Film awards handed out based on books or novellas

See nomineesThe scribes behind “About Schmidt,” “Adaptation,” “The Hours,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” and “The Pianist” have been nominated for USC’s Scripter Award, an honor bestowed on both the author and the screenwriter of a film adaptation.

Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert Towne — chairman of the 55-member selection committee made up of Writers Guild members, scripters, authors and faculty, among others — announced the nominees Wednesday on behalf of the Friends of the USC Libraries, which sponsors the award.

Nod is handed out annually to honor the top achievement in adaptation among English-lingo films released the previous year and based on books or novellas.

Past winners include the writers of “A Beautiful Mind,” “Wonder Boys,” “L.A. Confidential,” “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Sense and Sensibility.”

Winning team will be announced Thursday and feted March 15 at a black-tie gala at the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library on the USC campus.

Scripter nominees are. . .

  • “About Schmidt,” Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, screenwriters; Louis Begley, author (New Line Cinema; Ballantine)

  • “Adaptation,” Charlie Kaufman, screenwriter; Susan Orlean, author, “The Orchid Thief” (Columbia; Ballantine)

  • “The Hours,” David Hare, screenwriter; Michael Cunningham, author (Paramount; Picador USA)

  • “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” Frances Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair and Peter Jackson, screenwriters; J.R.R. Tolkien, author (New Line Cinema; Houghton Mifflin)

  • “The Pianist,” Ronald Harwood, screenwriter; Wladyslaw Szpilman, author, “Death of a City” (Focus Features, Picador USA).
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