"CHILDREN OF MEN" WINS 19TH-ANNUAL USC LIBRARIES SCRIPTER AWARDLOS ANGELES—The author of "The Children of Men" and the screenwriters of the film based on the book have won the 19th-annual USC Libraries Scripter Award. British writer P.D. James published the book, her 12th, in 1992. Screenwriters Alfonso Cuarón, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby adapted the screenplay for the 2006 film, directed by Cuarón.
Scripter is awarded annually by the University of Southern California Libraries to honor writers for the best achievement in adaptation among English-language films released during the previous year and based on a book, novella or short story. Scripter is unique among entertainment and literary awards in that it recognizes both the authors and the screenwriters of a produced book-to-film adaptation.
The Scripter 19 selection committee, led by screenwriter, journalist, novelist and USC School of Cinematic Arts Writing Division Chair Howard A. Rodman, chose "Children of Men" from a field of 45 eligible films released in 2006. The other four finalists competing in the last round of voting were "The Devil Wears Prada," "The Illusionist," "The Last King of Scotland" and "Notes on a Scandal." Rodman announced the winners today on behalf of the selection committee and the Friends of the USC Libraries, who sponsor the award.
"This year's five nominated films were, all of them, heartfelt and elegantly wrought," Rodman said. "In that heady company, 'Children of Men' was first among equals. Messrs. Cuarón, Sexton, Arata, Fergus, and Ostby took P.D. James's bracingly dystopic novel and crafted from it a film at once brave, subtle, shocking. This is writing and screenwriting of the highest order."
"Children of Men" depicts humanity's coming to terms with its impending extinction due to universal infertility. Set in near-future Great Britain, anarchy has overtaken once-ordered societies, leaving little hope for a dwindling population consumed with violence and factionalism. Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Clare-Hope Ashitey star as humanity's last chance for survival.
Author of the book, "The Children of Men," 86-year-old P.D. James so far has published 19 books in her long career as a writer, member of the British Civil Service and magistrate. Other credits for the screenwriters include "Y tu mamá también" for Alfonso Cuarón; "Live from Baghdad" for Timothy J. Sexton; "Spy Game" for David Arata; and the upcoming "Iron Man" for Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby.
Universal Pictures distributes "Children of Men," and Vintage published a reprint paperback edition of the book in May, 2006.The annual black-tie Scripter gala honoring the winning collaboration will be held on Sunday, Feb. 18, in USC's historic Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library. Henry Winkler will make his third appearance as emcee, with Hal Kanter returning as grand emcee for the seventh time.