USC Scripter Award Goes To “Nomadland”


Last night the 33rd annual USC Libraries Scripter Awards were held (virtual and no less on my birthday). There the film Nomadland and the limited series The Queen’s Gambit were honored. In terms of the film, Nomadland, receiving this award given to screenwriter Chloé Zhao and writer Jessica Bruder, places the film as probably the best in Best Adapted Screenplay. Based on the book Nomad Land: Surviving America in the 21st Century, it has again proven to be the adapted work of choice this year to say the least. So this is another award for Zhao …

Here is the press release from USC Scripter:

The authors of the feature film “Nomadland” and the limited series “The Queen’s Gambit” won the 33rd annual USC Libraries Scripter Awards at an online ceremony on the evening of March 13, 2021.

Each year, the Scripter Awards recognize the most successful adaptations of the written word for the screen and uniquely recognize the screenwriters and the authors of the source material.

That year, screenwriter Chloé Zhao and writer Jessica Bruder won the feature film category for Searchlight Pictures’ Nomadland, based on the book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century. All films are collaborative works, but above all with adaptations – a fact that Zhao, who also directed and edited “Nomadland”, recognized in her acceptance.

“Jessica, your love for the people in your book and your love for the streets and the American West is why we’re here today,” said Zhao. “And I’m really looking forward to the day when I can sit by the campfire and listen to you rock on your guitar again.”

Jessica Brother thanked Zhao for adapting her “poetic meditation on life on the street” and all the people who “gave her the time of day when I showed up with a tent and a notepad”.

In the episodic series category, writer / director Scott Frank and the late Walter Tevis (1928-84) won for “The Queen’s Gambit,” based on Tevis’ novel of the same name. Julia Tevis McGory and Will Tevis accepted on their father’s behalf and remembered their father as a storyteller.

Frank, who also directed the seven episodes of the limited Netflix series, thanked Tevis in his acceptance speech. “Without this novel, I could never have done that. The gift of this novel was enormous. It was my mission to realize it in such a way that if Walter were still with us, he would be incredibly proud of it and would also recognize himself in it. “

Most years, the Scripter Awards are presented at a gala at USC’s Doheny Memorial Library. This year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was streamed online. USC Libraries Dean Catherine Quinlan hinted at the change.

“When we honor the customization in Scripter, we’re also celebrating the word originally written,” Quinlan said. “Adjusting while staying true to our fundamentals is something that libraries do and have always done. This year our adaptability was more important than ever. “

A selection committee made up of 52 authors, producers, journalists and other distinguished members – including several previous winners – determined this year’s awards.

Howard Rodman, a professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and past president of the Writers Guild of America West, chairs the committee. In his remarks, Rodman noted that the art of customization requires the screenwriter to strike a delicate balance.

“How to reverse-divide what you owe the book; What do you owe the audience? “Said Rodman. “All of the adjustments we are honoring tonight have answered these questions in an honest, unique way, both heartily and full of the highest craftsmanship.”

In the early evening Quinlan presented the Ex Libris Award to the California State Librarian Greg Lucas.

“Being the state librarian is my dream job,” said Lucas. He also spoke of the adaptability of libraries, praising “their ability to adapt and reflect on the communities they serve. This is an extraordinary thing in the state of California. “

The 2021 Scripter Award was presented by the USC Libraries Board of Councilors with support from HBO, Netflix and Searchlight Pictures.

Congratulations to Nomadland