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Nicholl Fellowship Live Read

Hosted and directed by Eric Nazarian

LOS ANGELES, CA – Actors Mamoudou Athie, Thora Birch, Jon Huertas and Q’orianka Kilcher will appear in a live reading of selected scenes from 2023’s five winning scripts at the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Awards and Live Read on April 25 at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.  The program will be hosted and directed by 2008 Nicholl fellow Eric Nazarian.

Athie is an Emmy®-nominated actor who gave vocal performances in two 2023 animated feature films, “Elemental” and “The Boy and the Heron.”  His upcoming projects include Yorgos Lanthimos’s “Kinds of Kindness.”

Birch is an actor and director known for her roles in “Ghost World” and “American Beauty.”  She will appear in the AMC series “Mayfair Witches” and the feature films “Thirsty” and “The Midway Point.”  Birch recently directed “The Gabby Petito Story” for Lifetime and is set to make her feature directorial debut on “Mr. Paradise.”

Huertas is an actor, director and producer who starred as Miguel Rivas on the NBC series “This Is Us.”  He also is known for his role as Detective Javier Esposito on the ABC series “Castle,” from Nicholl fellows Andrew W. Marlowe and Terri Edda Miller.  Having directed episodic television, Huertas is soon to direct his first feature film.

Kilcher is an actor and producer who starred as Pocahontas in “The New World.”  She recently appeared in “Dog” and the Paramount Network series “Yellowstone.”  Kilcher’s upcoming films include “The Life of Chuck,” “The Unholy Trinity” and “Yesteryear,” which she also co-produced and co-wrote.

Nazarian is a director and screenwriter who won a Nicholl Fellowship in 2008 for his screenplay “Giants.”  He co-wrote “Three Christs,” directed by Jon Avnet, starring Richard Gere and Peter Dinklage, and released by IFC Films.  Nazarian currently is in post-production on “Die Like a Man,” which he wrote and directed.

Five screenwriters were selected from 5,599 entries as recipients of the 2023 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.  The fellows are (listed alphabetically by author):

Brent Delaney (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), “Brownie Mary”
At the height of the AIDS crisis, Mary Jane Rathbun illegally distributes cannabis-infused brownies to heal thousands of gay men in San Francisco and inadvertently becomes the face of the first medical marijuana movement in U.S. history.

Harris McCabe (Los Angeles, CA), “Nat Cady’s Boys”
Two young boys seek bloody vengeance on the posse that hung their outlaw father in 1882 Wyoming.

J. Miller (Burbank, CA), “Slugger”
Abandoned by her mother and coached by her unloving father, a high school baseball prodigy with a hot temper and thunderous bat must confront old-school coaches, jealous teammates, injuries, and her own sexual identity on an inspirational quest to be the first woman to play in the Majors.

c. Craig Patterson (Los Angeles, CA), “Tah”
The black sheep of the family comes back home to live with the most difficult matriarch in New Orleans.

Kayla Sun (Los Angeles, CA), “Boy, Girl, Fig”
Aden was born with a rare condition where he becomes invisible to people who love him.  He struggles when he falls in love with his childhood best friend.

The Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Awards and Live Read to celebrate the 2023 fellows at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater on April 25 is free and open to the public, but advance tickets are required.  Tickets may be obtained online here.  The Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90211.

Each individual will receive a fellowship and mentorship from an Academy member. The five fellowships are awarded with the understanding that recipients will complete feature-length screenplays during their fellowship year.

This program has awarded 181 fellowships since 1986.  For more information about the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, visit


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