New screenwriters honored with Nicholl awards

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Five screenwriters new to Hollywood have already earned the film academy's stamp of approval.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented its annual Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting on Thursday at its Beverly Hills, California, headquarters. The winning screenplays were chosen from more than 7,500 submissions.

Four screenplays were selected: "The Science of Love and Laughter" by Sam Baron of Cambridge, U.K.; "United States of (Expletive) Awesome" by Alisha Brophy of Los Angeles and Scott Miles of Austin, Texas; "The Death Engine" by Melissa Iqbal of London; and "Moonflower" by Sallie West of Charleston, South Carolina.

Winners receive $35,000 and guidance from academy members as they complete a feature-length screenplay during their fellowship year.

The films "Erin Brockovich," ''Finding Forrester" and "Transformers: Age of Extinction" were written by past Nicholl fellows.

Academy members such as actress Eva Marie Saint and "Selma" director Ava DuVernay presented this year's awards. Select scenes from the winning screenplays were also read live by actors, including Ansel Elgort from "The Fault in Our Stars."