Tony Mendez has picked up his first-ever Hollywood award…
The 72-year-old formerCIA 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: Beastsof 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 novelPerks 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.
The award is bestowed by the Friends of USC Libraries and honors the screenwriter or screenwriters of the year’s most accomplished movie adaptations, as well as the author of the written work upon which the screenplay is based.
Mendez is nominated for writing The Master of Disguise, which chronicles his on-scene management of the “Canadian caper” during the Iran hostage crisis, in which he rescued six American diplomats from Tehran in November 1979.
Along with Mendez, Joshuah Bearman, author of the article “The Great Escape,” and screenwriter Chris Terrio are nominated for Argo.
He’s the decorated CIA officer portrayed by Ben Affleck in this year’s critically acclaimed film Argo… And now Tony Mendez is opening up about the real-life mission depicted in the film.
The 72-year-old Mexican American American retired CIA technical operations officer and the six “house guests” as they were known appear in an intriguing featurette about Argo.
Mendez was decorated for his on-scene management of the “Canadian caper” during the Iran hostage crisis, in which he rescued six American diplomats from Tehran in November 1979. Posing as a Canadian film crew of a fake Hollywood production, Mendez and his “crew” were accompanied by a CBC cameraman. As part of their cover, the diplomats carried passports issued by the Canadian government to document them as Canadian citizens.
The successful mission was declassified in 1997, finally allowing all the key players to talk about it for the first time.
Producer/Director Affleck stars as Mendez, and in this featurette he and the six “house guests” as they were known, along with the actors who portray them, detail the extraordinary rescue and the movie version that has now earned more than $100 million at the box office.