Academy Nicholl fellows worked in both film and television during 2017. Their produced film projects included: The Shack, co-written by Destin Cretton and Andrew Lanham; The Glass Castle, written by Destin and Andrew and directed by Destin; The Keeping Hours, written by Rebecca Sonnenshine and directed by Karen Moncrieff; and Cars 3, co-written by Mike Rich.
In television, Susannah Grant won the WGA’s 2017 Paul Selvin Award for writing HBO’s Confirmation. Her script also received the 2017 WGA Award in Long Form Original in television. Raymond De Felitta received a DGA nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for TV and Miniseries for directing the ABC miniseries Madoff. Barbara Stepansky wrote the screenplay for the Lifetime original movie Flint, which is a nominee for the 2018 WGA Awards in the Long Form Original category. Lee Patterson is a co-producer and writer on USA’s Colony. Ken Kristensen is a staff writer on the Netflix series The Punisher and on the Syfy series Happy! Allison Anders directed an episode of the Epix TV series Graves and ABC’s Time After Time and two episodes of the CW’s Riverdale. Kurt Kuenne directed an episode of NBC’s The Blacklist. Rebecca Sonnenshine is a co-executive producer and writer on the Cinemax series Outcast. Anthony Jaswinski is the showrunner for Lifetime’s A Midsummer’s Nightmare. Sean Robert Daniels is the Head Writer for Grit, which aired on South Africa’s SABC 3, and he and his fellow writers on High Rollers won the Best Achievement in Screenwriting: TV Soap/Telenovela at the South African Film & Television Awards.
Pictured above is Kerry Washington in “Confirmation.”
NOTABLE NICHOLL FELLOWS
MAX ADAMS – 1994 FELLOW
Max wrote the original spec script and then received a story and co-writer credit on Excess Baggage. She is the author of The New Screenwriter’s Survival Guide. Max also contributed to Debris & Detritus: The Lesser Greek Gods Running Amok, which was edited and conceived by Nicholl fellow Patricia Burroughs.
ALLISON ANDERS – 1986 FELLOW
In 2013, Allison earned an Emmy nomination for directing the TV movie Ring of Fire. She is the writer-director of Gas Food Lodging, Mi Vida Loca and Grace of my Heart, and the co-writer-director of Strutter, In the Echo, Things Behind the Sun, Sugar Town, and Border Radio. She directed one segment of the compilation film Four Rooms and served as executive producer of Lover Girl. Allison also directed the TV movie Beaches and the TV movie A Crush on You. Her episodic TV series directing credits include: Graves, Riverdale, Time After Time, Murder in the First, Proof, TURN: Washington’s Spies, The Divide, Gang Related, Orange is the New Black, Southland, What About Brian, Sex and the City, Grosse Pointe, Cold Case, The L Word, and Men in Trees.
VICTORIA ARCH – 1993 FELLOW
Victoria co-wrote Pali Road, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights and the CBS-TV movie Three Secrets. She wrote and directed the short films Dumped, Quest for the Yeti, Bad Man and Miriam Cornsweig’s Farewell Performance.
DOUG ATCHISON – 2000 FELLOW
Doug directed Akeelah and the Bee from his Nicholl entry script, earning him a NAACP Image Award for best screenplay. He also co-wrote Spinning into Butter.
NIKOLE BECKWITH – 2012 FELLOW
Nikole directed her fellowship winning script, Stockholm, Pennsylvania, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Nikole also co-wrote the TV movie Beaches and wrote 3 Generations, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
CHRIS BESSOUNIAN – 2011 FELLOW
Chris and Tianna Langham are on the writing staff of the TV drama The Resident.
RADHA BHARADWAJ – 1989 FELLOW
Radha is the writer-director of Closet Land, her Nicholl entry script, and of Basil, which she adapted from the Wilkie Collins novel.
ALFREDO BOTELLO – 2000 FELLOW
Alfredo co-wrote and co-produced Hollywood Adventures and wrote and directed the web series Passive-Aggressive Boyfriend and the short film The Xmas Special. He also wrote and co-directed the web series Reality Reboot.
