'Hurt Locker' writer to receive award

Mark Boal will get Gucci Group Award for screenplay

Mark Boal is the recipient of the fourth annual Gucci Group Award for his screenplay for "The Hurt Locker."

The award, which is presented to an artist who is new to film, was presented by Robert Polet, president and CEO of Gucci Group, at a Venice's Palazzo Grassi Monday night.

"Creativity, passion, innovation, our key values, allow us to recognise artists who have reinvented themselves through cinema," Polet said. "Mark Boal and all of the winners so far have had the courage to step outside their comfort zone and push themselves to excel in a new arena and we have the pleasure to acknowledge this innovation and excellence."

"I'm very honored to receive this recognition for 'The Hurt Locker's' screenplay. The movie means the world to me, and hopefully it can show people an unseen side of the war. I'd like to thank Kathryn Bigelow for her direction and support, and the entire award committee for putting me in the esteemed company of [previous winners] Steve McQueen, Julian Schnabel and Nick Cave," Boal said.

The award selection committee consisted of director/actress/screenwriter Zoe Cassavetes, actress Patricia Clarkson, photographer Mario Testino, journalist Ingrid Sischy and Marco Mueller, director of the Venice International Film Festival.

Mark Boal began his career as investigative reporter and writer of long form non-fiction. In 2003, he wrote "Death and Dishonor," the true story of a military veteran who goes searching for his missing son, which later became the basis for Paul Haggis' "In the Valley of Elah." In 2004, Boal spent two weeks in Baghdad, embedded with the members of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit. His reporting led to the screenplay for "The Hurt Locker."