By Francisco Salazar ( | First Posted: Feb 09, 2014 11:53 PM EST

(Photo : Fox Searchlight )

The USC Scripter award has named "12 Years a Slave" the Best Adapted Screenplay of the year.

The film beat out Oscar nominees "Captain Phillips" and "Philomena." It also beat out Indie films' "What Maisie Knew," and "The Spectacular Now."

The Scripter award was established in 1988 and is unique because it honors both the screenwriter(s) and original authors of what a 33-member selection committee believes is the year's most accomplished cinematic adaptation.

The awards were held at a black-tie ceremony Saturday at USC. Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford were honorary dinner chairs for the event.

While accepting his award at the ceremony, screenwriter John Ridley choked up while acknowledging Northup and his descendants, some of whom attended the awards. Northup also won, but given the fact that he has been dead for over 150 years, Ridley accepted the award.

The USC Scripter award is not the most reliable Oscar predictor. However, over the past three years, the organization has been accurate in predicting who will win the Best Adapted Screenplay award. Past winners include "Argo," "The Descendants," and "The Social Network." Other winners have included "Up in the Air," "Slumdog Millionaire," "No Country For Old Men," and "Children of Men."

The USC selection committee is made up screenwriter Naomi Foner and USC professor and Writers Guild of America West vice president Howard Rodman. It also includes film critics Leonard Maltin and Kenneth Turan, screenwriters Geoffrey Fletcher, Lawrence Kasdan, Callie Khouri and Steve Zaillian among others.

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