Janine Whetton Gilbert
The Association for Mormon Letters presents its first Award in Adaptation
for 2002 to Janine Whetten-Gilbert for Charly.
Writers face special difficulties within the medium of film, since they must
write in such a way that their themes and scenes will fit the actors,
directors, budgets, locations, and the inevitable changes and rearrangements
that are part and parcel to the collaborative nature of film production.
Moreover, in the nascent Mormon film market, new sensitivities come into
play, especially in adapting a very well known young adult novel not
immediately suited for translation to the medium of cinema. The movie
Charly has succeeded well in reaching and pleasing its audience this past
year, and in so doing has marked a milestone in LDS Cinema. While credit for
this accomplishment must be shared with actors, director, and others, this
success could not have happened if Janine Whetten-Gilbert had not carefully
updated Jack Weyland's novel, pruning some of its excesses, and fitting its
dramatic structure to the conventions of film. She has improved upon the
original property, reinvigorating both the story and the medium for which
she has written, and in turn, improving the quality of Mormon film by taking
its literary dimension seriously. The Association for Mormon Letters only
hopes that future Mormon filmmakers will use the care and skill that Gilbert
has shown as other Mormon fiction is transferred to the screen.