"Milk" scribe Dustin Lance Black has been named the recipient of the Writers Guild of America West's 2009 Paul Selvin Award, which spotlights work that "embodies the spirit of constitutional rights and civil liberties" for his story chronicling the life and times of the late gay activist Harvey Milk. Black will be feted along with other honorees at the 2009 Writers Guild Awards' West Coast ceremony on Saturday, February 7, 2009 in Los Angeles.
"At a time when history seems to be made daily, Lance Black's script reminds us that all it takes is a single spark to light the fuse of an entire movement," remarked WGAW President Patric M. Verrone in a statement. Released by Focus Features, "Milk" has already received a clutch of awards season accolades: a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award (Best Actor, Sean Penn), a National Board of Review Award (Best Supporting Actor, Josh Brolin), a trio of New York Film Critics Circle Awards (Best Actor, Best Picture, and Best Supporting Actor), and the PGA's Stanley Kramer Award, as well as earning multiple Academy Award, WGA, SAG, DGA, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Independent Spirit Award nominations. In addition, Black recently received the "Hollywood Breakthrough Award" for Screenwriter of the Year at the Hollywood Film Festival.
Harvey was great at understanding that unless you advocate for yourself, you'll fail," "Milk writer Dustin Lance Black told indieWIRE in an extended interview following the film's world premiere in San Francisco in October.