Five writers have been selected as winners of the 25th annual Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Each writer will receive a $30,000 prize, the first installment of which will be distributed at a gala dinner in Beverly Hills on November 4.
This year’s winners are (listed alphabetically by author):
Destin Daniel Cretton, San Diego, Calif., “Short Term 12”
Marvin Krueger, North Hollywood, Calif., “And Handled with a Chain”
Andrew Lanham, Austin, Texas, “The Jumper of Maine”
Micah Ranum, Beverly Hills, Calif., “A Good Hunter”
Cinthea Stahl, North Hollywood, Calif., “Identifying Marks”
The winners were selected from 6,304 scripts submitted for this year’s competition. The competition is open to any individual who has not sold or optioned a screenplay or teleplay for more than $5,000, or received a fellowship or prize that includes a “first look” clause, an option, or any other quid pro quo involving the writer’s work.
Final judging of the competition was conducted by the Nicholl Committee, chaired by producer Gale Anne Hurd and composed of writers Naomi Foner, Daniel Petrie, Jr., Tom Rickman and Dana Stevens; actor Eva Marie Saint; cinematographers John Bailey and Steven B. Poster; executive Bill Mechanic; producers Peter Samuelson and Robert W. Shapiro; and agent Ronald R. Mardigian.
Fellowships are awarded with the understanding that the recipients will each complete a feature-length screenplay during their 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.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, 113 fellowships have been awarded, and a number of fellows have achieved considerable success. Mike Rich, a 1998 fellow, wrote “Secretariat,” which opened this month. Susannah Grant, a 1992 fellow, earned an Oscar nomination in 2000 for her “Erin Brockovich” screenplay. Andrew W. Marlowe, a 1992 fellow, created and executive produces ABC’s “Castle,” for which Terri Miller, also a 1992 fellow, is a writer-producer. “City Island,” which was written and directed by 1991 fellow Raymond De Felitta, premiered theatrically in March of this year.
Several other Nicholl fellows have had success in the film industry; to read more about them, visit http://www.oscars.org/awards/nicholl/fellows/notable.html