Austin Formato takes first at Goldwyn awards

Screenplay 'Self Help' takes top honors

Austin Formato of UCLA took first place in the 53rd annual Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards for his screenplay "Self Help."

Winners were announced Monday by Samuel Goldwyn Jr. during a ceremony at UCLA. The awards were founded in 1955 to encourage young writers. First place includes a $15,000 prize.

The other winners, also students at UCLA, were Robyn Paris for "Odd Man Out" ($7,500); JJ Nelson for "Out of Road" and Richard Rapoza for "The Hole in the Brain of Phineas Gage" ($4,000 apiece); and Suzie Bohannon for "Spin Cycle" ($1,000).

Judges were Geoff Gilmore of the Sundance Film Festival, Debbie Liebling of Fox Atomic and actress-producer Marlee Matlin.