The University of New Orleans has awarded the Joseph Patrick Uddo Scholarship in Screenwriting for the 2018-19 academic year to Michael Ciolino. The scholarship, which provides a total of $1,500 in tuition and fees for a full academic year, honors the memory of Uddo, a filmmaker and New Orleans native who died in 2008. Ciolino and members of the Uddo family gathered with others from the UNO community at a ceremony in UNO’s Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, Sept. 19 to celebrate Uddo’s memory and the opportunity his legacy creates for talented UNO students like Ciolino.
Ciolino, a New Orleans native, graduated as a National Merit Finalist from Ben Franklin High School in 2009. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in film studies from Loyola University. Inspired by adaptations of Stephen King and the television shows of Ryan Murphy, Michael is currently working on his second feature-length script, a tale of depression and banshees set in contemporary New England.
Joseph Patrick Uddo died on Dec. 7, 2008 at age 33. A graduate of Jesuit High School, he attended the New York Film Academy, where he taught after graduation. Uddo was a screenwriter and camera operator who worked on several feature length films including Monster's Ball and Stranger Than Fiction, said his brother Paul Uddo, who is president of the Joseph Patrick Uddo Foundation. Filmmaking was his passion and his family established the nonprofit Joseph Patrick Uddo Foundation to create an enduring memorial in his name.
The Joseph Patrick Uddo Foundation started a scholarship at UNO to honor his brother's memory in a way that reflected his love of filmmaking, Paul Uddo said. A $40,000 gift in 2012 established the Joseph Patrick Uddo Scholarship in Screenwriting, and an annual award is made to an entering graduate student who is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in screenwriting.
"Joseph was passionate about filmmaking and especially about the art of screenwriting," Paul Uddo said. "This scholarship is intended to encourage and support others who share that passion. We are fortunate to have an outstanding film school here at UNO and we believe that this is a fitting place to memorialize Joseph, and to share his love of filmmaking with other young artists."
Ciolino’s name now graces an engraved plaque that hangs in the University's Performing Arts Center. Also listed are the five previous recipients: Mark Twain Williams, who received the inaugural scholarship in 2012; Katheryn Warzak; Eric Hollerbach; Elizabeth Brina, Brian Alexander and Daniel J. Green.