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Academy Names Winners of 2022 Nicholl Fellowships In Screenwriting

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Continuing a tradition that began in 1985, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Thursday named four individuals and one writing team as the final winners for the 2022 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.

Jennifer Archer from Springwater, Ontario, and Timothy Ware-Hill of Orange, NJ, took two of the spots. The other three went to winners from Southern California including Sam Boyer, J.M. Levine, and the team of Callie Bloem and Christopher Ewing. Each individual and the writing team will receive a $35,000 prize and mentorship opportunities from an AMPAS member for their fellowship year.

A live read of selected scenes from all five of the winning scripts will be performed November 9 during the formal awards ceremony at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

The Nicholl Fellowships was established in 1985 through the support of Gee Nicholl in memory of her husband Don Nicholl.

A total of 5,526 scripts from 85 countries were submitted for this year’s competition. The first and quarterfinal rounds were judged by industry professionals, including graduates of the Academy’s Diverse Reader Training Workshop, a free referral-only program established to train individuals from underrepresented communities to be story analysts. The semifinal round was judged by Academy members across the spectrum of the motion picture industry. Eleven individual screenwriters were selected as finalists, with their scripts then read and judged by the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee, who ultimately voted the winners.

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The Academy stipulates that the five fellowships are awarded with the understanding that recipients will complete feature-length screenplays during their fellowship year. Considering the fact that established screenwriters can take years to complete a script, that is no mean feat. The Academy separates itself from any professional or financial interest in the scripts, and acquires no rights to the works of Nicholl fellows.

Members of the final Nicholl selection committee include Eric Heisserer (Writers Branch), who chairs the Nicholl Fellowships Committee; 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).

The 2022 winners and their scripts are below (listed alphabetically by author):

Jennifer Archer (Springwater, Ontario, Canada), “Into the Deep Blue”
Nick Bennet is rebuilding his life after the death of his mom, a DUI, and mandatory grief counseling.  Together with Fiona, his fiery best friend from therapy, they navigate the waters of grief and their growing feelings.

Callie Bloom and Christopher Ewing (Los Angeles, CA), “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 L.A.

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.

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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”
S.E. Sinclair, “The Stratford Wife”

The Academy notes that the global competition has awarded 176 fellowships since it began in 1986.

In 2022, several past Nicholl fellows added to their feature film and television credits, per the Academy:

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  • Nikole Beckwith received a Best Screenplay nomination in the Film Independent Spirit Awards for writing “Together Together,” which she also directed.
  • Destin Daniel Cretton, who directed and co-wrote, with fellow Andrew Lanham, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” recently signed on to direct Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.”  Cretton is an executive producer on the HBO Max series “Tokyo Vice.”
  • Jacob Estes wrote and directed XYZ Films’ “He’s Watching.”
  • Susannah Grant, who was the showrunner on the Netflix miniseries “Unbelievable,” is writing and directing “Lonely Planet” for Netflix.
  • John Griffin is the creator of and a writer on the Epix series “From.”
  • Terri Edda Miller made Variety’s Women’s Impact Report 2021 for her work as co-showrunner on CBS’s “The Equalizer” with fellow Andrew W. Marlowe.
  • Annmarie Morais is co-creator, co-showrunner and a writer on the CBC and BET+ series “The Porter.”
  • Ehren Kruger co-wrote Paramount Pictures’ “Top Gun: Maverick.”
  • Geeta Malik wrote and directed “India Sweets and Spices,” adapted from her Nicholl-winning script “Dinner with Friends.”  She was selected for the Warner Bros. Television Directors’ Workshop this year.
  • Burlee Vang and Abel Vang co-wrote and co-directed “They Live in the Grey.”



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Netflix & Paramount+ To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’ ; TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome With Toon Series; ‘One Piece Film Red’ London Takeover — Global Briefs

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Netflix & Paramount+ UK To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’

Netflix and Paramount+ have struck a first of its kind-of-deal over a true crime documentary telling the story of the strip search caller in the U.S. Paramount+ has taken UK rights to Pervert: The Hunt for the Strip Search Caller and Netflix has rest of world on the doc, which it will be calling Don’t Pick Up the Phone. The deal is believed to be the first time two streamers have worked in such a way in the UK and rest of world. The doc tells the shocking story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across the U.S. – posing as a police officer investigating a theft, the caller instructed managers to strip-search the young female employees he said were suspects. For many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse.

