James DiLapo, senior in the Department of Dramatic Writing at the Tisch School of the Arts, has won the Writers Guild of America, East Foundation's (WGAE Foundation) Michael Collyer Memorial Fellowship in Screenwriting. The fellowship, which is funded by the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation, is awarded to an undergraduate student who plans to pursue a career in screenwriting after graduation. The recipient receives a $10,000 stipend to write an original screenplay under the mentorship of a prominent screenwriter.
DiLapo received his award at the 63rd annual Writers Guild Awards on Saturday, February 5, 2011 in New York City at the AXA Equitable Center. His project, Devils at Play, is about a Soviet detective and enforcer of Stalin's Great Terror who finds his life destroyed after he is accused of treason.
“Once again, it was difficult to decide on our recipient, as all of our candidates had much to recommend them,” said Marshall Brickman, chair of the Collyer Fellowship Selection Committee. “But after much discussion and (friendly) gnashing of teeth, we awarded the laurel to James, who impressed us with his versatility and whose project was timely, involving and well-structured. He is a big talent and, along with my colleagues on the committee, I look forward to his involvement with our mentoring program and to his future work and accomplishments.”
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 WGAE Foundation and are thankful for their excellent stewardship. We are proud to support this awards program in memory of our former board member, Michael Collyer. Michael was a leading entertainment attorney and a champion of talented writers in all media. He would be thrilled to see the development support provided by this program reaching an ever-growing number of Collyer Fellows."
Nine universities and colleges participated in this year's Collyer Fellowship nominating process. They are: Boston University, Binghamton University, Columbia College, Chicago, Drexel University, Georgia State University, University of Miami, New York University, Savannah College of Art and Design, and Vanderbilt University. The first Collyer Fellowship was awarded in 2009 to Sara Van Acker of NYU.