Four individual writers and one writing team have been selected as winners of the 2013 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition. Each winner will receive a $35,000 prize, the first installment of which will be distributed at an awards presentation on Thursday, November 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. For the first time, the event will also feature a live read of selected scenes from the fellows’ winning scripts.
This year’s winners are (listed alphabetically by author):
Frank DeJohn & David Alton Hedges, Santa Ynez, CA, “Legion” Patty Jones, Vancouver, BC, Canada, “Joe Banks”
Alan Roth, Suffern, NY, “Jersey City Story”
Stephanie Shannon, Los Angeles, CA, “Queen of Hearts” Barbara Stepansky, Burbank, CA, “Sugar in My Veins”
The winners were selected from a record 7,251 scripts submitted for this year’s competition.
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.
Directed by Rodrigo Garcia (“Albert Nobbs,” “Mother and Child,” “Nine Lives”) and produced by Julie Lynn ( “Albert Nobbs,” “Mother and Child,” “The Jane Austen Book Club”), the awards presentation and live read, which is supported by Lexus, will include members from the Academy’s Actors Branch performing scenes from the five winning scripts. Casting for the live read will be announced. Tickets to the event are available to the public at www.oscars.org.
Lexus will engineer a new and innovative extension of the fellowship for the first time. One of the top five winners will be presented with a grant which will allow them to write and produce a short film that will appear on certain Lexus creative platforms such as LStudio.com.
The Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee, chaired by producer Gale Anne Hurd, is composed of writers Naomi Foner, Daniel Petrie Jr., Tom Rickman, Eric Roth, Dana Stevens and Robin Swicord; actor Eva Marie Saint; cinematographer John Bailey; costume designer Vicki Sanchez; producers Peter Samuelson and Robert W. Shapiro; marketing executive Buffy Shutt; and agent Ronald R. Mardigian.
Since 1986, 133 fellowships have been awarded, including one to 2010 winner Destin Daniel Cretton who recently wrote and directed “Short Term 12” from his Nicholl Fellowship-winning script. Creighton Rothenberger co-wrote “Olympus Has Fallen,” which opened in theaters this past March. Rebecca Sonnenshine is a writer and executive story editor on “The Vampire Diaries.” Andrew Marlowe is a writer and executive producer, and Terri Edda Miller is a writer and consulting producer on “Castle.”