Grand Budapest Hotel, Imitation Game win Writers Guild Awards

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game won big one week ahead of Hollywood's Oscars showdown, snagging top prizes at the annual Writers Guild Awards on Saturday.

Director Wes Anderson accepted the trophy for Original Screenplay for his comedic caper about a concierge who befriends the lobby boy at the Grand Budapest Hotel in the fictitious Republic of Zubrowka.

The film, starring Ralph Fiennes, is nominated for nine awards at the Oscars to be held on Feb 22.

Anderson, who co-wrote the story with his friend Hugo Guinness, accepted the trophy at the Los Angeles ceremony hosted by Lisa Kudrow, who is best known for playing Phoebe on the hit television show Friends.

Graham Moore took home the prize for Adapted Screenplay, for his work transforming the book Alan Turing: The Enigma into The Imitation Game. The film tells the story of British mathematician and code breaker Alan Turing, who built a machine to decipher Nazi code during World War II before being persecuted for his homosexuality.

The film is nominated for eight Oscars, including nods for Norwegian director Morten Tyldum as well as actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley.

The Documentary Screenplay award went to Brian Knappenberger for The Internet's Own Boy: The Story Of Aaron Swartz about the computer programming prodigy who committed suicide at age 26.

Meanwhile the TV shows True Detective and Louie won the drama series and comedy series categories respectively.

The Writers Guild of America honoured Spanish director Pedro Almodovar with an award for screenwriting achievement.

Almodovar, who won an Academy Award for best writing for an original screenplay for his 2002 film Talk To Her, about two lonely men who take care of a woman in a coma, expressed his gratitude via video.

The 65-year-old film-maker is known for creating strong female characters in such films as Law Of Desire (1987), Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown (1988) and Volver (2006).

The guild also honoured two-time Oscar winner Ben Affleck for his humanitarian work in the Democratic Republic of Congo.