|[February 09, 2014]
'12 Years a Slave' Wins USC Libraries Scripter Award
LOS ANGELES --(Business Wire)--
Screenwriter John Ridley joined family members of nineteenth-century
author Solomon Northup to receive the 26th-annual USC Libraries Scripter
Award for "12 Years a Slave." Selection committee co-chair Howard Rodman
announced the winners at the black-tie event on Saturday, Feb. 8, at
USC's Doheny Memorial Library.
USC Libraries 2014 Scripter Award winner John Ridley with Dean of the USC Libraries Catherine Quinlan and Scripter Literary Achievement Award winner Robert Towne. (Photo Credit: Ron Murray)
"Until I read Solomon's memoir, I didn't know what being a writer was
all about," Ridley said in his acceptance speech. "The way that Solomon
wrote, the clarity with which he wrote, and more importantly, the
strength of his character, what he went through without bitterness,
without hate-that really taught me something."
"12 Years a Slave's" Scripter win adds to the growing number of awards
for the Fox Searchlight film, including best motion picture in the drama
category at last month's Golden Globes. The film is nominated for nine
Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Scripter, established by the Friends of the USC Libraries in 1988,
honors the screenwriter of the year's most accomplished cinematic
adaptation as well as the author of the written work upon which the
screenplay is based. Scripter is the only award of its kind that
recognizes authors of the original work alongside the adapting
Ridley based his adaptation on Northup's memoir, a bestseller when
published in 1853 by Derby & Miller. In the 20th century,
the work lapsed into obscurity until Louisiana State University Press
issued an annotated version in 1968, following work by two Louisiana
researchers to verify the story's details.
USC Libraries Dean Catherine Quinlan welcomed the attendees gathered in
the Los Angeles Times Reference Room of USC's historic Edward L. Doheny
"A library does more than collect ambitious life stories, more than make
certain the great literary, philosophical, and scientific thinkers live
on to inspire endless generations of discoverers," Quinlan said. "An
excellent library also creates experiences for students that
inspire them to seek meaning in their studies, their careers, and their
Co-chaired by Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated screenwriter
Naomi Foner and USC screenwriting professor and vice president of the
Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman, the Scripter selection
committee chose "12 Years A Slave" from a field of 86 eligible films.
The USC Libraries also honored Robert Towne with the Literary
Achievement Award for his contributions to the art of adaptation
throughout his career. His daughter, Chiara Towne, presented the honor.
"The truth is, there are no shortcuts to great screenplays about the
past," she said. "But growing up, the thing I noticed that set my
father's writing apart was the extraordinary, unending amount of
research that goes into his films."
Towne, a native of Southern California, has set much of his work there,
including his scripts for Ask the Dust, which Towne adapted from
the 1939 novel by John Fante, and the Depression-era Chinatown, which
earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1975.
He is currently working as a writer on the final season of AMC's
television series "Mad Men."
In receiving the award, Towne credited the guidance and inspiration he
has received from writers and other artists throughout his career, "They
have given me the advantage of their perspective and given it to me
truthfully. What I am standing on is their advice and help."
Ridley and Rodman in their remarks acknowledged Towne's work as
inspiration to them and the community of screenwriters. "I'm not sure
this room has been filled with more wisdom than when Robert Towne stood
here alone," Rodman said.
This year's event featured a silent auction, the proceeds of which
support the renovation of USC's Leavey Library. Donors to the auction
included AOC, Arthur Murray Santa Monica, At Your Side Private Exercise,
Bennett Farms, Bouchon Beverly Hills, Coravin Wine Access System, The
Chopra Center For Well Being, Dancing with the Stars, The Del Mar
Thoroughbred Club, Jay and Kristine Eagan, Fess Parker Inn, Frank Lloyd
Wright Preservation Trust, Fred Segal Salon, The French Reflection,
Rachel Galey Make-up, The Geffen Playhouse, The Grammy Museum, Grand
Pacific Palisades Resort, Kinara Spa, The Kitchen For Exploring
Foods, Knock Knock, LA Saddlery, The Los Angeles Clippers, The Los
Angeles Lakers, The Los Angeles Opera, Lafond Winery, Lux Dog Daycare,
Metropolitan Fine Arts, The Montage Beverly Hills, Neiman Marcus, The
NFL, Christine Ofiesh, OPI, OSEA Malibu, Pebble Beach Concours
d'Elegance, Picca Restaurant, Bob and Betty Plumleigh, Poseidon Stand Up
Paddleboards, Victor Raphael / Clayton Spada, Rivera Restaurant, The San
Diego Chargers, SBE (News - Alert) Restaurant Group, Stephen's Hay & Grain, Terranea
Resort, Total Wine and More, The Voice, WEN by Chaz Dean, and Wilshire
Dental Center Group & Dr. Brent Kaplan DDS.
In-kind sponsors this year included John and Dana Agamalian and Blue Ice
Vodka; Esquire Bar & Lounge of Pasadena, Calif.; Penguin Group; and the
Wine of the Month Club.
For more information about Scripter-including additional images from the
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20140209005024/en/
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