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6 Win Academy’s Nicholl Fellowships

Screenwriting award carries $30,000 prize.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced six winners of its 24th annual Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.

Each writer or writing team will receive a $30,000 prize, the first installment of which will be distributed Nov. 12 at a gala dinner in Beverly Hills.

This year’s winners are:

Matt Ackley, Los Angeles, “Victoria Falls”
 Vineet Dewan and Angus Fletcher, Los Angeles, “Sand Dogs”
John Griffin, Los Angeles, “Dream Before Waking”
 Nidhi Anna Verghese, Los Angeles, “Jallianwala Bagh”
 Jeff Williams, Wake Forest, N.C., “Pure”

Since collaborative efforts were allowed into the competition in 2001, a team’s script was awarded a fellowship for the fifth consecutive year.

Fellows are expected to complete a feature-length screenplay during their fellowship year.

The Academy received a record 6,380 script submissions for this year’s competition. They were narrowed down by the judging committee, led by 1992 Nicholl fellow Susannah Grant, to 11 finalists.

Members of the judging committee were 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.