Each year the accolade is handed out to the author and screenwriter of the best book-to-film adaptation and Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash and novelist Kaui Hart Hemmings are the latest team to take home the trophy.
The group, which saw off competition from the scribes behind Moneyball, A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, were recognised during the 24th annual prizegiving ceremony, held at the University of Southern California.
Crash writer Paul Haggis was also feted at the event - he picked up the 2012 USC Scripter Literary Achievement Award.
November 03, 2009 3:45am EST
George Clooney is eyeing a lead role in Alexander Payne's family dramedy The Descendants, for Fox Searchlight.
Variety reports that the actor is in talks for the film, about a wealthy landowner who takes his daughters on a search for his wife's lover in a bid to keep his family together.
Clooney is currently shooting the Anton Corbijn-directed thriller The American.
Payne's last feature as director was 2004's Sideways. He is scheduled to start shooting Descendants in February in Hawaii.
The screenplay, based on Kaui Hart Hemmings' debut novel, was penned by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.
Payne, Jim Burke and Jim Taylor are producing through their shingle Ad Hominem.