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Over 6,000 vie for Nicholls

Winners required to complete scripts during fellowship year

The Motion Picture Academy has announced a record 6,045 entries for its Don and Gee Nicholls Fellowships in Screenwriting.

Topping last year’s entries — by one — the competish boasts entries from 49 U.S. states and 38 countries, with first-time scribes from Bolivia, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Malta, Romania and Zimbabwe trying their pens.

The awards, five grants of $30,000, will be doled out in October, with a ceremony skedded for November. The honor requires the winners to complete their feature-length screenplays during the fellowship year.

The 2002 fellows were John Ciarlo (“Bend in the River”), Matt Harris (“Moon of Popping Trees”), Pamela Kay (“Nude and Naked”), Kurt Kuenne (“Mason Mule”) and Creighton Rothenberger (“The Chosin”).

Past recipients of note include Oscar winner Susannah Grant (“Erin Brokovich”), Allison Anders (“Tears Behind the Sun”), Ehren Kruger (“The Ring”), Andrew Marlowe (“Hollow Man”), Randall McCormick (“Titan A.E.”), Mike Rich (“The Rookie”) and Karen Moncrieff (“Blue Car”).

The eligible scribes (those that have not optioned or sold screen or teleplay for more than $5,000 or received a fellowship or prize that includes a “first look” clause, an option or any other quid pro quo involving the writer’s work) will have to win out in three rounds to become fellows. Industry people — no Acad members included — comprise the first round jury; the semifinal jury is selected from among Acad members; and the final round jury is a selected Nicholl fellowship committee headed by Gale Anne Hurd and Fay Kanin.

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