Five new screenwriters were selected to receive the 1997 Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Each award is worth $25,000. The recipients were honored at a dinner in Beverly Hills on November 12, 1997.
Michele Sutter This Place in the Ways
The winners were selected from a slate of ten finalists by the Nicholl Committee, chaired by writer Fay Kanin and comprised of writers John Gay, Dan Petrie Jr., Frank Pierson, Tom Rickman and Daniel Taradash, writer-director Allison Anders (herself the recipient of a Nicholl Fellowship in 1986), director Robert E. Wise, cinematographer John Bailey, actor Jack Lemmon, producers Gale Anne Hurd and Peter Samuelson, and agent Michael Zimring.
Several past Nicholl fellows have gone on to successful careers in screenwriting and, during 1997 alone, four fellows received credit on theatrically-released feature films: Max Adams (Excess Baggage), Andrew Marlowe (Air Force One), Randall McCormick (Speed 2) and Jim McGlynn (Traveller). Committee member Anders' credits include "Grace of My Heart," "Mi Vida Loca" and "Gas Food Lodging."
The 1997 competition drew 4,006 entries from 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, as well as 25 countries. Any individual who had not sold or optioned a screenplay or teleplay for more than $1,000 or received a fellowship or prize that included a "first look" clause, an option or any other quid pro quo involving the writers work was eligible for the Nicholl Fellowships.
Fellowships are awarded with the understanding that the recipients will each complete a feature-length screenplay during the fellowship year. The Academy acquires no rights to the works of Nicholl fellows and does not involve itself commercially in any way with their completed scripts.