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Finalists for 29th annual Scripter Award named by USC Libraries

Arrival, Fences, Hidden Figures, Lion and Moonlight receive nods for this year’s ceremony honoring film and TV

Scripter 2017 collage
Taraji P. Henson, Taylor Schilling, Cuba Gooding Jr., Amy Adams and Denzel Washington, from left (Collage/Courtesy of USC Libraries)

The USC Libraries have named the authors and screenwriters of Arrival, Fences, Hidden Figures, Lion and Moonlight as finalists for the 29th annual 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 winners will be announced at a black-tie ceremony on Feb. 11 at USC’s Doheny Memorial Library.

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 Howard Rodman, USC professor and president of the Writers Guild of America, West, 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 USC 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 Co. 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

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Finalists for 29th annual Scripter Award named by USC Libraries

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