Jaime Lee Curtis
Jaime Lee Curtis

LOS ANGELES, Dec 16, 2008 / FW/ — While Hugh Jackman got the high profile Academy Awards gig, Jaime Lee Curtis had been named as Master of Ceremonies for the little known but very prestigious Scripter Awards.

Established 20 years ago, the Scripter Award is bestowed by the USC Libraries to honor the author and screenwriter of the best adaptation of a literary work into a film. This year’s gala, called Scripter 21 will take place on January 30, 2009, in the University of Southern California’s historic Doheny Memorial Library.

Serving as the Scripter emcee for the first time, Golden Globe-winning actress Jamie Lee Curtis is also an accomplished writer. Curtis’ children’s books routinely have landed on the New York Times bestseller list, including her most recent, Big Words for Little People.

For the first time in its 20-year history, Scripter is announcing the winner during the gala night, effectively making it an Awards night. And, as the organization enters its third decade, Scripter is also modifying the eligibility rules.

The revised rule allows English-language adaptations based on a series of books now qualify for Scripter consideration. Previously, only films based upon individual books, novellas, or short stories were eligible. This amendment allows more diverse creative approaches to be represented among Scripter contenders. Under the new rules, films such as The Spiderwick Chronicles and Iron Man are now in the running for Scripter 21.

The Scripter selection committee has begun considering the year’s 58 eligible adaptations. Among those serving on the committee are writer and producer Lawrence Kasdan; dramatist and screenwriter Tony Kushner; chairman of Phoenix Pictures Mike Medavoy; Fox Filmed Entertainment CEO Tom Rothman; Jennifer and Suzanne Todd, producers of Tim Burton’s upcoming adaptation of Alice in Wonderland; and Spider-Man producer Laura Ziskin.

In all, the committee includes 53 members of the film and literary communities, USC faculty, critics and members of the Friends of the USC Libraries. Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal, Oscar nominee and winner of a Golden Globe for 1988’s Running on Empty, returns for her second year as chair of the Scripter selection committee.