Six writers won the 24th annual Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Each writer or writing team will receive the first installment of a $30,000 prize at a gala dinner in Beverly Hills on November 12. This year’s winners are (listed alphabetically by author): Matt Ackley of Los Angeles for Victoria Falls; Vineet Dewan and Angus Fletcher of Los Angeles for Sand Dogs; John Griffin of Los Angeles for Dream Before Waking; Nidhi Anna Verghese of Los Angeles for Jallianwala Bagh; Jeff Williams of Wake Forest, N.C. for Pure. The winners were selected from a record 6,380 scripts submitted for this year’s competition 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 writer’s work. Final judging of the competition was conducted by the Nicholl Committee, chaired by writer and 1992 Nicholl fellow Susannah Grant, and composed of writers Naomi Foner, Daniel Petrie Jr, Tom Rickman and Dana Stevens; actor Eva Marie Saint; cinematographers John Bailey and Steven B. Poster; executive Bill Mechanic; producers Gale Anne Hurd, David Nicksay, Peter Samuelson and Robert W. Shapiro; marketing executive Buffy Shutt; and agent Ronald R. Mardigian. Fellowships are awarded with the understanding that the recipients will each complete a feature-length screenplay during their fellowship year. Since the program’s inception in 1985, 113 fellowships have been awarded.
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