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Boots Riley and Tanya Saracho Among 2019 Final Draft Awards Honorees


As part of its celebration of the best screenwriting of 2018, Final Draft, the company behind the widely used software, will honor diverse talent at its upcoming awards ceremony.

Boots Riley, the mind that brought us “Sorry to Bother You,” will receive the New Voice Award for Film for his visionary debut. Meanwhile, Latinx trailblazer Tanya Saracho will be presented with the New Voice Award for Television. Her critically acclaimed STARZ’s series “Vida” is a bastion for representation on the small screen.

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The 14th annual Final Draft Awards will be hosted on the Paramount lot, and will also salute Callie Khouri, who won the Academy Award for the groundbreaking “Thelma & Louise” script. Khouri will be honored with the Hall of Fame Award. Past recipients include Paul Schrader, Aaron Sorkin, Oliver Stone, and Sydney Pollack.

“Callie Khouri has left an indelible mark on both film and television with her writing,” said Final Draft president Scott McMenamin. “Her unique voice and dedication to making our industry a better environment for all writers make her the perfect candidate for this award. We are also excited to be honoring first-time writer-director and undeniable multi-hyphenate talent Boots Riley for his thought-provoking film, Sorry to Bother You, that seamlessly blends comedy and social commentary, and creator/executive producer Tanya Saracho, who is breaking through stereotypes and expanding our understanding of the Latinx community with her first series, Vida.”

The Sklar Brothers, the comedy duo comprised of Sklar and Jason Sklar, will host the event in Los Angeles. The pair will also be in charge of revealing the winner of Final Draft’s 2018 Big Break Screenwriting Contest, aimed at supporting new talents.

What do you think about the chosen winners? Please share your thoughts in the comments section!

The ceremony will take place on January 29, 2019.

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Written by Carlos Aguilar

Originally from Mexico City, Carlos Aguilar was chosen as one of 6 young film critics to partake in the first Roger Ebert Fellowship organized by, the Sundance Institute and Indiewire in 2014. Aguilar’s work has appeared in prestigious publications such as The Wrap, Indiewire, Vulture,, MovieMaker Magazine, Remezcla Filmmaker Magazine, Variety Latino, Slate, Bustle, Americas Quarterly, among others.

Besides his work in journalism, Aguilar regularly works as a screener for the Sundance Film Festival and a screenplay reader for Sundance’s Screenwriters Lab. Carlos Aguilar has also been on the jury at renowned festivals such the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Gasparilla International Film Festival, the Louisiana International Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Indian Film Festival.

Aguilar currently co-hosts, One Week Only, a weekly podcast highlighting independent and international cinema. He also regularly participates in panel discussions about the importance of people of color in film criticism and his experience as a DACA recipient working in the film industry.


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