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Academy Nicholl 2007 Memorable Moments

Academy Nicholl 2007 Ceremony

2007 Nicholl Fellows

Seven new screenwriters have been selected as recipients of the 22nd Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Each writer or writing team will receive a prestigious $30,000 prize, the first installment of which will be distributed at a gala dinner in Beverly Hills on November 15.

Nicholl Fellows



Amy Garcia & Cecilia Contreras
Michael L. Hare
Sidney King
David Mango
Andrew Shearer & Nicholas J. Sherman

Amelia Earhart and the Bologna Rainbow Highway
The Fly Fisher
Kissing a Suicide Bomber
Holy Irresistible



The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented its Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting last night (November 15) in Beverly Hills. Pictured here are this year's fellows: (front row, seated) Andrew Shearer and Nicholas J. Sherman, writers of "Holy Irresistible"; Michael Hare, writer of "The Fly Fisher"; David Mango, writer of "Kissing a Suicide Bomber"; Cecilia Contreras and Amy Garcia writers of "Amelia Earhart and the Bologna Rainbow Highway"; and Sidney King (left), writer of "Kalona." From the Nicholl Fellowship Committee: (standing, left to right) Dana Stevens; Dan Petrie, Jr.; Buffy Shutt; Robert Shapiro; Susannah Grant, chair of the Nicholl Committee; and Phil Alden Robinson, who delivered the keynote address.

This is the third consecutive year that a script written by a team earned its writers a fellowship, and the first time two writing teams have been selected in a single year; collaborative efforts were first allowed into the competition in 2001. Garcia and Contreras are the first female team to earn a fellowship.

The winners were selected from 5,050 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 writer and 1992 Nicholl fellow Susannah Grant and composed of writers Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal, Hal Kanter, Dan Petrie, Jr. and Dana Stevens; cinematographers John Bailey and Steven Poster; executive Bill Mechanic; producers Gale Anne Hurd, David Nicksay, Robert Shapiro and Buffy Shutt; and agent Ron Mardigian.

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.


Since the program’s inception in 1985, 103 fellowships have been awarded, and a number of recipients have achieved considerable success. Ehren Kruger, a 1996 fellow, co-wrote the 2007 release “Blood and Chocolate,” based on the novel of the same name. Kruger also wrote “The Ring,” “The Ring Two,” “The Skeleton Key,” “The Brothers Grimm,” “Arlington Road” (Nicholl entry script), “Scream 3” and “Reindeer Games.” Three 1999 fellows have seen their works hit the big screen this year: TJ Lynch co-wrote “A Plumm Summer,” which premiered at the Heartland Film Festival; Annmarie Morais wrote “How She Move,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and is slated for theatrical release in January 2008; and Rebecca Sonnenshine co-wrote “American Zombie,” which premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival.

Susannah Grant wrote and directed 2007’s “Catch and Release.” She shared writing credit on “Charlotte’s Web,” released in 2006. Grant also wrote 2005’s “In Her Shoes,” and in 2000, she received an Academy Award® nomination for her “Erin Brockovich” screenplay. She also earned writing credits on “28 Days,” “Ever After” and “Pocahontas.”