Honoring the Scribes: Writers, a behind-the-scenes force in film and TV, were front-and-center during the weekend at the 48th Annual Writers Guild of America Awards held Sunday at both the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills and the Tavern on the Green restaurant in New York City (to represent the guild's Eastern and Western divisions). "Braveheart," written by Randall Wallace, won for best screenplay written directly for the screen. Emma Thompson's screenplay for "Sense and Sensibility," based on the Jane Austen novel, was named best screenplay based on material previously written or published. In the television category, NBC's "ER" took the best episodic drama award for an emotional episode called "Love's Labor Lost," written by Lance A. Gentile. An episode of "Frasier" titled "The Matchmaker," written by Joe Keenan, won for episodic comedy.
Eddies for Editors: Editors, another group of unsung heroes in film and TV, were honored during the weekend at the American Cinema Editors' 46th annual Eddie Awards on Saturday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. "Braveheart" was also the big winner--taking the best edited feature film in 1995 award. The film was edited by Steven Rosenblum. "Unzipped," the documentary about designer Isaac Mizrahi edited by Paula Heredia, was named best edited documentary. The award for best edited two-hour movie for commercial TV went to TNT's "Kingfish, A Story of Huey P. Long" edited by Paul Dixon. "ER's" "Love's Labor Lost," edited by Randy Morgan and Rick Tuber, was named best edited one-hour series for television; and an episode of HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show" called "Eight," edited by Leslie Tolan and Paul Anderson, won for best edited half-hour series for TV. The ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award went to John Frankenheimer.
Santa Barbara Winners: The 11th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival ended Sunday with a ceremony announcing its 1996 winners. "Sicario," a Venezuelan film, was honored with the Dame Judith Anderson Award for best feature film. The movie about an adolescent boy was directed and produced by Jose Novoa. The festival's jury voted the Israeli entry "Under the Domin Tree," directed by Eli Cohen, best in artistic excellence. The jury award for best director went to the United States' Brad Anderson for his entry "The Darien Gap," about a man who dreams of heading for Patagonia. The "Best of the Fest" People's Choice Award went to Thailand's "The River Chao Phraya." The festival reported its largest attendance ever with 30,000 movie-goers, up from 25,000 last year.
A Note From Burns: When Carol Channing accepts a Lifetime Achievement Tribute from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle tonight in Studio City, she'll receive a special congratulatory message from the late George Burns. On the eve of his death, Burns dictated these words of congratulations to the "Hello, Dolly!" star: "Gracie and I knew you were a star years ago when we met, and you just keep getting better. I heard you were a smash in Altoona, and I guess you'll keep doing 'Hello, Dolly!' until you get it right." Burns died at age 100 on March 9. Channing and Burns were close friends, and she was his comedy partner briefly after Burns' wife, the late Gracie Allen, retired.