Formato takes first place for 'Help'

UCLA’s Samuel Goldwyn writing award winners were announced Monday, with Austin Formato taking first place for his screenplay “Self Help.”

Formato’s award includes a $15,000 prize. Second place (and $7,500) went to Robyn Paris for “Odd Man Out,” while third place was a tie between J.J. Nelson for “Out of Road” and Richard Rapoza for “The Hole in the Brain of Phineas Gage.” Suzie Bohannon received an honorable mention for “Spin Cycle.”

The script-writing contest, the results of which were announced by Samuel Goldwyn Jr. at UCLA, was judged by Sundance fest director Geoff Gilmore, Fox Atomic prexy of production Debbie Liebling and actress-producer Marlee Matlin.

Founded 53 years ago to encourage young writers, the competition has recognized filmmakers including Francis Ford Coppola, Colin Higgins and Allison Anders.

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