Canada’s TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome In Animated Series ‘Griffin And Turner’

EXCLUSIVE: Ontario, Canada’s TVOkids and Big Jump Entertainment are working on 2D-animated series Griffin and Turner. Based on real Canadian brothers who a significant online following, the show follows the supportive pair as they, their friends and family undertake personal challenges but focus on the journey rather than winning. Turner has Down syndrome, and TVOKids executive producer Kirsten Hurd noted the series has been developed in consultation with the Down syndrome community. Producer Big Jump is behind shows such as Shutterbug and Big Words, Small Stories.

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London Gets ‘One Piece Film Red’ Takeover After Record Haul

To celebrate the record-breaking haul of One Piece Film Red in the UK, the Straw Hat Pirates are set for a takeover of iconic London locations on November 26. Via local distributor Anime Limited and Toei Animation, the cast and memorable scenes from the series will be projected onto the County Hall of London, opposite the London Eye as well as other key locations. One Piece Film: Red has grossed over £800,000 in the UK and Ireland since it released earlier this month, making it the biggest of the long-running franchise. A phenomenon in Japan, One Piece Film Red has grossed $162M to date worldwide 



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‘All Quiet On The Western Front’, ‘Belfast’ Top 2022 EFA Arts & Crafts Awards

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Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast top the European Film Academy’s Excellence Awards honoring achievement in the arts and crafts categories, the winners of which were announced on Wednesday.

Belfast won best European Production Design for Jim Clay, whose credits include Children Of Men, for which he won a Bafta in 2006, and Murder On The Orient Express.

The drama, set against the backdrop of the beginnings of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1969, also won best European Costume Design for Charlotte Walter (Blithe Spirit, Misbehaviour)

Netflix-backed German WWI drama All Quiet On The Western Front won best European Make-up & Hair for Heike Merker, and Best European Special Effects for Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller and Markus Frank.

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 In other categories, best European Cinematography was won by Kate McCullough for her work on Colm Bairéad’s Irish-language drama The Quiet Girl.

Best European Editing went to Özcan Vardar and Eytan İpeker for Turkish director Emin Alper’s drama Burning Days.

Polish composer Paweł Mykietyn won best European Original Score went for Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO.

Best European Sound went to Simone Paolo Olivero, Paolo Benvenuti, Benni Atria, Marco Saitta, Ansgar Frerich & Florian Holzner for Michelangelo Frammartino’s cave exploration drama The Hole.

The winners, which are decided by a special expert jury, will receive their awards at the European Film Awards ceremony on 10 December in Reykjavík.

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Jennifer Lopez’s Social Media Mysteriously Goes Dark

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EXCLUSIVE: The actress, producer and top-selling performing artist’s social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter have suddenly gone dark in their featured/cover images.

Reps for Jennifer Lopez were unavailable for comment, but we hear from others that The Hustlers and Marry Me actress is on the verge of announcing a new project.

Here’s a look at her Instagram tonight:

While Lopez’s Instagram had erased all posts, a trail of her previous postings remained on Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter. Across all four social media portals, Lopez counts close to 347M followers, the majority of that coming from her Instagram.

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Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions in June 2021 signed a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix spanning feature films, TV series and unscripted content, with an emphasis on projects that support diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers. Lopez co-runs Nuyorican Productions with her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Lopez scored her best opening for a live-action movie at the domestic box office with STX’s 2019 stripper caper Hustlers which debuted to $33.1 million, and grossed $105M stateside, $157.6M worldwide.  As a recording artist, Lopez has sold over 70 million albums, with J.Lo became her bestselling album with 3.8M copies sold in the U.S. and 12M global. Her Netflix thriller The Mother from director Niki Caro is set to debut in May. Her romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding with Josh Duhamel will hit Prime Video on Jan. 27.

On Facebook, one of her followers, Steffany Merino wrote, “What’s happened? Hope you and your wonderful family are ok. I’ll pray for your health and safety.”

Again, we hear something special is in the works in the next few days.



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