Vancouver Film School Student Wins $1,000 Prize for Best Short Script

 Second Annual Award presented to Writing for Film & Television Student 

April 26, 2012 – Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Film School (VFS), Canada’s premier entertainment arts institution, is pleased to announce the 2012 recipient of the Prairie Dog Film + Television Award for Best Short Script, “Space Cadet”, by current VFS student Mike Nickel.

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 Writing for Film & Television program at VFS are eligible to win the $1,000 prize. Scripts are first recommended by VFS faculty and staff, including Head of Department Michael Baser, and then passed on to Prairie Dog Film + Television to be judged based on their readability, character construction, and execution of concept.

“We have such a talented pool of young writers that it is never an easy task to choose just one recipient,” says Baser. “However, ‘Space Cadet’ was an exceptional piece and I congratulate Mike Nickel on this achievement and thank everyone at Prairie Dog who made this possible.”
Nickel’s script tells the story of a lonely boy struggling to adjust to a new school. He’s paired up with a girl to give a class presentation, but she doesn’t share his deep fascination with space exploration. With playful Pixar-like levity, Nickel’s protagonist discovers how compromising a little can mean a lot when making new friends.

“To be recognized for something that I love doing is like the cherry on an already too delicious sundae,” says Mike Nickel. “I’m really flattered at the whole situation. I’m honoured and incredibly thankful to Prairie Dog Film + Television for being recognized in such fashion.”

“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.”

Prairie Dog Film + Television was founded 18 years ago as Alberta’s underdog production company and has since risen to a position of leadership, with television productions such as Blackstone, Mixed Blessings, and My Green House. Today, its original content impacts a global audience and has received international acclaim.

For further information on VFS programs and initiatives, please visit

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About Writing for Film & Television at Vancouver Film School
Founded in 1987, Vancouver Film School is Canada’s premier post-secondary entertainment arts institution and one of the most distinguished in the world. With 13 production-oriented programs and a world-leading one-year education model, VFS prepares students to join the creative economy. In the renowned Writing for Film & Television program, students learn the screenwriter’s role in the film industry by writing, workshopping, and collaborating on a variety of storytelling forms, including feature and short film screenplays, episodic TV scripts and pilots, sketch comedy, and documentaries. Graduates include the Academy Award-nominated co-writer of District 9, Terri Tatchell, and the screenwriter behind Hanna, Seth Lochhead.

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