Five writers have been selected as winners of the 2012 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition. Each writer will receive a $35,000 prize, the first installment of which will be distributed at a gala dinner in Beverly Hills on November 8.
This year's winners are (listed alphabetically by author):
Nikole Beckwith, Brooklyn, NY, "Stockholm, Pennsylvania"
Sean Robert Daniels, Laezonia, Gauteng, South Africa, "Killers"
James DiLapo, New York, NY, "Devils at Play"
Allan Durand, Lafayette, LA, "Willie Francis Must Die Again"
Michael Werwie, Los Angeles, CA, "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile"
The winners were selected from a record 7,197 scripts submitted for this year's competition. This is the first time entries from Louisiana and South Africa have been selected as winners.
Fellowships are awarded with the understanding that the recipients will each complete a feature-length screenplay during their 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.
The Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee is chaired by producer Gale Anne Hurd and includes writers Naomi Foner, Daniel Petrie, Jr., Tom Rickman and Dana Stevens; actor Eva Marie Saint; cinematographers John Bailey and Steven B. Poster; costume designer Vicki Sanchez; executive Bill Mechanic; producers Peter Samuelson and Robert W. Shapiro; marketing executive Buffy Shutt; and agent Ronald R. Mardigian.
Since the program's inception in 1985, 123 fellowships have been awarded. Among the recent achievements by Nicholl fellows: Jacob Aaron Estes wrote and directed "The Details," premiering theatrically on November 2; Jeffrey Eugenides' third novel, The Marriage Plot, was a 2012 National Book Critics Circle award nominee; Andrew Marlowe created and executive produces the ABC series "Castle"; and Rebecca Sonnenshine serves as executive story editor on the WB series "The Vampire Diaries."