Write On!

UCLA TFT grad student Eric Mallory Morgan takes first place at the Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards

UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television screenwriting graduate student Eric Mallory Morgan was named the first-place winner at the 61st Annual Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards on Tuesday, Nov. 1, earning the $15,000 first-place prize for Tonya, one of five finalist scripts in contention. Morgan was one of four finalists from UCLA TFT.

The Samuel Goldwyn Foundation's Rorri Feinstein announced the winners during the evening ceremony at the UCLA Faculty Center.

In a tie, the $7,500 second-place prize went to a pair of winning screenwriters: UCLA TFT screenwriting graduate student Nicholas Adams for his script Falling, and UCSD's Bennett Fisher for his script Damascus. Screenwriting graduate student Dominic Abeyta received the third-place prize ($4,000) for his script 100 Degrees and production/directing graduate student Meedo Taha received the honorable mention ($2,000) for Other People.

At last year's awards ceremony, screenwriting graduate student Emily Bensinger took the first place prize for her script Harridans.

The awards were started by Samuel Goldwyn, Sr. in 1955 at UCLA to encourage young film, stage and television writers. The awards are open to all students at any University of California campus and screenplays, teleplays and stage plays are accepted. Previous Goldwyn Awards winners include filmmakers Francis Ford Coppola, screenwriters Pamela Gray, Colin Higgins and Eric Roth, and novelist Jonathan Kellerman, among others.

The judges for this year's Awards were writer-director James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy); AMC and Sundance TV president of original programming and development Joel Stillerman; and writer-director-actor-producer Danny Strong (Empire, Game Change).

Former winners of the Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards have written more than 300 films, television series and made-for-TV movies. These productions have won a total of 27 Academy Awards with 101 nominations, 35 Golden Globe Awards with 189 nominations, and 87 Emmys with 488 nominations. Many previous winners are also popular authors who, collectively, have published more than 60 books including many New York Times bestsellers. 


 Posted: November 2, 2016