Tony Mendez has picked up his first-ever Hollywood award…
The 72-year-old former CIA technical operations officer, who Ben Affleck portrays in his Oscar-nominated film Argo, won the 25th Annual USC Libraries Scripter Award for best literary film adaptation this weekend at a gala held at the University of Southern California’s Doheny Memorial Library. Mendez shared the award with Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio and journalist Joshuah Bearman, who wrote an article entitled “The Great Escape” for Wired.
The Scripter Award goes to both the screenwriters and the author of the material on which the script is based. Although there are normally 5 finalists, this year featured six because of a tie in balloting.
The Scripter Award is only given for adaptations, not for original screenplays, but it still has a prime slot during the final Academy balloting period. Argo beat out the other Scripter Award nominees: Beasts of the Southern Wild – Dramatist Lucy Alibar, who wrote the play Juicy and Delicious, and screenwriter Benh Zeitlin, who co-wrote the screenplay with Alibar; Life Of Pi – Novelist Yann Martel and screenwriter David Magee; Lincoln – Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team Of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and screenwriter Tony Kushner; Perks Of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky, author of the novel Perks of Being a Wallflower, as well as the screenplay based upon the book; Silver Linings Playbook – Author Matthew Quick and screenwriter David O. Russell.
There were a total of 82 screenplays in the field of candidates for the USC Libraries Scripter Award, which was established in 1988 by the Friends of the USC Libraries as a way to celebrate writers and writing, honoring the year’s best adaptation of printed words into film.