2009 Nicholl Fellows

2009 Nicholl Fellows

A gala dinner was held for the six new Nicholl Fellows in Beverly Hills, featuring a keynote address by Nicholl Committee chair and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Susannah Grant. The winning screenplays ranged from a drama about two childhood best friends placed at odds in war torn Zimbabwe to a Black golf phenom breaking the race barrier to two girls coming of age in colonial India, to a thriller about ambulance drivers trying to save lives and survive in Gaza to a romantic comedy about a dreamer who literally falls for the man in her dreams.

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Matt Ackley

Matt Ackley

“Victoria Falls”


Hometown: Norwich, Vermont

Conducts extreme wilderness leadership sessions for the National Outdoor Leadership School–recently trained a NASA shuttle crew. Has traveled and worked in India, East Africa and Antarctica. Received his undergraduate degree in Biological Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


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Vineet Dewan

Vineet Dewan

“Sand Dogs” (written with Angus Fletcher)


Hometown: Manama, Bahrain

Immigrated to the UK during the Gulf War. Commissioned to make documentaries for the Clinton Foundation’s American India Foundation. First movie he saw on the big screen was “Jurassic Park.”


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Angus Fletcher

Angus Fletcher

“Sand Dogs” (written with Vineet Dewan)


Hometown: Guildford, England

Trained as a U.S. marine. Fought in Golden Gloves boxing competitions. Currently a Professor of Theater at the University of Southern California.


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John Griffin

John Griffin

“Dream Before Waking”


Hometown: Ronkonkoma, Long Island, New York

Has worked as a traveling salesman, a script reader and a medical transport driver.


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Nidhi Anna Verghese

Nidhi Anna Verghese

“Jallianwala Bagh”


Hometown: Kerala, India

Worked as a copywriter at Ogilvy & Mather in Chennai, India. 2008 graduate of the American Film Institute. Realized she wanted to become a screenwriter after seeing “Children of Heaven.”


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Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams

“Pure”


Hometown: Houston, Texas

Currently works as an architect in North Carolina. Celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary in November. He and his wife have two sons.


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See a list of all 2009 Nicholl Finalists, Semifinalists and Quarterfinalists

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