UCLA Student Wins Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award for 'Paint It Black'

Meg Gifford's "Paint It Black" snags top honors, while students from UCLA, UCSB also won prizes.

Meg Gifford of UCLA has won the first place prize in the Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards for her screenplay Paint It Black.

Winners of the annual awards, which are earmarked for University of California students, were announced Monday by Samuel Goldwyn Jr., president of the Samuel Goldwyn Foundation.

The other winners are: Second place: Branden Cahn, UCSB, for Burnt Bridges of Cartwright; third place, Owen Donovan Yarde, UCLA, Hit and Run; 1st honorable mention, Matt Wheeler, UCLA, How to Leave Your Lover; and 2nd honorable mention, Ryan Finnerty, UCLA, Short Stories.

The first place award includes a $15,000 cash prize. The other awards are worth $7,500 for second place, $4,000 for third place, and $2,000 and $1,000 for honorable 

Judges for the competition were CAA agent Rich Green, former Hollywood Reporter editor Elizabeth Guider, New Regency Prods. chairman Hutch Parkerg.

“We had a record number of entries this year and the judges and I were very impressed with the talent, skill and craft of the writers,” Goldwyn said. 

Previous Goldwyn winners include Allison Anders, Francis Ford Coppola, Pamela Gray, Colin Higgins, Eric Roth and novelist Jonathan Kellerman.