Gardos wins Hartley-Merrill

'American Rhapsody' sends editor to Sundance Lab

Film editor Eva Gardos is the grand prize winner of the Hartley-Merrill International Screenwriting Award for her screenplay “American Rhapsody,” RKO Pictures chairman Ted Hartley and his wife, actress and RKO Pictures vice chairman Dina Merrill, announced.

Gardos will receive the award on June 26 at a Writers Guild of America luncheon and will then attend the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab as a Hartley-Merrill fellow.

Set during the Cold War of the 1950s, “American Rhapsody” is the story of a young Hungarian girl who, separated from her parents, experiences culture shock when she comes to live in the United States. The screenplay is based on the writer’s life. An award-winning film editor, Gardos has worked on such projects as Anjelica Huston’s “Bastard Out of Carolina,” Martha Coolidge’s “Valley Girl” and Peter Bogdanovich’s “Mask.”

The Hartley-Merrill award, which seeks to encourage writers from emerging economies, recently went to Irakly Kvirikadze, nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign film, “A Chef in Love.”

“Hartley-Merrill recipients have gone on to great success,” Hartley said, “and I look forward to seeing how Eva’s career evolves.”