PATRICIA BURROUGHS -- 2001 FELLOW
Patricia’s latest novel is This Crumbling Pageant. Her novels include La Desperada, Some Enchanted Season and Scandalous. Patricia also edited and conceived the short story anthology Debris & Detritus: The Lesser Greek Gods Running Amok, which includes Nicholl fellow Max Adams among its contributors.
GABRIELLE BURTON – 2000 FELLOW
Gabrielle wrote Manna from Heaven, which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival. She also wrote the non-fiction books Searching for Tamsen Donner and I’m Running Away From Home, But I’m Not Allowed to Cross the Street as well as the novels Heartbreak Hotel and Impatient with Desire, which won the 2011 Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Novel. Gabrielle died in 2015.
JOHN CIARLO – 2002 FELLOW
John published his novel Buddy and Grace, an adaptation of his Nicholl entry script Bend in the River. He also wrote an episode and executive produced several episodes of the television series Magnum Opus.
DENNIS CLONTZ – 1986 FELLOW
Dennis was part of a team of Los Angeles Times journalists awarded a Pulitzer Prize for spot reporting on the Northridge earthquake. He wrote the award winning play Generations and his plays received over 50 productions nationwide. Dennis died in 2004.
RICHARD CRAY – 1995 FELLOW
Richard wrote the TV movie A Christmas Wedding as well as segments of Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas and Belle’s Magical World.
DESTIN DANIEL CRETTON – 2010 FELLOW
Destin directed the film of his Nicholl entry screenplay, Short Term 12, which was released theatrically in August 2013 after premiering at South by Southwest, where it won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for best narrative film. He directed his Nicholl Fellowship year script I Am Not a Hipster, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Destin also directed and co-wrote The Glass Castle with Nicholl fellow Andrew Lanham, and together they co-wrote The Shack.
SEAN ROBERT DANIELS – 2012 FELLOW
Sean co-wrote Vir die Voëls which was released in November 2016 in South Africa. Sean and his fellow writers on High Rollers won the Best Achievement in Screenwriting: TV Soap/Telenovela in the South African Film & Television Awards. He is also the Head Writer on South Africa’s TV show Grit.
RAYMOND DE FELITTA – 1991 FELLOW
Raymond wrote and directed Two Family House from his Nicholl Fellowship year script. His films as a writer-director include the Oscar-nominated short film Bronx Cheers, Cafe Society and City Island, as well as the feature documentaries 'Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris and Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story. Raymond co-wrote Shadow of Doubt. He also directed Rob the Mob, The Thing About My Folks, and the ABC miniseries Madoff, for which he received a DGA nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for TV and Miniseries. He authored the paperback City Island and Two Family House: Two Screenplays (And Too Much Information About the Making and Selling of Two Independent Films).
JAMES DILAPO – 2012 FELLOW
James’ Nicholl winning script Devils at Play was performed at the Ballroom Marfa’s The Reading in May 2013.
ROBERT EDWARDS – 2001 FELLOW
Robert directed Land of the Blind from his Nicholl entry script. He also wrote and directed One More Time. Robert wrote and produced the documentary Sumo East and West and co-wrote and produced the documentary The Last Laugh.
RONALD EMMONS – 1991 FELLOW
Ronald wrote Rendezvous, which aired on Black Entertainment Television. He died in 2005.
JACOB ESTES – 1998 FELLOW
Jacob directed Mean Creek from his Nicholl entry script. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, received a Humanitas Prize and won two Independent Spirit Awards. Jacob co-wrote Rings, wrote and directed The Details, and wrote Nearing Grace.
JEFFREY EUGENIDES – 1986 FELLOW
Jeffrey is the author of the novel The Marriage Plot, a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Middlesex. The film of his novel The Virgin Suicides premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Jeffrey’s short story “Baster" provided the basis for the film The Switch.
SCOTT FIFER – 1995 FELLOW
The movie of Scott’s fellowship year script Twice Upon a Time aired on Lifetime-. He served as a staff writer on Beverly Hills 90210 during the final season of the original series. Scott has written a number of TV awards shows and specials. He was also a contributor to the book Smart Risks: How small grants are helping to solve some the world’s biggest problems.
JAMES FOLEY – 2000 FELLOW
James is the author of the e-novels Argonauts a new generation Colossus and Far from Viet Nam.
