Academy Reveals Nicholl Fellowship Winners

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Robin Swicord

A record 7,511 scripts were submitted to the annual screenwriting competition

Three individual writers and one writing team have been selected as winners of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 2014 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.

This year’s winners, listed alphabetically by author, are: Sam Baron, Cambridge, United Kingdom, The Science of Love and Laughter;  Alisha Brophy, Los Angeles, Ca., and Scott Miles, Austin, Tx., United States of Fuckin’ Awesome; Melissa Iqbal, London, U.K., The Death Engine; and Sallie West, Charleston, S.C., Moonflower.

Each individual winner and the combined writing team will receive a $35,000 prize, the first installment of which will be distributed at an awards presentation on Nov. 13 at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. For the second consecutive year, the event will also feature a live read of selected scenes from the fellows’ winning scripts by members of the Academy.

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The winners were selected from a record 7,511 scripts submitted for this year’s competition. Eight individual screenwriters and two writing teams were chosen as finalists. Their scripts were then read and judged by the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee, who ultimately chose the winners.

This year’s finalists were: Baron; Brophy and Miles; Robert D. Cain, Los Angeles, Gagarin; Josh Golden, Los Angeles, Road to Oz; Iqbal; Ben Jacoby, New York, N.Y., Earthwalkers; Duncan Samarasinghe, Dandenong, Australia, The Caretaker; Ryan Trevino, Seal Beach, Ca., and Robert Wolfe Dunn, L.A., Arcadia; Mike Van Waes, West Hollywood, Ca., Grave Hearts; and West.

Fellowships are awarded with the understanding that the recipients will each complete a feature-length screenplay during their fellowship year. The Academy acquires no rights to the works of Nicholl fellows and does not involve itself commercially in any way with their completed scripts.

The Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee, chaired by writer Robin Swicord, with marketing executive Buffy Shutt serving as vice chair, is comprised of writers Tina Gordon Chism, Daniel Petrie Jr., Eric Roth, Kirsten Smith and Dana Stevens; actor Eva Marie Saint; cinematographer John Bailey; executive Marcus Hu; producers Stephanie Allain, Albert Berger, Julia Chasman, Peter Samuelson and Robert W. Shapiro; and agent Ronald R. Mardigian.