Writing for Film & Television student Mike Nickel is the newest recipient of the $1,000 Prairie Dog Film & Television Award for best student script. Mike’s short screenplay, “Space Cadet”, tells the story of a space-crazed young boy struggling to adjust to a new school. It was one of a handful of scripts vetted by VFS Writing staff and faculty, and chosen by Prairie Dog as the best based on its readability, character construction, and execution of concept.
Prairie Dog Film + Television’s founder Ron E. Scott, himself a graduate of VFS’s Film Production program, initiated this award in 2011 to encourage emerging writing talent. Students enrolled in the one-year screenwriting program at VFS are eligible to win the prize.
“It’s so rewarding to have an opportunity to contribute to the growth and advancement of the next generation of writers,” says Scott. “It was another tough year of decision making, however, ‘Space Cadet’ was very well crafted and did a great job of fleshing out its characters and story world.”
Head of Department Michael Baser takes great pride in the creativity demonstrated by VFS students: “We have such a talented pool of young writers that it is never an easy task to choose just one recipient. I congratulate Mike Nickel on this achievement and thank everyone at Prairie Dog who made this possible.”
As for Mike, he’s feeling a mix of emotions about winning a writing award so early on in his year.
“It’s incredibly unexpected and really quite humbling, especially to be recognized for something that I love doing,” he says. “It’s like the cherry on an already-too-delicious sundae. I’m indebted to the wealth of quality instruction and feedback I received from both the instructors and the fellow students during the writing of this script. I’m honoured and incredibly thankful to Prairie Dog Film + Television for being recognized in such fashion.”
Congratulations, Mike! And big thanks to Prairie Dog for their commitment to encouraging young writers.