AMY GARCIA AND CECILIA CONTRERAS – 2007 FELLOWS
Amy and Cecilia wrote Dear Eleanor, which was released in July 2016.
PAT GILFILLAN – 1995 FELLOW
Pat wrote Lila & Eve, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
MYRON GOBLE – 1993 FELLOW
Down in the Delta was produced from Myron’s Nicholl entry script.
DAVID GORDON – 1990 FELLOW
David is a co-writer on the ebooks: The Modeling Tutorial: 17 Essays on How Human Experience Works and Expanding Your World: Modeling the Structure of Human Experience. David also wrote Therapeutic Metaphors: Helping Others Through the Looking Glass and the Out There children’s book series.
SUSANNAH GRANT – 1992 FELLOW
Susannah wrote Erin Brockovich, for which she received Academy Award and WGA nominations, and 28 Days. She co-wrote The Fifth Wave, Charlotte’s Web, Pocahontas and Ever After: A Cinderella Story, and she adapted The Soloist and In Her Shoes. Susannah also wrote and directed a number of episodes of the Fox-TV series Party of Five. She wrote and made her feature directorial debut on Catch and Release. She created and served as an executive producer of the CBS-TV series A Gifted Man and wrote Confirmation for HBO, which won the WGA Award for Long Form Original in Television and for which she and the script were honored with the WGA’s 2017 Paul Selvin Award.
ROBERT GREGORY BROWNE – 1990 FELLOW
Robert has authored numerous books including Casting the Bones: An Author’s Guide to the Craft of Fiction, Speechless, Devil’s Kiss, Kiss Her Goodbye, Down Among the Dead Men, Love is Murder, Whisper in the Dark, Kill Her Again, Paradise Prophecy, and Bottom Deal. His first novel Kiss Her Goodbye was produced as The Line, a pilot for CBS-TV. Robert also wrote episodes of the animated series Spider-Man Unlimited and Diabolik.
HUMPHREY GYDE – 1998 FELLOW
Humphrey was the co-writer of Almaz Black Box.
NOVA JACOBS – 2004 FELLOW
Nova wrote and co-directed with John Sinclair the short film Schrodinger’s Cat. Nova also wrote the novel The Severy Equation, forthcoming from Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
ANTHONY JASWINSKI – 1997 FELLOW
Anthony wrote The Shallows, Satanic, Vanishing on 7th Street, and Kristi. He also wrote and directed Killing Time. He wrote the TV Movie Backwoods and authored the novel Rocketship Nation. Anthony is the creator of Lifetime’s A Midsummer’s Nightmare.
JODI ANN JOHNSON – 1993 FELLOW
Jodi co-wrote Pope Joan and was one of the initial writers of Disney’s Mulan.
KEN KRISTENSEN – 2008 FELLOW
Ken is a staff writer on the Netflix/Marvel series The Punisher and the FX series Happy! He was a producer of the TV movie Road Warriors and the TV series Futurestates and Jail. He also co-produced Death Factory, which was released in the UK in 2014. Ken co-created and writes the graphic novel series Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth, published by Image Comics, and in 2014 he took over the writing duties on the comic series Indestructible by IDW/Darby Pop Publishing. Ken authored the graphic novel Fairy Godbrothers.
EHREN KRUGER – 1996 FELLOW
Arlington Road, from Ehren’s Nicholl entry script, was released in 1999. His screenplays include Transformers: Age of Extinction, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Reindeer Games, Scream 3, The Ring and The Ring 2, based on the original Japanese novel and film. Ehren also wrote The Brothers Grimm and The Skeleton Key and co-wrote Blood and Chocolate, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and the TV movie New World Disorder. He is currently producing the feature Ophelia.
KURT KUENNE – 2002 FELLOW
Kurt directed two episodes of NBC’s The Blacklist. He co-wrote and edited the feature documentary Batkid Begins and wrote and directed the feature documentary Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father, which premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival.. He wrote, directed and edited the feature Shuffle and the shorts On the Air, Remembrances, Scrapbook, and Drive-in Movie Memories.
TIANNA LANGHAM – 2011 FELLOW
Tianna co-wrote Il Nido (The Nest) which had its North American premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Tianna and Chris Bessounian are on the writing staff the TV series The Resident.
