Samuel Goldwyn Awards Finalists Announced

Five Projects from Six Bruins are represented in the competition

The five finalist scripts of the 59th annual Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards were announced on Wednesday, Sept. 17, and for the sixth time in the past 15 years, all five are from UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Previously, UCLA TFT students swept the awards nominations in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2008.

All of the nominees are either graduate students or recent graduates of the screenwriting program in the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media. They include:

Kevin Human (MFA, ’14), “Hell is Other Cowboys”
2nd year grad student Han-Yee Ling, “Spaghetti Bridges”
Dan Patrick (MFA, ’14), “Village of Sweet Dreams”
Teresa Sullivan (MFA, ’14) and A.J. Marchisello (MFA, ’14), “Doubleblind”
2nd year grad student Gaia Violo, “Absentia”

UCLA TFT Dean Teri Schwartz, said, “The Samuel Goldwyn Foundation has always been an ardent supporter of great screenwriters, many of whom have come from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. We are so appreciative of the Goldwyn family's generosity and vision, and delighted that all five finalists of the writing awards this year are scholars from UCLA TFT.  Our students strive to tell the most compelling and thought-provoking stories that will enlighten, engage and inspire change for a better world.”

At last year’s awards ceremony, two other UCLA students and students from UC Riverside and UC Irvine were also represented but it was a Bruin, grad student Rocco Pucilllo, who took the first place prize in the competition, earning a $15,000 prize for his animation script “Inspector Sun and the Curse of the Black Widow,” chosen from a pool of five finalists. Pucillo, who graduated in June 2014, has since sold a script to Warner Bros., “Imaginary Foe,” which will be produced by KatzSmith Productions.

Second place went to Jared Robbins (UC Riverside) for his script “Farang.” Jeffrey Baker (UCLA, “Dr. Acker’s English Elixir”), Sean Harrigan (UC Irvine, “Dust Red”), and Turner Hay (UCLA, “Broken Grey”) tied for third place.

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 are director/writer/producer and UCLA TFT alum Allison Anders, who is also a previous Goldwyn Award winner; Ben Feingold, producer and former Sony Pictures president of Worldwide Home Entertainment, Digital Distribution and Product Acquisitions; and Jeremy Kay, U.S. editor of Screen International.

The Samuel Goldwyn Awards will take place on Mon., Nov. 3. The $15,000 first prize, $7,500 second prize, $4,000 third prize, $2,000 and $1,000 honorable mentions will be awarded at the UCLA Faculty Center.

Posted: September 17, 2014