The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science announced on Thursday that four individuals and one writing team have been selected as winners of the 2022 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.
The prize includes $35,000 for each individual and writing team, as well as mentorship from an Academy member throughout their fellowship year.
On Nov. 9 at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, an ensemble of actors will read selected scenes from the winning scripts.
The 2022 winners are:
Jennifer Archer (Springwater, Ontario, Canada), “Into the Deep Blue”
Nick Bennett is rebuilding his life after the death of his mom, a DUI, and mandatory grief counseling. Together with Fiona, his fiery best friend from him from therapy, they navigate the waters of grief and their growing feelings.
Callie Bloem and Christopher Ewing (Los Angeles), “Tape 22”
A music journalist reeling from the death of his wife discovers a mixtape that brings her back to life for four minutes and 23 seconds a day, exactly the length of her favorite song. Now he’s determined to bring her back for good even if he might accidentally open a black hole in the middle of LA
Sam Boyer (Pasadena, CA), “Ojek”
In Jakarta, a loyal motorcycle taxi driver struggles to build a better life through a deadly new business that tests his transporting talents – and inner humanity. Think “Drive” in Indonesia.
J.M. Levine (La Crescenta, CA), “Operation Gemini”
After being separated from her newborn twins during the invasion of Kyiv, a mother recruits two civilians to drive her back into war-torn Ukraine to rescue her children before medical supplies run out and the Russian army takes over. Inspired by a true story.
Timothy Ware-Hill (Orange, NJ), “Tyrone and the Looking Glass”
In Birmingham, AL, 1963, during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, a Negro boy goes on a quest to find the four magical treasures he needs to wield the Looking Glass – the only weapon powerful enough to defeat a three-headed dragon that seeks to destroy him and his loved ones.
The 2022 finalists are (listed alphabetically by author):
Michael Boyle, “8 Habits of Highly Murderous People”
Darcy P. Brislin, “We Sing”
Jake Disch, “The Supremes”
Julian Hooper, “Madame”
SE Sinclair, “The Stratford Wife”
Recipients are expected to complete feature-length screenplays during their fellowship year. The Academy “does not involve itself commercially in any way” with the completed scripts.
The 2022 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Awards and Live Read at the Academy Museum on November 9 is free and open to the public, but advance tickets are required.
A total of 5,526 scripts, from 85 countries, were submitted for this year’s competition. The global competition has awarded 176 fellowships since it began in 1986. It was established in 1985 through the support of Gee Nicholl in memory of her husband, Emmy-nominated screenwriter. Don Nicholl.
The Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee is chaired by Eric Heisserer (Writers Branch). The members of the committee are Susan Shopmaker (Casting Directors Branch); John Bailey and Steven Poster (Cinematographers Branch); James Plannette and Stephen Ujlaki (Members-at-Large); Jason Michael Berman, Julia Chasman and Peter Samuelson (Producers Branch); Bobbi Banks (Sound Branch); and Larry Karaszewski, Adele Lim, Zak Penn, Dan Petrie Jr., Katie Silberman and Dana Stevens (Writers Branch).