a dramatized account of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and the 2011 mission which killed him.
In a letter to Acting CIA Director Michael Morell, three senators said the film-makers could have been misled by information provided by the CIA.
The film has been nominated for four Golden Globes and is one of the Oscars favorites.
Ahead of the US elections, Kathryn Bigelow’s film was accused of being a propaganda tool intended to assist President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
The US release of the film was subsequently put back until after November’s election.
The lawmakers have requested to see a copy of all the documents given to the film-makers by the CIA.
The letter, co-signed by Senate Intelligence Committee members Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin and former presidential candidate John McCain, expressed concern over the “clear implication” in the film that extreme interrogation techniques had played a key role in locating Osama Bin Laden.
“Given the CIA’s cooperation with the film-makers and the narrative’s consistency with past public mis-statements by former senior CIA officials, the film-makers could have been misled by information they were provided by the CIA,” the letter says.
The US Senate Intelligence Committee has demanded more information about contacts between the CIA and the makers of Osama Bin Laden film Zero Dark Thirty
The letter adds that the film’s narrative conflicts with official statements that the CIA did not first learn about an Osama Bin Laden courier through a CIA detainee who had been subjected to “coercive interrogation techniques”.
It also said that, according to a separate Senate review, the most accurate information about the courier had been provided by a CIA detainee prior to any harsh interrogation.
The three US senators also wrote to the head of Sony Pictures Entertainment shortly before Christmas saying the film was “inaccurate”.
The senators claimed that Zero Dark Thirty “clearly implies that the CIA’s coercive interrogation techniques were effective in eliciting important information related to a courier” for Osama Bin Laden, who would unknowingly lead the agency to his compound in Pakistan.
Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal – who won Oscars in 2010 for The Hurt Locker – said last month the film depicted “a variety of controversial practices and intelligence methods”.
They said: “The film shows that no single method was necessarily responsible for solving the manhunt, nor can any single scene taken in isolation fairly capture the totality of efforts the film dramatizes.”
On Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the Committee had begun an examination of records charting contacts between intelligence officials and Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal.
Reuters said the committee would also assess “whether CIA personnel are responsible for the portrayal of harsh interrogation practices, and in particular the suggestion that they were effective”.
A spokesperson for Sony told The Hollywood Reporter: “As the studio distributing Zero Dark Thirty in the United States, we are proud of this important film. Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal and their creative team have made an extraordinary motion picture and we fully support bringing this remarkable story to the screen.”
The film’s title is a military term for half-past midnight, the local time at which Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, was raided by US Navy Seals.
Zero Dark Thirty opens across the US on January 11 and is also considered a likely Oscar contender.
Zero Dark Thirty, the new film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, is “inaccurate” for suggesting torture helped lead to his discovery.
That is according to three US senators who outlined their objections to Zero Dark Thirty in a letter to the head of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar-tipped drama, their letter claims, is “perpetuating the myth that torture is effective”.
In a statement, Kathryn Bigelow said her film depicts “a variety of controversial practices and intelligence methods”.
According to the director and Zero Dark Thirty screenwriter Mark Boal, no single method was responsible in the successful manhunt for the terrorist leader.
The letter, made public on Wednesday, was co-signed by Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin and former Presidential candidate John McCain.
Zero Dark Thirty, the new film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, is considered inaccurate for suggesting torture helped lead to his discovery
The trio, all of whom are members of the Senate Intelligence committee, said that Sony and its CEO, Michael Lynton, had an obligation to alter the movie.
“The fundamental problem is that people who see Zero Dark Thirty will believe that the events it portrays are facts,” the three senators wrote.
“The film therefore has the potential to shape American public opinion in a disturbing and misleading manner.”
The senators said the “use of torture in the fight against terrorism did severe damage to America’s values and standing that cannot be justified or expunged”.
The makers of Zero Dark Thirty, they went on, had “a social and moral obligation to get the facts right”.
Earlier this year Kathryn Bigelow’s film was accused of being a propaganda tool intended to assist President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
The release of the film was subsequently put back until after November’s election.
It was also claimed Mark Boal, who previously worked with Bigelow on Oscar-winning drama The Hurt Locker, had been granted access to classified information, an allegation he denied.