The Writers Guild of America West has chosen screenwriter Tony Kushner to receive its 2013 Paul Selvin Award for his adapted screenplay for "Lincoln."
Named after the late counsel to the Guild, the Paul Selvin Award is given to the WGA member whose script best embodies the spirit of the constitution, civil rights and civil liberties, which are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere.
Kushner will be recognized, along with other honorees, at the Writers Guild Awards ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 17, at the JW Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles.
"Tony Kushner's eloquent script for Lincoln reminds us that, though we like to think of ourselves as the land of the free, in practice, freedom and equality are never a given, and that they are won only through struggle, often by the narrowest of margins and the greatest of sacrifice," said WGAW President Christopher Keyser. "The Guild is honored to recognize it with this award."
"I'm happy and moved to learn that I've been selected as this year's recipient for the Paul Selvin Award. Paul Selvin was a lawyer who worked hard for unions and civil rights," said Kushner. "I love unions, especially the WGA; I love lawyers – Lincoln was a lawyer!
"The best thing about working on the Lincoln screenplay was having to think a lot about the centrality of civil rights to the functioning of democratic society and the means by which those rights are secured, so it means a lot to me to receive this lovely honor," he said. "I'm very grateful to the WGA West,"
Framing Lincoln's presidency within the illuminating window of the final months leading up to his assassination in April 1865, Kushner's adapted screenplay is based in part on the book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
"Lincoln" is a co-production from DreamWorks Pictures and 20th Century Fox.