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The Imitation Game wins USC Libraries Scripter Award

Biography of World War II code-breaker Alan Turing captures the annual honor going to screenwriter and source material

Scripter Selection Committee 2015
Howard Rodman, Graham Moore, Catherine Quinlan and Walter Mosley at the 27th annual Scripter Award ceremony
(Photo/Rich Schmitt Photography)

Screenwriter Graham Moore and author Andrew Hodges received the 27th annual USC Libraries Scripter Award for The Imitation Game.

Moore based his adaptation on Hodges’ Alan Turing: The Enigma, a 1983 biography of the British World War II code-breaker and computer pioneer who was later persecuted for his homosexuality. Selection committee chair Howard Rodman accepted the award on behalf of Hodges, who teaches mathematics at Oxford University’s Wadham College.

Alan Turing never got to stand on a stage and hear people applaud his name.

Graham Moore

“Alan Turing never got to stand on a stage and hear people applaud his name,” Moore said in his acceptance speech at Doheny Memorial Library on Jan. 31. “And I do right now, and that is a profound injustice. All that I can do is spend the rest of my life endeavoring to repair it.”

The Scripter win adds to the accolades for the Weinstein Co. film, which has earned eight Academy Award and eight BAFTA nominations.

Scripter, established by the Friends of the USC Libraries in 1988, is the only award honoring the writer of the year’s most accomplished film adaptation and the author of the source material.

USC Libraries Dean Catherine Quinlan welcomed the attendees gathered in the Los Angeles Times Reference Room of Doheny Memorial Library and noted that the proceeds from the night’s event benefit the USC Cinematic Arts Library.

“Our Cinematic Arts Library is a tangible embodiment of cinema history and of the cultural history of the world,” Quinlan said. “It connects our students and scholars from near and far with knowledge that exists nowhere else but here.”

A wise adviser

Quinlan presented the first honor of the evening — the libraries’ inaugural Ex Libris Award — to Elaine Leventhal.

“Elaine has been a wise, active and involved adviser to our libraries for decades and to me personally since I became dean. Her dedication has touched every aspect of what our libraries do.”

Receiving a standing ovation as she accepted the award, Leventhal described how her love of books and libraries and a keen interest in history have led to her building a collection several thousand books strong. Having never discarded a volume from her collection, Leventhal praised the value of reading and rereading stories that carry forward the knowledge of the past.

“It makes me very happy,” she said, announcing to the crowd that the USC Libraries would become the home to her entire book collection, “to know that all of my books will be reread.”

Easy does it for Mosley

Before announcing the Scripter winners, Rodman presented the USC Libraries Literary Achievement Award to writer Walter Mosley.

Mosley, a native of Southern California, has set much of his work there, including his “Easy” Rawlins series that features a black detective working in postwar Los Angeles. He is currently working on a Broadway version of his first novel, Devil in a Blue Dress, which was adapted in 1995 into a film starring Denzel Washington.

“In one stroke, Walter stood the crime genre on its head,” Rodman said. “And in doing so, over the course of a 25-year career, has triumphantly turned the world 180 degrees.”

In receiving the award, Mosley credited libraries for their central role in guaranteeing intellectual freedom and a civil society.

“By making libraries stronger,” he said, “we make America stronger.”

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The Imitation Game wins USC Libraries Scripter Award

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