IFP’s Beigel Award honor writing duo

'Johnny Nice' hands Donnard, Manin $5,000

The Independent Feature Project has released the names of the winners and finalists of its fourth annual Beigel Screenplay Award competition, with the $5,000 first prize going to Rene Donnard and David Manin for their screenplay entitled “Johnny Nice.”

The Beigel Screenplay Award competition is linked to the IFP’s annual “From Script to Screen” conference, which is produced in association with the Writers Guild of America East. “From Script to Screen” is sponsored by Forensic Films and the Village Voice, with additional support from Fine Line Features.

The Beigel Screenplay Award focuses on emerging writers, and provides a forum for bringing new screenplays to the attention of the film industry. The jurors for this year’s competition were Herbert Beigel (“Camp Stories”), Peter Bogdanovich (“The Last Picture Show”), Maggie Greenwald (“The Ballad of Little Jo”), Matthew Harrison (“Kicked in the Head”) and Jim McKay (“Girls Town”).

The 1998 winner, “Johnny Nice,” is a drama about Johnny Turrini, the young, Italian nephew of a South Philadelphia crime boss who struggles to maintain his loyalty to his family and the mob while secretly pursuing his passion for cooking in a gourmet Cantonese restaurant in Chinatown.

The finalists for the award were: “Harry and the Butler” by Damian Slattery; “Irish Rose” by Adrienne Barr; “Pagan Babies” by Kathleen Harty; and “Teodor’s Fire” by Ken Pisani.