With the much-anticipated Academy Awards ceremony less than a week away, we profile the official Oscar screenwriting competition for new writing talent – the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting program. In addition to prize money, the winners also get the chance to participate in Academy events and seminars leading up to the coveted Oscars ceremony being held this Sunday in Hollywood. The director of the Academy Nicholl Fellowships, Greg Beal, discusses the ins and outs of the program and reveals some of the scripts that ended up being successful features during this interview for The Insiders, hosted by Sebastian Twardosz.
Before joining Nicholl in 1989, Greg Beal coordinated a variety of programs at the AFI and taught film and screenwriting at Syracuse University. Beal has written several screenplays on assignment, has written and directed several short films, and was the recipient of a WGA East screenwriting fellowship. He attended film graduate school at UT Austin.
Each year, the Nicholl competition awards up to five $35,000 fellowships to amateur screenwriters. Participants submit a feature length screenplay and entry fee via an online application during the open submission period. Fellowship winners are invited to participate in awards week ceremonies and seminars and expected to complete at least one original feature film screenplay during the Fellowship year.