Academy Taps Four Scripts for Nicholl Screenwriting Prize

Three individual writers and one writing team have been named winners of the 2014 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.  Each of the five writers will receive a $35,000 prize, the first installment of which will be distributed at an awards presentation Nov. 13, at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

For the second consecutive year, the event will also feature Academy members reading selected scenes from the winning scripts.

This year’s winners are, alphabetically:

Sam Baron, Cambridge, United Kingdom, “The Science of Love and Laughter”
Alisha Brophy, Los Angeles, CA, and Scott Miles, Austin, TX, “United States of Fuckin’ Awesome”
Melissa Iqbal, London, United Kingdom, “The Death Engine”
Sallie West, Charleston, SC, “Moonflower”

They were selected from a record 7,511 scripts submitted.  Eight individual screenwriters and two writing teams were chosen as finalists.  Their scripts were then read and judged by the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee, who ultimately chose the winners.

This year’s finalists also included:

Robert D. Cain, Los Angeles, CA, “Gagarin”
Josh Golden, Los Angeles, CA, “Road to Oz”
Ben Jacoby, New York, NY, “Earthwalkers”
Duncan Samarasinghe, Dandenong, Australia, “The Caretaker”
Ryan Trevino, Seal Beach, CA, and Robert Wolfe Dunn, Los Angeles, CA, “Arcadia”
Mike Van Waes, West Hollywood, CA, “Grave Hearts”

Fellowships are awarded with the understanding that the recipients will 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.

The Fellowships Committee was chaired by writer Robin Swicord, with marketing executive Buffy Shutt serving as vice chair. Also on the panel: writers Tina Gordon Chism, Daniel Petrie Jr., Eric Roth, Kirsten Smith and Dana Stevens; actor Eva Marie Saint; cinematographer John Bailey; executive Marcus Hu; producers Stephanie Allain, Albert Berger, Julia Chasman, Peter Samuelson and Robert W. Shapiro; and agent Ronald R. Mardigian.

Since 1986, 137 fellowships have been awarded.

This year, past fellows with produced work include Ehren Kruger who wrote “Transformers: Age of Extinction;” Creighton Rothenberger who co-wrote “The Expendables 3;” Anthony Jaswinski who wrote “Kristy,” which premieres at the upcoming London Film Festival; and Raymond De Felitta who directed “Rob the Mob,” which opened theatrically in March.

Fellow Rebecca Sonnenshine is a writer and producer on “The Vampire Diaries.”  Andrew Marlowe is the creator and executive producer and Terri Edda Miller is a consulting producer on “Castle.”

Tickets to the 2014 Academy Nicholl Fellowships Screenwriting Awards & Live Read are available at Oscars.org/Nicholl.

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