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‘Leave No Trace,’ ‘A Very English Scandal’ Win USC Scripter Awards

Leave No Trace” has won the USC Libraries Scripter Award for best movie adaptation and “A Very English Scandal” took the television award.

Leave No Trace,” was adapted by Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini, based on the 2009 novel “My Abandonment” by Peter Rock. “A Very English Scandal” was adapted by Russell T. Davies from John Preston’s book.

Granik also directed “Leave No Trace,” which stars Ben Foster as an Iraq War veteran suffering from PTSD and Thomasin McKenzie as his 13-year-old daughter living in isolation in a public park in Portland, Ore., and then in the trackless woods.

The winners were announced Saturday night at USC’s Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library. “Leave No Trace” topped “Black Panther,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” “The Death of Stalin,” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.

“A Very English Scandal,” which centers on the Jeremy Thorpe scandal of the mid 1970s, won over episodes of “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Looming Tower,” “Patrick Melrose,” and “Sharp Objects.”

The Scripter Awards, now in their 31st year, honor both the year’s best film and television adaptations, along with the works on which they are based.

The scripts for “Black Panther,” “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” received nominations on Jan. 7 for the Writers Guild of America’s adapted screenplay award, along with “A Star Is Born” and “BlacKkKlansman.” “BlacKkKlansman,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” and “If Beale Street Could Talk” received Academy Award nominations in adapted screenplay category along with “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” and “A Star Is Born.”

The winner of the USC Scripter Award in film has gone on to win the last eight Oscars in the adapted screenplay category. The last time they diverged was in 2009 when “Up in the Air” won the Scripter and “Precious” took the Oscar.

Barry Jenkins, who wrote the script for “If Beale Street Could Talk,” won the award two years ago for “Moonlight.” “Call Me by Your Name” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” took the Scripter prizes last year.

Chaired by USC professor and former Writers Guild of America West president Howard Rodman, the 2019 Scripter selection committee chose the finalists from a field of 90 movie and 55 TV adaptations.

The winners are in boldface:

Screenplay finalists:

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.  (WINNER)

Television finalists:

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  (WINNER)

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