ScripterAward__130115194941-200x125The authors and screenwriters of Captain Phillips, Philomena, The Spectacular Now, 12 Years A Slave and What Maisie Knew have been named finalists for the 26th-annual USC Libraries Scripter Award. Scripter honors the screenwriter or screenwriters of the year’s most accomplished cinematic adaptation as well as the author or authors of the written work upon which the screenplay is based. The USC Libraries will announce the winning authors and screenwriters on February 8 at USC.

Here are the finalists, in alphabetical order by film title:

 Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty, authors of A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea, and screenwriter Billy Ray, for Captain Phillips
 For Philomena, author Martin Sixsmith, who wrote the book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, and screenwriters Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
 Novelist Tim Tharp and screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for The Spectacular Now
 Solomon Northup, author of Twelve Years a Slave, and screenwriter John Ridley for 12 Years a Slave
 Screenwriters Carroll Cartwright and Nancy Doyne for What Maisie Knew, adapted from the novel by Henry James

The Friends of the USC Libraries established Scripter in 1988. Previous Scripter winners include the screenwriters and authors of Argo, The Descendants, No Country for Old Men, and The English Patient.

Co-chaired by Golden Globe-winning screenwriter Naomi Foner and USC professor and vice president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman, the 2014 Scripter selection committee selected the five finalists from a field of 86 eligible adaptations.

Serving on the selection committee, among many others, are film critics Leonard Maltin and Kenneth Turan; authors Michael Chabon, Michael Ondaatje and Mona Simpson; screenwriters Geoffrey Fletcher, Callie Khouri and Steve Zaillian; and USC deans Elizabeth Daley of the School of Cinematic Arts, Madeline Puzo of the School of Dramatic Arts and Catherine Quinlan of the USC Libraries.

The studios distributing the finalist films and the publishers of the original stories are:
 Captain Phillips—Columbia Pictures and Hyperion Books
 Philomena—Weinstein Company and Macmillan
 The Spectacular Now—A24 and Alfred A. Knopf
 12 Years a Slave—Fox Searchlight and Derby & Miller
 What Maisie Knew—Millennium Entertainment and Herbert S. Stone