LOS ANGELES, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The Writers Guild of America announced its nominees Thursday for best screenplay of 2003, honoring low-budget independent films as well as studio blockbusters.
Independents swept the field for original screenplay nominations. Among the nominees were Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges and Guljit Bindra ("Bend It Like Beckham"), Steven Knight ("Dirty Pretty Things"), and Jim Sheridan, Naomi Sheridan and Kirsten Sheridan ("In America.")
Sofia Coppola ("Lost in Translation") was nominated for her screenplay, and writer-director Tom McCarthy for "The Station Agent."
In the adapted screenplay category: Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman ("American Splendor") and writer-director Anthony Minghella ("Cold Mountain"). Also nominated were Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson ("Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"), Brian Helgeland ("Mystic River"), and Gary Ross ("Seabiscuit").
The nominees are widely regarded as front-runners for Oscar nominations in their respective categories.
The WGA will present its annual awards on Feb. 21 in Los Angeles.