'Enron' wins Writers Guild documentary screenplay award

Thursday, February 2nd 2006, 9:47 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The documentary ``Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room'' has won the Writers Guild award for documentary screenplay.

The prize recognized writer Alex Gibney, who also produced and directed the film. It came Wednesday, two days into the much-awaited criminal trial of former Enron Corp. executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling in Houston.

A jury is to decide whether Lay and Skilling orchestrated the accounting scheme that crashed Enron, once the seventh-largest company in the country, in December 2001.

``I'm delighted to get this award,'' Gibney told The Associated Press after accepting his prize in a ceremony at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.

``I also think that with the trial beginning, I hope it will shed some light on the kind of morality tale that Enron has become in the late part of the 20th century.''

He jokingly thanked the former Enron executives whom he called ``some of the greatest fiction writers of all time.''

The film, which offers an inside portrait of the energy giant's corporate scandal, is also nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary feature.

It's based on the book ``The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron'' by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind.

The Writers Guild award honors nonfiction writers who ``collect images from reality and shape them into a story, not only to document the human condition, but to illuminate and inspire the world we live in.''

Nominees for the award included Michele Ohayon, for ``Cowboy del Amor''; Ellen Perry, Zack Anderson and Kim Roberts for ``The Fall of Fujimori''; Jordan Roberts, who wrote the narration for Luc Jacquet and Michel Fessler's screenplay ``March of the Penguins''; and Marshall Curry for ``Street Fight.''