Saturday, February 23, 2019
  • Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019
"Beale Street," "Black Panther" among Scripter Award finalists
Stephan James (l) and KiKi Layne in a scene from "If Beale Street Could Talk" (photo by Tatum Mangus/courtesy of Annapurna Pictures)
  • LOS ANGELES
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The USC Libraries have named the finalists for the 31st annual USC Libraries Scripter Awards, which honor the year’s best film and television adaptations, as well as the works on which they are based.

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

  • Screenwriters Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole for “Black Panther,” based on the character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby 
  • Screenwriters Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty and author Lee Israel for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” 
  • Screenwriters Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, and David Schneider for “The Death of Stalin,” based on the graphic novel by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin 
  • Screenwriter Barry Jenkins and author James Baldwin for “If Beale Street Could Talk”
  • Screenwriters Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini for “Leave No Trace” based on the novel “My Abandonment” by Peter Rock

Due to a tie in the nominating round, the writers of six television shows and their printed source material will vie for the Scripter Award this year. The finalist writers for television are, in alphabetical order by series title:

  • Tom Rob Smith, for the episode “The Man Who Would Be Vogue” from “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” and author Maureen Orth for the nonfiction book “Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History” 
  • Bruce Miller and Kira Snyder, for the episode “Holly” from “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and author Margaret Atwood 
  • Dan Futterman and Ali Selim, for the episode “9/11” from “The Looming Tower,” and author Lawrence Wright 
  • David Nicholls for the episode “Bad News,” from “Patrick Melrose,” based on the series of novels by Edward St. Aubyn 
  • Marti Noxon for the episode “Vanish,” from “Sharp Objects,” and author Gillian Flynn 
  • Russell T Davies, for “A Very English Scandal,” and author John Preston

Chaired by USC professor and past president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman, the 2019 Scripter selection committee selected the finalists from a field of 90 film and 55 television adaptations.

Serving on the selection committee, among many others, are film critics Leonard Maltin, Anne Thompson and Kenneth Turan; authors Lisa Belkin, Nalo Hopkinson and Michael Ondaatje; screenwriters Mark Fergus, Larry Karaszewski and Erin Cressida Wilson; producers Brad Simspon and Jennifer Todd; and USC deans Elizabeth Daley of the School of Cinematic Arts and Catherine Quinlan of the USC Libraries.

The USC Libraries will announce the winning authors and screenwriters at a black-tie ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 9, in the historic Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library on the University Park campus of the University of Southern California. Since 1988, Scripter has honored the authors of printed works alongside the screenwriters who adapt their stories. In 2016, the USC Libraries inaugurated a new Scripter award, for television adaptation. Television and film finalists compete in separate categories.

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