The Writers Guild Initiative has named Bo Shim of New York University as recipient of its 2016 Michael Collyer Memorial Fellowship in Screenwriting. The fellowship, which is funded by the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation, is awarded to a student who plans to pursue a career in screenwriting upon completion of his/her undergraduate course of study. Shim will receive a $10,000 stipend to write an original screenplay, which she will do under the mentorship of James V. Hart (Hook, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Muppet Treasure Island, Contact, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein). She will be presented with her fellowship at the 68th annual Writers Guild Awards on Saturday, February 13 in New York City at the Edison Ballroom.
Shim’s fellowship project, entitled Sister of a Goddess, focuses on two Nepalese sisters – Manna and Aarti – and the family bonds that bind them and pull them apart as one is chosen to be the next Royal Kumari of Kathmandu.
“I am incredibly honored to receive the 2016 Michael Collyer Memorial Fellowship in Screenwriting. I would like to give my sincerest thanks to everyone who made this fellowship possible, to my professors at NYU for their invaluable guidance as well as my friends and family for their love and support. I look forward to the exciting year ahead,” said new Collyer Fellow Bo Shim.
“What constantly amazes us with the Collyer Fellow scripts is the variety and invention of the material we receive. Whatever the source of inspiration that feeds these young screenwriters, it is clearly in no danger of running dry. It’s a great pleasure for us to play some small role in moving young writers, like this year’s recipient Bo Shim, forward in their careers,” said Michael Weller, president of the WGI.
Shim is the eighth Collyer Fellow and the third recipient to come from NYU. The first Collyer Fellow was 2009 recipient Sara Van Acker of New York University. Van Acker completed her script under the mentorship of Marshall Brickman and was named a 2011 semi-finalist for the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting. Most recently, she was co-producer of the independent short Sunday’s Mother. Fellowship recipient James DiLapo (2011), also of New York University, was named a 2012 winner of the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting. His script Devils At Play, which he worked on with his Collyer mentor Richard LaGravenese, was listed on the 2012 Black List. DiLapo is currently writing the futuristic The Odysseus for Warner Brothers.
Other Collyer Fellows include: 2010 recipient Antal Zambo of Wayne State University, who was mentored by Marshall Brickman; 2012 recipient Hailey O’Brien who completed her script with her mentor Susanna Styron; 2013 recipient Heather Dunoon, who completed her script with mentor Eric Bogosian, 2014 recipient Hennah Sekandary who completed her script with mentor David Henry Hwang, and last year’s recipient Megan Rico who is currently working on her script entitled NED with mentor David Auburn.
Universities participating in this year’s program were: Binghamton University, Savannah College of Art and Design, DePaul University, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, Columbia College Chicago, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and NYU.
Diana King, chairwoman and president of the King Family Foundation, said, “We are deeply gratified to have developed the Michael Collyer Fellowship in collaboration with the Writers Guild Initiative and are thankful for their excellent stewardship. As we mark the 8th anniversary of this unique and valuable program, we are gratified to see so many of our Collyer Fellows establishing careers in screenwriting and related fields. This program was developed in memory of our former board member, Michael Collyer, a leading entertainment attorney and a champion of talented writers in all media. Michael would be thrilled to see the development support provided by this program reaching an ever-growing number of Collyer Fellows, and to see their screenplays drawing interest from wide segments of the motion picture industry.”