Fanning, Isaacs lead honors to academy screenwriters

05:00 AM, Nov 08, 2013

Actors Anton Yelchin, Elle Fanning, Taraji P. Henson and Jason Isaacs attend The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Hosts The Academy Nicholl Fellowships In Screenwriting Awards at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater on November 7, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 187293678 ORIG FILE ID: 187317347 Valerie Macon Getty Images/

Written By by Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY

Elle Fanning, Anton Yelchin, Jason Isaacs and Taraji P. Henson paid the highest honor to the winners of the 2013 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Thursday night.

The four actors performed scenes from the five winning screenplays at the annual award presentation.

This meant Harry Potter star Isaacs, in the course of a single evening on stage, played a 7-foot basketball player, a Roman Centurion, a macho father and Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll. It was important to pay tribute to the budding screenwriters, said Isaacs.

This is a town that needs stories, needs ideas, new approaches, new talent all the time,” he said. “Old things become stale very quickly. It needs continual infusions of optimism and fresh voices.”

Four individual writers and one writing team have been selected as winners of annual screenwriting competition. Each winner will receive a $35,000 prize.

The winners included:

• Frank DeJohn & David Alton Hedges, Santa Ynez, Calif., Legion

• Patty Jones, Vancouver, BC, Canada, Joe Banks

• Alan Roth, Suffern, N.Y., Jersey City Story

• Stephanie Shannon, Los Angeles, Calif., Queen of Hearts

• Barbara Stepansky, Burbank, Calif., Sugar in My Veins