The Academy Nicholl Fellowship, launched in 1986, and organised by the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is the most prestigious among Hollywood screenwriting
contests and labs. Each of the winners receives a $35,000 prize and opens doors for aspiring screenwriters all over the world.
This year’s Nicholl Fellowship (2017) saw Indian author, screenwriter and SWA member, Adite Banerjie’s screenplay titled COACHING CLASS, place as semi-finalist. It was among the top 151 screenplays that made it to the semi-finalists level out of a total 7102 entries from all over the world. COACHING CLASS is a gritty and uplifting drama set in small town India about a dishonoured teacher who takes on the education mafia to give his rag-tag bunch of brilliant but dirt poor students a shot at changing their destiny.
One of the readers of the script observed: “This is an exceptionally well-written story with a pro-active, sympathetic protagonist, and a variety of interesting characters. The plot
development is suspenseful up until the very end. Backstory is also used very effectively in
the present day plot. It is very rich in themes about class struggle and overcoming barriers to have a better life, and the themes are portrayed substantively in both the main plot and
various subplots.” Another reader observed: “The screenplay is very effective in portraying
the viewpoint of its characters through the dialogue, which is rich in language and also
reveals character.” The script had earlier placed as first runner-up in the Finish Line Script Competition (2016).
Says Banerjie: “I’m very excited that the script has done so well in the top international competitions. It’s a huge validation for the screenplay and my writing skills.” Adite Banerjie is a journalist turned fiction writer. She has written three novels which have been published by Harlequin/Harper Collins India and all her books have been featured on the top 100 Amazon.in bestseller lists. She can be contacted via her portal www.aditebanerjie.com
~ Team SWA