Pearl Studio, which is turning Audrey Wells’ final screenplay Over the Moon into an animated movie, has gifted $100,000 in scholarships to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television in Wells’ name.
Wells, a UCLA TFT alum, died in October at age 58 after a long battle with cancer, just one day before the release of 20th Century Fox’s racial drama The Hate U Give which she adapted from Angie Thomas’ novel. The screenwriter-director-producer’s credits include writing and helming 2013’s Under the Tuscan Sun and 1999’s Guinevere, and penning 2017’s A Dog’s Purpose along with The Game Plan, George of the Jungle, Shall We Dance, The Kid and her 1996 debut The Truth About Cats and Dogs.
Two current-use scholarships will be awarded from the Audrey Wells Memorial “Say Yes!” Scholarships, first to an MFA screenwriting student in the 2018-2019 academic year and, in the 2019-2020 year, to an MFA directing student. Beginning in 2021, an endowed scholarship will alternate awards annually. The scholarships include a one-week artist residency at Pearl Studio, and recipients will have the opportunity to be mentored by an industry professional who worked with Wells.
“Audrey’s motto was ‘Say yes’ — yes to life, to art, to creativity and, most of all, to opportunities,” says Brian Larky, Wells’’husband. “With this scholarship, we say yes to new waves of filmmakers, to voices of transformation and healing, to voices of diversity, and to stories of women, crafted by women. Stories told with strength, with vision, and with compassion, that will lead conversations of inclusivity and universality for generations to come. Our family is extremely grateful to Pearl Studio for honoring Audrey in this extraordinary way and for the remarkable collaboration on her last screenplay, Over the Moon.”
Over the Moon, directed by Glen Keane, is aiming for a 2020 release via Netflix. The animated musical is a retelling of the classic Chinese myth, about a girl who builds a rocket ship and blasts off to the moon in hopes of meeting a legendary Moon Goddess. Pearl Studio will distribute in China.