Kathy Baker, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Freida Pinto and Jimmy Smits To Perform At Academy Nicholl Fellowships Live Read

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Actors Kathy Baker, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Freida Pinto and Jimmy Smits will perform a live reading from the five winning 2015 Nicholl Fellowships scripts on Wednesday, November 4, at 7:30 p.m.at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. 

For the third consecutive year, the Screenwriting Awards Presentation and Live Read will be directed and produced by Rodrigo Garcia and Julie Lynn, respectively, whose credits include the features “Albert Nobbs,” “Mother and Child,” “Nine Lives,” and the upcoming “Last Days in the Desert.”

Baker appeared in both the romantic drama “The Age of Adaline” and “Boulevard” opposite Robin Williams earlier this year.  Her other feature credits include “Saving Mr. Banks,” “The Jane Austen Book Club,” “Cold Mountain,” “The Cider House Rules” and "Edward Scissorhands.”  She has received numerous awards, including three Emmys®, for her role as Dr. Jill Brock in the television series “Picket Fences.”

Jackson made his feature acting debut this summer in the biopic “Straight Outta Compton.”  The 24-year-old Los Angeles native portrayed his real-life father, who is better known as Ice Cube.

Pinto starred in the 2008 Best Picture Oscar®winner “Slumdog Millionaire.”  Her other feature credits include “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Immortals,” “Miral” and “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.” In 2017 she will be seen in Andy Serkis’ “Jungle Book: Origins.”

Smits has appeared in such features as “Mother and Child,” “The Jane Austen Book Club,” “Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith” and “My Family, Mi Familia.”  His extensive television work includes the series “Sons of Anarchy,” “The West Wing,” “NYPD Blue” and “L.A. Law.”  He is currently filming “The Get Down,” a music-driven drama series debuting next year.

Presenters for the evening’s program include producer Stephanie Allain (“Beyond the Lights”), Oscar-nominated screenwriter Billy Ray (“Captain Phillips”), screenwriter Dana Stevens (“Safe Haven”), Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Nicholl Committee Chair Robin Swicord (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), and screenwriter Tyger Williams (“The Perfect Guy”).

Last month five screenwriters were selected as winners of the 2015 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition out of 7,442 entries.  The winners are (listed alphabetically by author):

Elizabeth Chomko, “What They Had”
Andrew Friedhof, “Great Falls”
Anthony Grieco, “Best Sellers”
Sam Regnier, “Free Agent”
Amy Tofte, “Addis Abeka”

Each of the winners will receive a $35,000 prize, the first installment of which will be distributed at the Live Read event.  Since 1986, 142 Nicholl fellowships have been awarded.  Fellowships are presented with the understanding that the recipients will each complete a feature-length screenplay during their fellowship year. 

Tickets to the 2015 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Awards Presentation & Live Read are now available at Oscars.org/NichollLive.  

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