“Women Talking” writer-director Sarah Polley and novelist Miriam Toews won in the film category, while “Slow Horses” screenwriter Will Smith and novelist Mick Herron won the episodic TV category at the 35th annual USC Libraries Scripter Awards on Saturday. The awards honored the year’s greatest written word adaptations to cinema and episodic series in the first in-person ceremony since 2020.
“There’s not another person, another writer, another filmmaker, that I would entrust my book to other than Sarah Polley,” Toews said of Polley who brought “Women Talking” to film, which has been nominated for best picture and adapted screenplay at the Oscars. “Women Talking” illustrates an isolated religious colony where the women uncover a secret about the colony’s men, exposing their abuse.
Commenting on Toews’ novel, Polley said: “With this book, she offered the world an offramp from grief and rage toward what true democracy might look like.”
The episode “Failure’s Contagious” from the Apple TV+ series “Slow Horses” won on the TV side, honoring Herron and Smith’s work. The drama, which stars Gary Oldman, depicts a dysfunctional team of MI5 agents. The series has released its second season and will continue through its third and fourth seasons.
“The only real test for me in fiction is do I believe it,” Smith said. “I love it when I read a book and feel the characters have a life before and after, and I always feel that with Mick’s writing.”
Glenn Sonnenberg co-founded the awards with Marjorie Lord Volk in 1988 and was the ceremony’s master of ceremonies at USC’s Doheny Memorial Library.
Jim Childs, a USC Libraries Board of Councilors member, also was honored with the Ex Libris Award for his commitment to the libraries.