The 2020 CAMEO Awards Winners

Four exceptional winners have been announced for the fourth annual Creativity Across Media: Entertainment and Originality Awards (CAMEOs).

The awards recognise the best book adaptations across film, TV, audio and stage, celebrating books at the heart of the creative industries. The 2020 winners are:

Little Women
Book original by Louisa May Alcott Directed by: Greta Gerwig Screenplay: Greta Gerwig
Life of Pi
Book original by Yann Martel (Canongate) Adapted by Lolita Chakrabarti for Sheffield Crucible
Elizabeth is Missing
Book original by Emma Healey (Penguin) Adapted by Andrea Gibb
Norse Mythology
Book original by Neil Gaiman (Bloomsbury) Adapted by Penguin Random House

Jacks Thomas, Director of The London Book Fair and London Book & Screen Week, said: “From classic stories to modern novels, the past year has seen a wealth of fantastic adaptations across stage, audio and screen, that speak to the valuable role books play within the creative industries. We know that adapted works tend to attract more revenue and critical acclaim than their counterparts and this year’s wonderful winners also show how adaptations allow great books to be enjoyed again and again in new forms and by new generations.”

Expert judges from all sectors of the entertainment industry deliberated across each of the categories. This year’s judges, chaired by Helen Macaleer, are: Philippa Donovan (Smart Quill), Philippa Milnes Smith (Soho Agency), Katrien Roos (Harbottle and Lewis), John Lomas (Bullivant/Kickback Media), Hayley Steed (Madeleine Milburn Agency), Colin Williams (Sixteen South), Videl Bar Kar (Bookwire), Jessica Maslen (Blair Partnership), Tamsin Collison, Julia Posen, Charlotte Longstaff (LW Theatres), Rina Gill (RGM Productions).

  • Little Women was adapted from the 1868 novel by Louisa May Alcott, widely acknowledged to be one of the most influential books in the canon of 19th century American literature, and which has seen several prior adaptations to stage and film since the novel’s original publication. Among a star-studded cast it featured Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen and Laura Dern as the sisters of the March family, and was directed by acclaimed director Greta Gerwig. The judges were impressed with this “clever and stunning adaptation of a classic book, retold through the eyes of an adult woman making the story completely relevant to a modern audience.”
  • Life of Pi was adapted for stage by screenwriter and RADA graduate Lolita Chakrabarti for Sheffield Crucible from Yann Martel’s award-winning 2001 novel. With the show having received rave reviews in The Observer, The Sunday Times and The Mail on Sunday, the judges felt that “this impressive and immersive adaptation was a huge accomplishment. To present the dramatisation of a beloved and metaphorical book with such innovation, skill and phenomenal storytelling is a true credit to the team involved.”
  • Elizabeth is Missing was adapted from Emma Healey’s 2014 novel, which that year won the Costa Book Award for Best First Novel. Starring Glenda Jackson, Liv Hill and Sophie Rundle among others, it was adapted by novel it was adapted by Scottish screenwriter Andrea Gibb and was directed by BAFTA award-winning director Aisling Walsh. Broadcast on BBC One at the end of 2019, the judges were “very moved by the incredibly strong adapted script and the compelling performances from all the actors, with special mention for Glenda Jackson’s virtuoso performance in this powerful family story.”
  • Norse Mythology was adapted from Neil Gaiman’s 2017 retelling of stories from Norse Mythology. It was adapted by Penguin Random House for its BBC Digital Audio imprint, and Diana Rigg, Derek Jacobi, Colin Morgan, Natalie Dormer and Neil Gaiman himself among its stellar cast. The judges commented that the adaptation “was an excellent production bringing a key pantheon of half-forgotten gods to a modern audience in both an entertaining and educational way. The judges loved the ambition of this audio book.”

N.B. Following the cancellation of The London Book Fair 2020, the CAMEO Awards ceremony did not take place. Instead winners were announced online and prizes posted to winners around the world.

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