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Academy’s Nicholl Fellowship Finalists a SoCal Group

Six of the 10 finalists hail within easy driving distance of Academy headquarters

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has chosen 10 finalists in its annual Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting — and, as might be expected, the list of dominated by aspiring scribes from Southern California.

Susannah GrantSix of the 10 finalists hail from the southern part of the state, joined by writers from New Mexico, Texas, Missouri and Michigan.

The Nicoll Fellowships, which carry $30,000 awards and will be awarded to as many as five of the finalists, are open to anyone who has not sold or optioned a screenplay for more than $5,000.

This year, 6,304 screenplays were submitted, and judged by a committee chaired by Gale Ann Hurd 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 Peter Samuelson and Robert W. Shapiro; and agent Ronald R. Mardigian.

(For the record, entries are judged blind, and the committee has no idea where each has come from.)

The finalists:

Art Corriveau, Santa Fe, New Mexico, “Nicky Flynn Finally Gets a Life”
Destin Daniel Cretton, San Diego, Calif., “Short Term 12”
Sebastian Davis, Los Angeles, Calif., “Drunk-Dialing”
Marvin Krueger, North Hollywood, Calif., “And Handled with a Chain”
Andrew Lanham, Austin, Texas, “The Jumper of Maine”
Tim Macy, Kansas City, Mo., “The Last Queen”
Micah Ranum, Beverly Hills, Calif., “A Good Hunter”
Cinthea Stahl, North Hollywood, Calif., “Identifying Marks”
Logan Steiner, Redondo Beach, Calif., “The Promise of Spring”
Sage Vanden Heuvel, Ann Arbor, Mich., “Inner Earth”

Past Nicholl Fellows include Susannah Grant ("Erin Brockovich," above as a presenter at the 2009 Nicholl ceremony), Mike Rich (the upcoming "Secretariat") and Raymond De Felitta ("City Island").

More information about the Nicoll Fellowships is available at the Academy's website.

(Photo by Greg Harbaugh/AMPAS)