February 9, 2009 / 1:59 AM / 9 years ago

"Slumdog", "Milk" win Writers Guild honors

<p>Actors Dev Patel (L), Freida Pinto (C) and Anil Kapoor accept the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for "Slumdog Millionaire" at the 15th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles January 25, 2009. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson</p>

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - The India-set romantic drama “Slumdog Millionaire” put another notch in the kudos-season win column Saturday, copping a Writers Guild of America Award for best adapted screenplay for Simon Beaufoy.

Harvey Milk biopic “Milk,” penned by Dustin Lance Black, was named best original screenplay.

“This wasn’t the easiest movie to produce, you know -- it’s pretty gay!” said a grinning Black, who also was honored with the guild’s Paul Selvin Award for championing constitutional rights and civil liberties.

Black added that he prayed a lot during the writing of the “Milk” screenplay.

“Mostly, I’ll admit, I prayed for a green light,” he said. “So I have to thank God, and I want to thank God for making my dreams come true.”

In addition to ”Milk,“ nominees in the original screenplay category were ”Burn After Reading, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” “The Visitor” and “The Wrestler.”

In winning the best-adapted laurels, ”Slumdog“ overcame competition from scribes on ”The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,“ ”The Dark Knight,“ Doubt” and “Frost/Nixon.” Beaufoy’s screenplay for “Slumdog” was based on the novel “Q&A” by Vikas Swarup.

Accepting in New York, Beaufoy called the WGA award “a considerable honor.”

Ari Folman won the best documentary screenplay award for the animated feature “Waltz With Bashir.” Among television winners, a team of writers on AMC’s “Mad Men” earned best dramatic series accolades, while the WGA Award for comedy series went to a group of writers on NBC’s “30 Rock.”

Awards in film, TV and other categories were presented in simultaneous ceremonies at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Century City and the Millennium Broadway Hotel’s Hudson Theater in New York. Neil Patrick Harris (“How I Met Your Mother”) hosted on the West Coast, while John Oliver (“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”) emceed back East.

“We are here tonight to honor writing -- and to figure out how to get a piece of President Obama’s huge stimulus package,” Harris cracked.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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