Today, it was announced that screenwriter Billy Ray will deliver the keynote address at the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting ceremony on Thursday, November 8, at the Beverly Wilshire.

Ray, who co-wrote this summer’s “The Hunger Games,” also wrote and directed “Breach” (2007) and “Shattered Glass” (2003). He is the writer of “Captain Phillips,” starring Tom Hanks, which is scheduled for release in 2013.

The Academy annually awards up to five Nicholl fellowships of $35,000 each. This year’s recipients are:
-Nikole Beckwith, Brooklyn, NY, “Stockholm, Pennsylvania”
-Sean Robert Daniels, Laezonia, Gauteng, South Africa, “Killers”
-James DiLapo, New York City, NY, “Devils at Play”
-Allan Durand, Lafayette, LA, “Willie Francis Must Die Again”
-Michael Werwie, Los Angeles, CA, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile”

Including this year’s winners, 128 fellowships have been awarded since the program’s inception in 1985.

Fellowship recipients are expected to complete a feature-length screenplay during their fellowship year. The Academy acquires no rights to the works of the Nicholl fellows and does not involve itself commercially in any way in their completed scripts.

Information about the Academy:

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards—in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners­—the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.

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By Monique Jones

Monique Jones blogs about race and culture in entertainment, particularly movies and television. You can read her articles at Racialicious, and her new site, COLOR . You can also listen to her new podcast, What would Monique Say.

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