UNO Awards Screenwriting Scholarship Established to Honor Local Film Professional

The University of New Orleans awarded on Sunday the first screenwriting scholarship honoring the memory of a New Orleans native and his love of films and filmmaking.

Mark Twain Williams, a first year graduate student pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Screenwriting in UNO's College of Liberal Arts, is the first recipient of the Joseph Patrick Uddo Scholarship. The scholarship, which covers $1,500 in tuition and fees for a full academic year, was established in December, 2011 to honor the memory of a New Orleans native and his love of films and filmmaking.

Williams formally accepted his scholarship, which covers up to $1,500 in tuition and fees for the 2012-2013 academic year, at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20 in the UNO Performing Arts Center, where Uddo's family and friends had gathered for a reception and the dedication of a memorial plaque.

Joseph Patrick Uddo died at the age of 33 on December 7, 2008. The Jesuit High School graduate attended the New York Film Academy, where he also taught after graduation, according to family members. He was a screenwriter and camera operator who worked on several feature length films including "Monster's Ball" and "Stranger than Fiction."
Uddo was not a UNO alumnus. His family established the scholarship in the premier urban research university in his hometown to honor his memory in a way that reflected his love of filmmaking, said Basile Uddo, an attorney and co-founder of The Joseph Patrick Uddo Foundation, a Louisiana nonprofit corporation that established the film scholarship with a gift of $40,000. The annual award will be made to an entering graduate student who is pursuing a Master of Film Arts degree in screenwriting.

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