“Moonlight” has been named the year’s best screen adaptation at the 2017 USC Libraries Scripter Award ceremony, winning an honor that goes both to the writer of the screenplay and the author of the original work from which the script was adapted.
Writer-director Barry Jenkins won the award along with Tarell Alvin McCraney, who wrote an unproduced play, “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,” on which Jenkins’ screenplay was based.
The Scripter winner has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for the last six years in a row, and eight times in the last nine years. This year, the Scripter and Oscar nominees matched exactly, meaning “Moonlight” is up against the same competition at the Academy Awards: “Arrival,” “Fences,” “Hidden Figures” and “Lion.”
It is currently the Oscar favorite, and is expected to extend the Scripter streak to seven years.
For the second time, the Scripters also gave out an award for a television adaptation. The result was a tie between “The Night Manager” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.” Screenwriter David Farr and novelist John Le Carre shared the “Night Manager” award, while the “O.J.” prize went to screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski and journalist Jeffrey Toobin, whose nonfiction book “The Run of His Life” was adapted for the FX miniseries.
Alexander and Karaszewski, whose other screenplays include “The People vs. Larry Flynt” and “Ed Wood,” first met at USC as freshman roommates attending the film school.
The selections were made by a committee made up of screenwriters, critics, authors, producers and academics, and chaired by Writers Guild of America, West president Howard Rodman.
Over the 28 previous years of the Scripter Awards’ existence, its winners have matched the Oscar winners for Best Adapted Screenplay only 12 times. But the Scripter has grown less idiosyncratic and more in line with the Oscars in recent years.
The black-tie ceremony took place in the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library, and was also a fundraiser for the USC Libraries. Carl Reiner received the Scripter Literary Achievement Award.
Feature film: “Moonlight,” adapted by Barry Jenkins from the play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” by Tarell Alvin McCraney
(TIE) “The Night Manager” miniseries, adapted by David Farr from the novel by John Le Carre
“Manna From Heaven” episode of “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” screenplay by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewsi from the nonfiction book “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson” by Jeffrey Toobin