Gardos grabs Hartley-Merrill

Dederko, Nicolaev also receive Karlovy Vary scribe nods

KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic — This year’s Hartley-Merrill Screenwriting prizes were handed out Thursday at the Karlovy Vary film fest.

Steven Gaydos, Daily Variety’s managing editor of special reports, accepted the first-place award for Eva Gardos of Hungary, for her screenplay “American Rhapsody.” Warsaw Film Fest director Stefan Laudyn accepted for second-place finisher Henry Dederko of Poland, for “Fairytale Land.” Third-place winner Petr Nikolaev of the Czech Republic received his prize for “Cowboys and Indians.”

The winners took home cash prizes of $1,500, $1,000 and $500.

Gardos also receives a trip to the U.S. and a fellowship to the Sundance Institute Filmmaker’s Lab. The award was established by Ted Hartley and Dina Merrill in 1989 to encourage emerging screenwriters from Eastern Europe.

Debbie Vandermeulen, executive director, distributed the prizes. She was at the fest to scout jury coordinators for countries not yet participating in the competition. Vandermeulen is also looking to line up national sponsors of the competition from each country.

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