Five scripts win Nicholl prizes


Recipients of the 21st Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, were announced Thursday.

The winners are Alfred Carpenter and Mark Matusof, who collaborated on the screenplay "38 Mercury"; Arthur Jolly, "The Free Republic of Bobistan"; Stephanie Lord, "Palau Rain"; Josh Schorr, "10 Day Contract"; and Scott K. Simonsen, "Tides of Summer."

Each writer or writing team will receive the first installment of the fellowship's $30,000 prize money Nov. 16 at a gala dinner in Beverly Hills.

The winners were selected from the 4,899 scripts that were submitted this year. The competition is open to any individual who has not sold or optioned a screenplay 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 writers' work.

Final judging was conducted by the Nicholl Committee, chaired by writer Susannah Grant and including writers Naomi Foner, Fay Kanin, Hal Kanter and Dan Petrie Jr., cinematographers John Bailey and Steven Poster, editor Mia Goldman, actor Eva Marie Saint, executive Bill Mechanic, producers Gale Anne Hurd, David Nicksay, Bob Shapiro and Buffy Shutt, and agent Ron Mardigian.

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

Since the program's inception in 1985, 98 fellowships have been awarded.