USC Libraries Name Finalists for 29th-Annual Scripter Award

Posted by Tyson Gaskill

The USC Libraries have named the finalists for the 29th-annual USC Libraries Scripter Award. Since 1988, Scripter has honored the authors of printed works alongside the screenwriters who adapt their stories. Last year, the USC Libraries inaugurated a new Scripter award, for television adaptation. Television and film finalists compete in separate categories.

The finalist writers for film adaptation are, in alphabetical order by film title:

  • Screenwriter Eric Heisserer for “Arrival,” adapted from the novella “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang
  • August Wilson for the play and screenplay of “Fences”
  • Screenwriters Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi for “Hidden Figures,” based on the nonfiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly
  • Luke Davies for the screenplay for “Lion,” adapted from the nonfiction book “A Long Way Home” by Saroo Brierley 
  • Barry Jenkins for “Moonlight,” adapted from “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,” by Tarell Alvin McCraney

The finalist writers for television episodes are, in alphabetical order by series title:

  • Screenwriters David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, for the episode “The Winds of Winter” from “Game of Thrones,” adapted from the series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin
  • Erik Oleson for the episode “Fallout” from “The Man in the High Castle,” based on the novel by Philip K. Dick
  • David Farr for the miniseries “The Night Manager,” based on the novel by John le Carré
  • Tara Herrmann and Jenji Kohan for the episode “Toast Can’t Never Be Bread Again” from “Orange is the New Black,” based on the memoir by Piper Kerman, “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison”
  • Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski for the episode “Manna From Heaven” from “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” based on the nonfiction book “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” by Jeffrey Toobin

Chaired by USC professor and president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman, the 2017 Scripter selection committee selected the finalists from a field of 80 film and 45 television adaptations.

Serving on the selection committee, among many others, are film critics Leonard Maltin, Anne Thompson and Kenneth Turan; authors Lisa Belkin, Michael Ondaatje and Mona Simpson; screenwriters Geoffrey Fletcher and Erin Cressida Wilson; producers Lawrence Kasdan and Paula Wagner; and USC deans Elizabeth Daley of the School of Cinematic Arts and Catherine Quinlan of the USC Libraries.

The studios distributing the finalist films and current publishers of the original printed works are:

  • “Arrival”—Paramount Pictures and Vintage
  • “Fences”— Paramount Pictures and Plume
  • “Hidden Figures”— Twentieth Century Fox and HarperCollins
  • “Lion”—The Weinstein Company and Penguin
  • “Moonlight”—A24

The networks airing the finalist television series and current publishers of the original printed works are:

  • “Game of Thrones”—HBO and Bantam
  •  “The Man in the High Castle”—Amazon and Putnam
  • “The Night Manager”— AMC and Knopf
  •  “Orange is the New Black”—Netflix and Random House
  • “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”—FX and Random House

The USC Libraries will announce the winning authors and screenwriters at a black-tie ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017 in the historic Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library on the University Park campus of the University of Southern California.

For more information about Scripter—including ticket availability, additional sponsorship opportunities, and an up-to-date list of sponsors—please email scripter@usc.edu or visit scripter.usc.edu.