The five winners of the 2020 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition were announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Wednesday. Each fellow will receive $35,000 and be highlighted at the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Awards and virtual table read, scheduled to take place on Dec. 3. At the awards, an ensemble of actors will read selected scenes from the winning scripts.
The 2020 winners are:
James Acker, “SadBoi”
Beth Curry, “Lemon”
Vanar Jaddou, “Goodbye, Iraq”
Kate Marks, “The Cow of Queens”
Jane Therese, “Sins of My Father”
There have been 166 fellowships awarded since 1986. Past fellows include Michael Werwie (screenwriter of Netflix’s “Lost Girls”), Alfred Botello (co-writing the upcoming “Space Jam: A New Legacy”), Matt Harris (screenwriter for Netflix’s “The Starling,” due out next year) and Melissa Iqbal (currently adapting “The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August”).
A total of 7,831 scripts were submitted for this year’s competition. The Academy selected 10 individual screenwriters as finalists before being judged by the fellowships committee.
The other finalists are:
Kris A. Holmes, “The Seeds of Truth”
Fred Martenson, “Demons in America”
Robin Rose Singer, “The Lions of Mesopotamia”
David Harrison Turner, “Safe Haven”
Andrew Wankier, “Three Heavens”
The Academy Nicholl Fellowships committee is chaired by Academy short films and feature animation governor Jennifer Yuh Nelson, who was nominated in 2011 for “Kung Fu Panda 2” in the animated feature category. The other committee members are John Bailey and Steven Poster (cinematographers branch); William Mechanic (executives branch); James Plannette and Stephen Ujlaki (members-at-large); Julie Lynn, Peter Samuelson and Robert W. Shapiro (producers branch); Bobbi Banks (sound branch); and Eric Heisserer, Larry Karaszewski, Dan Petrie Jr., Misan Sagay, Dana Stevens and Tyger Williams (writers branch).
The Academy Awards are scheduled to take place on April 25 before the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, currently scheduled for April 30.