ANDREW LANHAM – 2010 FELLOW
Andrew co-wrote The Glass Castle and The Shack with Nicholl fellow Destin Cretton.
MARK LOWENTHAL – 1989 FELLOW
Mark is the writer-director-producer of Where the Elephant Sits, his Nicholl entry script; his film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival.
T.J. LYNCH – 1999 FELLOW
T.J. is the co-writer of A Plumm Summer; the film premiered at the Heartland Film Festival and was initially written during his fellowship year. He also wrote and directed the short film Water Under the Bridge.
JOHN MACINNES – 2011 FELLOW
John wrote the Activision videogame “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” and wrote and co-directed the short Grace: Until We Go Down.
DAVID MANGO – 2007 FELLOW
David co-wrote Into the White.
ANDREW W. MARLOWE – 1992 FELLOW
Andrew wrote Air Force One, End of Days and Hollow Man, as well as several episodes of the NBC-TV series Viper. He is the creator and executive producer of the ABC-TV series Castle, the winner of consecutive People’s Choice Awards for Best TV Crime Drama.
RANDALL MCCORMICK – 1987 FELLOW
Randall co-wrote Speed 2 and received story credit on Titan A.E. He also wrote Blue Crush 2 and The Scorpion King: Rise of the Warrior, received a story credit on The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption and co-wrote Psycho Sushi.
JIM MCGLYNN – 1989 FELLOW
Traveller was produced from Jim’s Nicholl entry script.
DONNA MCNEELY – 1998 FELLOW
Donna authored the book Stuck in the Box: A Life in Local TV News.
JASON MICALLEF – 2008 FELLOW
Butter was produced from Jason’s Nicholl entry script; the film premiered at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals. Jason was an executive producer on Elvis & Nixon. He also wrote and directed the short Marcel, Marcel.
TERRI EDDA MILLER – 1992 FELLOW
Terri was a writer and executive producer of the ABC-TV series Castle. She also wrote and directed the short films Dysenchanted, My Femme Lady and Truly.
KAREN MONCRIEFF – 1998 FELLOW
Karen directed Blue Car from her Nicholl entry script. She also wrote and directed The Dead Girl and The Trials of Cate McCall. Karen directed Lifetime’s Petals on the Wind and episodes of the TV series Six Feet Under and Touching Evil. Most recently, Karen directed The Keeping Hours, which was written by Nicholl fellow Rebecca Sonnenshine and won the Audience Award at the 2017 LA Film Festival.
ANNMARIE MORAIS – 1999 FELLOW
Annmarie wrote for the Syfy TV series Killjoys and the Global-TV series Combat Hospital and was a story editor on the TV series Rogue and the Syfy TV series Haven. She wrote the TV movie Kink in My Hair and served as a consulting producer and wrote for the TV series Da Kink in My Hair. Annmarie co-wrote Hotel Babylon and wrote How She Move, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
JAMES MOTTERN – 2003 FELLOW
James directed Trucker from his Nicholl entry script; the film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. He also directed By the Gun, which was released in 2014.
ERIC NAZARIAN – 2008 FELLOW
Eric co-wrote Three Christs, adapted from the book, The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, by Milton Rokeach. He also directed and wrote the short Bolis, a segment of Do Not Forget Me Istanbul.
DAWN O’LEARY – 1993 FELLOW
Admissions, from Dawn’s Nicholl entry script Island of Brilliance, premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival.
KAREN O'TOOLE – 1998 FELLOW
Karen is author of the books The Writer and the Quail, The Really Red Rabbit, and Orphans of Katrina: Inside the World’s Biggest Animal Rescue.
LEE PATTERSON – 2008 FELLOW
Lee is a co-producer and writer on the USA TV show Colony and co-wrote the feature Curve.
DEBORAH PRYOR – 1989 FELLOW
Briar Patch, aka Plain Dirty, from Deborah’s Nicholl entry script, premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival. She also wrote the short Angelmaker.
ANNIE REID – 2003 FELLOW
Annie Reid is Lead Writer at Massive Ubisoft where she wrote video game “Tom Clancy’s The Division.” She also co-wrote the video game “Dead Rising 2” and wrote five additional video games in the “Dead Rising” franchise.
