Five new writers were selected to receive the 2002 Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Each received the first installment of the accompanying $30,000 prize at a dinner in Beverly Hills on November 14, 2002 at which Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Paul Attanasio ("Quiz Show," "Donnie Brasco") delivered the keynote address.
Nicholl Fellows Script
John Ciarlo Bend in the River
Matt Harris Moon of Popping Trees
Pamela Kay Nude and Naked
Kurt Kuenne Mason Mule
Creighton Rothenberger The Chosin
The winners were selected from ten finalists, which had been winnowed from a record 6,044 scripts submitted this year. The competition is open to any individual who has not sold or optioned a screenplay or teleplay for more than $5,000 or received a fellowship or prize that includes a "first look" clause, an option, or any other quid pro quo involving the writer's work.
Final judging was conducted by the Nicholl Committee, chaired by producer Gale Anne Hurd and comprised of writers John Gay, Susannah Grant, Fay Kanin, Hal Kanter, Dan Petrie Jr., Tom Rickman and Dan Taradash, cinematographer John Bailey, editor Mia Goldman, actor Eva Marie Saint, producers David Nicksay and Buffy Shutt, and agent Ronald Mardigian.
The 2002 recipients of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, pictured with the Nicholl committee members who presented the winners with their certificates and prize money checks. Standing (left to right) are committee members Susannah Grant, Fay Kanin, John Bailey, Ron Mardigian and Dan Petrie Jr. Seated (left to right) are Fellows Kurt Kuenne, Creighton Rothenberger, John Ciarlo, Pamela Kay and Matt Harris.
Fellowships are awarded with the understanding that the recipients will each complete a feature-length screenplay during the 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.
Since the program's inception in 1985, a total of 78 fellowships have been presented and there are numerous success stories among the fellows. Most recently, Mike Rich, a 1998 Fellow, wrote "The Rookie," which was released earlier this year. His Nicholl entry script, "Finding Forrester," was released in 2000. Fellow Karen Moncrieff (1998) directed her Nicholl script, "Blue Car," and 1997 Fellow Anthony Jaswinski wrote and directed "Killing Time," both films premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Ehren Kruger (1996) wrote the just released "The Ring;" his other credits include "Reindeer Games" and "Arlington Road." Allison Anders (1986 Fellow) has a long list of writing and directing credits including last year's "Things behind the Sun," and Gabrielle Burton (2000 Fellow) wrote "Manna from Heaven," which premiered at the 2001 South By Southwest Film Festival. Grant, a 1992 Fellow who joined the Nicholl committee last year, received an Academy Award nomination in 2000 for her "Erin Brockovich" screenplay. Also in 2000, Raymond De Felitta (1991) directed his fellowship-year script, "Two Family House," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was released later that year; Andrew W. Marlowe (1992) wrote "Hollow Man;" and Randall McCormick (1987) received co-story credit on "Titan A.E."