The award honors both the author and screenwriter of the year's best book-to-film adaptation (or in the case of "District 9," a short film screenplay adaptation). Members of the selection committee include screenwriter Naomi Foner, musician T Bone Burnett, novelist Michael Chabon, film critic Leonard Maltin and Times film critic Kenneth Turan.
The most recent past Scripter winners, "No Country for Old Men" and "Slumdog Millionaire," went on to receive the Academy Award.
The five finalists are:
"Crazy Heart": Scott Cooper, screenwriter; Thomas Cobb, author.
"District 9": Neill Blomkamp, screenwriter and author; Terri Tatchell, screenwriter.
"An Education": Nick Hornby, screenwriter; Lynn Barber, author.
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire": Geoffrey Fletcher, screenwriter; Sapphire, author.
"Up in the Air": Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, screenwriters; Walter Kirn, author.
The winner will be announced at a gala ceremony Feb. 6 at USC's Edward L. Doheny Memorial Library.