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Academy Honors Aspiring Screenwriters With $35,000 Nicholl Fellowships

The awards will be handed out at the Academy on Nov. 4


Five aspiring screenwriters have been given $35,000 prizes by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the 30th annual Nicholl Fellowships, a yearly competition for writers who have not yet sold scripts.

The awards will be handed out at a presentation at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater on Wednesday, Nov. 4. That event will include a live reading of selected scenes from the winning screenplays.

The 2015 Nicholl Fellowship winners, who were selected from almost 7,500 entries:

Elizabeth Chomko, “What They Had”
Andrew Friedhof, “Great Falls”
Anthony Grieco, “Best Sellers”
Sam Regnier, “Free Agent”
Amy Tofte, “Addis Abeka”

Other finalists included Ghazi Albuliwi for “Arafat”; Jennifer Bailey and Max Lance for “Best Funeral Ever”; Ryan Covington for “The Secrets We Keep”; Lynn Esta Goldman for “Angel on the Wall”; Murat Izmirli for “Grimwood”; Suzanne Kelman and Susannah Rose Woods for “Held”; and Augustus Rose for “Far from Cool.”

Nicholl Fellowships are chosen by a committee chaired by screenwriter Robin Swicord, and also including Buffy Shutt (vice chair), Tina Gordon Chism, Naomi Foner, Eric Roth, Kirsten Smith, Dana Stevens, Tyger Williams, Eva Marie Saint, John Bailey, Marcus Hu, Stephanie Allain, Albert Berger, Julia Chasman, Julie Lynn, Peter Samuelson and Ron Mardigian.

Fellowship recipients are expected to complete a feature-length screenplay during the next year. Recent winners include Nikole Beckwith, who directed her Nicholl-winning screenplay “Stockholm, Pennsylvania,” which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival; and Kurt Kuenne, who edited and co-wrote the documentary “Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Round the World.”