Maggie Gyllenhaal and author Elena Ferrante won at the 34th-annual USC Libraries Scripter Awards in the feature film category for Netflix’s “The Lost Daughter,” based on Ferrante’s 2006 book (published in English in 2008). Gyllenhaal, who directed, wrote, and produced “The Lost Daughter,” acknowledged the deep connection between screenwriters and the original authors in her acceptance speech.
“I think only writers know how intimately a screenwriter is connected to the work they’re adapting,” Gyllenhaal said. Describing her relationship with Ferrante’s work, “She and I have made something new together. It’s like a love affair of the mind.”
In the episodic series category, writer/director Danny Strong and author Beth Macy won for Hulu’s “Dopesick,” based on Macy’s nonfiction book “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America.”
At the ceremony, Barry Jenkins was presented with the Literary Achievement Award. Jenkins, a nominee this year for “The Underground Railroad,” previously won the 2017 Scripter for “Moonlight” and was a finalist in 2019 for “If Beale Street Could Talk.”
In accepting the award, Jenkins thanked the authors whose works he’s adapted and described the importance of cinema in reaching audiences with their language. “We’re living in a time right now when people are watching more than they are reading,” Jenkins said. “I think in a way, translating these works from the medium of literature or playwriting into the screenplay format and ultimately into feature films and television is very crucial, very vital to continuing the spread of this language these authors have put into their works.”