MIKE RICH – 1998 FELLOW
Finding Forrester was produced from Mike’s Nicholl entry script. He also wrote The Rookie and Radio, and he wrote and served as an executive producer on The Nativity Story and Secretariat. Mike most recently co-wrote Cars 3.
CREIGHTON ROTHENBERGER – 2002 FELLOW
Creighton co-wrote London Has Fallen, The Expendables 3, and Olympus Has Fallen with his wife Katrin Benedikt.
BRAGI SCHUT – 2003 FELLOW
Season of the Witch was produced from Bragi’s Nicholl entry script. He created and was co-executive producer of the CBS–TV series Threshold. He also wrote and directed the shorts Charlie Thistle, Scarecrow Joe and Daniel Brewster and The End of the World, and he wrote the short Velvet Road. Bragi co-wrote the comic book Deep Blue, which made its debut in 2014, and he also adapted the graphic novel Abomination from his screenplay.
NICHOLAS SHERMAN – 2007 FELLOW
Nick’s feature documentary Soundtracker premiered at Hot Docs, the Canadian International Documentary Festival. He also was the editor of the television series documentary Back in the Day as well as the feature films Mercy Street, Falling Away and Manson Family Vacation.
JOHN SINCLAIR – 2004 FELLOW
John wrote and co-directed Heathens and Thieves, which premiered in the Worldfest Houston International Film Festival and locally in the Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles. He also wrote and produced the short film Life Socks: Ask Dr. Pete, and he co-directed the short Schrodinger’s Cat with Nova Jacobs.
T.C. SMITH – 1990 FELLOW
Tom wrote the ABC-TV movie Beverly Hills Family Robinson. He co-wrote the short Scream, Teen, Scream!, which screened at the Berlin Film Festival. Tom also co-wrote and co-starred in the short Ernest and Bertram, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
REBECCA SONNENSHINE – 1999 FELLOW
Within was produced from Rebecca’s Nicholl Fellowship year script. Rebecca is a co-executive producer and writer on the Cinemax series Outcast and was a co-producer and writer on the CW-TV series The Vampire Diaries. She wrote Happily Even After and co-wrote The Haunting of Molly Hartley and American Zombie. Rebecca also produced Bunny and Reversion. Rebecca wrote The Keeping Hours, directed by Nicholl fellow Karen Moncreiff and which won the Audience Award at the 2017 LA Film Festival.
BARBARA STEPANSKY – 2013 FELLOW
Barbara wrote and directed one of the segments in 7 from Etheria. She wrote the screenplay for Deadly Signal. Barbara also wrote the Lifetime original movie Flint, which was nominated for the 2018 WGA Awards in the Long Form Original category.
WARREN TAYLOR – 1987 FELLOW
Warren adapted Bob Randall’s novel The Last Man on the List, which aired on the USA Network as Dead Husbands. He wrote the TV movie In the Eyes of a Stranger, a revised version of his Nicholl entry script In the Dark. His adaptation of Joy Fielding’s novel Tell Me No Secrets aired on ABC-TV.
ABEL VANG AND BURLEE VANG – 2011 FELLOWS
Brothers Abel and Burlee co-directed and co-wrote Bedeviled and the short film Sentient. Abel also directed Hollywood Chaos.
ROBLEY WILSON – 1995 FELLOW
Robley is the author of the novels After Paradise, The World Still Melting, Splendid Omens and The Victim’s Daughter and the short story collections Who Will Hear Your Secrets, The Book of Lost Fathers, Terrible Kisses, Dancing for Men, Living Alone and The Pleasures of Manhood. He also authored books of poems: Everything Paid For, A Pleasure Tree and Kingdoms of the Ordinary. His novella Teresa Frechette appeared in the Santa Monica Review. His stories “Terrible Kisses” and “Favorites” were adapted as short films. Robley is also editor with his wife Susan Hubbard of the short story collection 100% Pure Florida Fiction.
BRIAN WRAY – 2003 FELLOW
Brian Wray’s first children’s picture book, Unraveling Rose, was released by Schiffer Publishing.
CAMERON YOUNG – 2001 FELLOW
Cameron wrote a segment of the feature film Locker 13. He also wrote and directed the short film The Visitation.