“Leave No Trace” has been named 2018’s best page-to-screen adaptation at the 31st Annual USC Libraries Scripter Award ceremony, which took place on the USC campus on Saturday night.
The award is given to both the screenwriters of a film and the author of the work on which the film is based, meaning the Scripter went to writer-director Debra Granik, screenwriter Anne Rosellini and author Peter Rock, who wrote the 2009 novel “Abandonment” from which the film was adapted.
The win was the result of a vote from a selection committee of critics, authors, screenwriters, producers and academics chaired by USC professor and former WGA, West president Howard Rodman. The victory for “Leave No Trace” came as something of a surprise, with the acclaimed indie beating two Oscar nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay, “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Although the Scripter Award was launched in 1988 as a somewhat idiosyncratic award with a literary bent, it had become one of the most reliable Oscar predictors over the last 12 years, when 11 of its winners — including eight in a row — went on to win the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. (Before that, in the first 19 years of Scripter’s existence, the winners only matched four times.)
The fact that “Leave No Trace” was not nominated by the Academy means that the Scripter’s eight-year streak of predicting the Oscar winner will come to an end this year.
“A Very English Scandal,” a three-part BBC miniseries based on the 2016 book by John Preston, won the Scripter Award for television adaptation. The award went to Preston and to screenwriter Russell T. Davies, who adapted the story of the shocking revelation of a gay affair by Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe in the UK in the 1970s.
The Scripters dinner is an annual fundraiser for the USC Libraries and takes place in the Edward L. Doheny Memorial Library on the USC campus.