Academy's Nicholl Fellowship Taps 'Hunger Games' Screenwriter for Awards Ceremony

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Fortunately, none of the Nicholl Fellowship winners will have to fight to the death to claim their prize this year.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will have screenwriter Billy Ray give the keynote address at this year's Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting ceremony.

Ray, who co-wrote the summer hit The Hunger Games, also wrote and directed Breach (2007) and Shattered Glass (2003). His next screenplay, Captain Phillips, about Captain Richard Phillips and his rescue from Somali pirates, will be released next year.

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Each year, the Academy awards up to five Nicholl fellowships of $35,000 each. This year's winners are:

Nikole Beckwith, Brooklyn, NY, Stockholm, Pennsylvania
Sean Robert Daniels, Laezonia, Gauteng, South Africa, Killers
James DiLapo, New York City, NY, Devils at Play
Allan Durand, Lafayette, LA, Willie Francis Must Die Again
Michael Werwie, Los Angeles, CA, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile

According to the Academy, 128 fellowships have been awarded since the program's inception in 1985, which includs this year's winners. Fellowship recipients are required to complete a feature-length screenplay during their fellowship year. The Academy also adds that they acquire no rights to the works of the Nicholl fellows and does not involve itself commercially in any way in their completed scripts.

The Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting ceremony will be held on Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Beverly Wilshire.

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