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Rooney Mara - Photo courtesy of lev radin on Shutterstock

“Women Talking,” screenwriter Sarah Polley’s adaptation of Miriam Toews’ novel beat out “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” and “Top Gun: Maverick,” among other films, to win the top prize during the 35th annual USC Libraries Scripter Awards.

The awards, presented Saturday at USC’s Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library, honor writers of adapted screenplays and the original works on which they are based. Also nominated on the film side were the writers of “Living” and “She Said.”

On the small screen, writer-producer-actor Will Smith won for the episode “Failure’s Contagious” from the AppleTV+ series “Slow Horses,” adapted from Mick Herron’s novel. Smith, a British native, shares the same name as the actor. He previously worked as a writer and executive producer on HBO’s Emmy-winning political satire “Veep”.

The other nominees were the writers of Netflix’s “The Crown,” Hulu’s “Fleishman is in Trouble,” HBO Max’s “Tokyo Vice” and Hulu’s “Under the Banner of Heaven.”

Finalists for the awards were chosen from a field of 101 film and 67 television adaptations, according to USC Libraries. The finalists were chosen by a selection committee chaired by Howard Rodman, USC professor and past president of the Writers Guild of America, West.

Among those serving on the committee are film critics Leonard Maltin and Anne Thompson; authors Walter Mosley and Michael Ondaatje; and screenwriters Eric Roth and Erin Cressida Wilson.

The event marked a return to an in-person ceremony, following two years of virtual presentations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is the formal list of winners:


— Screenwriter Sarah Polley and novelist Miriam Toews for “Women Talking.”


— Writer-Producer-Actor Will Smith for the episode “Failure’s Contagious,” from “Slow Horses,” based on the novel by Mick Herron.

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