South Korean dark comedy Parasite takes home another major award

Han Jin Won, a Writers Guild Award co-nominee with Bong Joon Ho for Original Screenplay for the film
Han Jin Won, a Writers Guild Award co-nominee with Bong Joon Ho for Original Screenplay for the film "Parasite," shows off the poster for the film on his phone at the 2020 Writers Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

South Korean dark comedy Parasite continues to build momentum ahead of the Oscars after winning another major award.

The annual Writers Guild Awards honoured the year’s best scripts in concurrent ceremonies in Beverly Hills and New York on Saturday.

Parasite director Bong Joon-Ho and his co-writer Han Jin-Won picked up the best original screenplay prize, winning in a category also featuring Sir Sam Mendes’s war epic 1917, with the pair widely considered rivals for the best picture Oscar.

Bong Joon-ho
Bong Joon-ho has been recognised at the Writers Guild Awards for his film Parasite (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Parasite has already picked up gongs at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, and it took the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Despite being a foreign language film, long seen as an insurmountable hurdle to winning the top prize at the Academy Awards, Parasite is a major contender ahead of the February 9 ceremony.

It is also nominated for four Baftas, including best film.

Elsewhere at the WGAs, the other major film award, best adapted screenplay, was won by New Zealander Taika Waititi for his comedy drama Jojo Rabbit.

In the TV categories, dark comedy Barry was named best comedy series while Chernobyl won best original long form.

Succession, HBO’s acclaimed drama, took home the prizes for outstanding drama series and episodic drama.

Netflix comedy Dead To Me was named best episodic comedy while HBO and Sky’s Chernobyl won best original long form.

The winner of adapted long form went to the writers of Fosse/Verdon and Alex Gibney’s The Inventor: Out for Blood In Silicon Valley was named the year’s best documentary screenplay.

Many of the winners could not be at the ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, opting to either attend the east coast event or to be in London for Sunday’s Baftas.

As is customary for the non-televised awards shows, the WGAs had a largely irreverent tone and featured jokes about the college admissions scandal, Nazis and the Writers Guild’s ongoing war with Hollywood talent agencies.

A handful of honorary awards were handed out.

Nancy Meyers, director of films including The Parent Trap, What Women Want and Something’s Gotta Give, received the Laurel Award for screenwriting achievement.

Prolific TV producer Brad Falchuk, who is married to Gwyneth Paltrow, received the Valentine Davies award and paid tribute to his wife in his acceptance speech.

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