Ken Jeong, Lily Collins Honor Nicholl Fellowship Winners

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored five up-and-coming screenwriters Thursday as part of its annual Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting program.

On hand to present the awards was program director Jennifer Yuh Nelson (“Kung Fu Panda 2”) and fellowship chair Robin Swicord (“Memoirs of a Geisha”). Swicord, who began working with the fellowship more than ten years ago as a reader, said the fellowship looks for stories that possess uncomfortable truths, many of which were present in the work of the evening’s honorees.

“You have to have blind faith in order to proceed as a writer,” Swicord told Variety before the awards presentation and live readings of the winning works held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, Calif. “Sometimes that blind faith pays off and sometimes it takes a little longer than others, so I think that whatever you need to do to cultivate that blind faith, do that.”

Outside of the fellowship, Swicord is producing Greta Gerwig’s upcoming film “Little Women,” marking the second time the writer has worked with the 19th Century source material. Her first adaptation, released in 1994, starred Winona Ryder as Jo March and Christian Bale as Laurie, a role being played by Timothee Chalamet in Gerwig’s adaptation.


Greta Gerwig's 'Little Women' Eyes Meryl Streep, Emma Stone, Saoirse Ronan, Timothee Chalamet

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