The writers of Syriana and Capote will face a run-off vote after both tied for the USC Scripter Award for best adaptation of a book or short story to film, it was announced Friday.
The two movies beat out other finalists Brokeback Mountain, The Constant Gardener and A History of Violence.
Another round of selection committee balloting will determine a single winner and results will be announced on January 18. Capote, based on the biography of writer Truman Capote by Gerald Clarke, was written by Dan Futterman. Syriana, a drama about oil and politics, was based in part on the book See No Evil by former CIA agent Robert Baer and was scripted by Academy Award-winning writer Stephen Gaghan, who also directed.
A committee headed by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Tom Schulman selected the finalists. The committee is comprised of authors, film industry executives and Writers Guild of America members.
The Scripter Award has been bestowed since 1989 by the University of Southern California Friends of the Libraries and is billed as the only honour that recognizes both author and screenwriter for a film adaptation.
Past winners include Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River, Seabiscuit and Wonder Boys.