Five writers have been selected as winners of the 2012 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition. Each writer received a $35,000 prize, the first installment of which was distributed at a gala dinner in Beverly Hills on Nov. 8.
This year’s winners were (listed alphabetically by author):
Nikole Beckwith, Brooklyn, N.Y., Stockholm, Pennsylvania
Sean Robert Daniels, Laezonia, Gauteng, South Africa, Killers
James DiLapo, New York, N.Y., Devils at Play
Allan Durand, Lafayette, La., Willie Francis Must Die Again
Michael Werwie, Los Angeles, Calif., Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile
The winners for this year’s competition were selected from an all-time high of 7,197 scripts submitted. This is the first time entries from Louisiana and South Africa have been selected as winners.
Fellowships are awarded with the understanding that the recipients will each complete a feature-length screenplay during their fellowship year. The Academy acquires no rights to the works of Nicholl fellows and does not involve itself commercially in any way with their completed scripts.
The Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee is chaired by producer Gale Anne Hurd and includes writers Naomi Foner, Daniel Petrie, Jr., Tom Rickman and Dana Stevens; actor Eva Marie Saint; cinematographers John Bailey and Steven B. Poster; costume designer Vicki Sanchez; executive Bill Mechanic; producers Peter Samuelson and Robert W. Shapiro; marketing executive Buffy Shutt, and agent Ronald R. Mardigian.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, 123 fellowships have been awarded. Among the recent achievements by Nicholl fellows, Jacob Aaron Estes wrote and directed The Details, which premiered theatrically on Nov. 2. Andrew Marlowe created and executive produces the ABC series Castle; and Rebecca Sonnenshine serves as executive story editor on the CW series, The Vampire Diaries.