The 58th Annual Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards were handed out Monday night on the UCLA campus in Westwood. I was honored to be asked to be one of this year’s three judges, along with TriStar Productions Chairman (and former Fox co-Chair) Tom Rothman, and 2007 Goldwyn winner Jennifer O’Kieffe. Open to all University Of California students, the contest offers a cash first prize of $15,000. This year it went to an extremely clever film-noirish animation screenplay revolving around spiders, Inspector Sun And The Curse Of The Black Widow, by UCLA TFT student Rocco Pucillo. It’s so good, it could probably go into production tomorrow. UC Riverside’s Jared Robbins took second place and $7500 for Farang. There was a three-way tie for the $4000 third place prize among UCLA TFT’s Jeffrey Baker (Dr. Acker’s English Elixir) and Turner Hay (Broken Grey), and UC Irvine’s Sean Harrigan (Dust Red).
Producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr, President of The Samuel Goldwyn Foundation which established the prestigious screenwriting competition in 1955, was in attendance. So was his son, (producer and former Paramount exec) John Goldwyn, who presided over the ceremony with UCLA School of Theatre, Film And Television Dean Teri Schwartz. Incidentally, the father and son Goldwyns have the upcoming remake, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, set for Christmas release from Fox.
Past winners have included Francis Ford Coppola, Allison Anders, Pamela Gray, Colin Higgins, Eric Roth, Carroll Ballard and novelist Jonathan Kellerman while past judges have included such notables … Read More »
Mike & Molly star Melissa McCarthy and Annie Mumolo have sold to Paramount Pictures an untitled laffer pitch that will be written as a star vehicle for McCarthy. McCarthy and Mumolo star in the Judd Apatow-produced Bridesmaids, which Mumolo wrote with Kristen Wiig. Lorne Michaels and John Goldwyn produce. The comedy was hatched by McCarthy’s husband, Ben Falcone (also in Bridesmaids). The premise: When your husband is ill and his doctors are out of ideas, piling in the minivan with your pals to steal the Stanley Cup is one way to go. Falcone, Mumalo, and McCarthy all came from the Groundlings comedy troupe. McCarthy is repped by CAA and The Schiff Co. Mumolo is repped by UTA and Thruline Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: It’s become tradition for members of the Saturday Night Live cast to get their shots in features put together by the show’s longtime executive producer Lorne Michaels. The latest? Kenan Thompson, who’s at the center of a deal for Party Starters, an original high-concept comedy set up at Paramount Pictures about that sort of entertainer guy who gets the old people up to dance at weddings and keeps the party rolling. Pic will be scripted by SNL writer Bryan Tucker. Thompson is a six-season cast member best known for his Bill Cosby impersonation and his “What’s Up With That?” and “Scared Straight” sketches. Michaels and John Goldwyn will produce. It’s Thompson’s first go-around in an SNL-generated film. He has been accumulating credits since he was a child actor on the Nickelodeon shows Kenan & Kel and All That, the latter of which spawned the feature Good Burger. Thompson is repped by UTA and manager Michael Goldman, Tucker by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.