Bill and Carol Mechanic Endowed Scholarship for Film Studies

MSU Alumni Bill and Carol Mechanic have created a scholarship fund for students majoring in Film Studies at Michigan State University. Award decisions are made each spring, and funds are normally distributed the following fall.

Note for spring 2021: This is the first year we have been able to offer these funds to students, and given the current pandemic, we are offering this support as need-based scholarships, in the ballpark of $500 per student. We have a limited number of these to award this semester, and the total award may vary from student to student. Any scholarship funding we offer may impact your financial aid. We will consult with MSU’s Financial Aid Office to minimize this impact.

We aim to award and distribute scholarship funds this spring. If awarded the funds, they will be applied to your student account.

The scholarship fund has been given in loving honor and memory of Bill and Carol Mechanic’s parents—Jack and Anita Mechanic, June and Larry Silverman and Gary and Nora Whitener, who strove to excel in whatever opportunity or challenge they faced. Scholarships are offered to those students who love the art of film and exemplify the great Midwestern values of hard work and persistence, to foster learning, achievement and a path to a better world.

Applications are due March 1, 2021:

Scholarship Application:

Eligibility: major in Film Studies.

For further information and to apply: contact the Director of Film Studies, Professor Joshua Yumibe, Please note in your email your major, your estimated semester and year of graduate, and the state and county of your home residency.

Carol Mechanic has worked as senior vice president of programming at Showtime, as well as at HBO and on numerous film and television productions. She is from Royal Oak and graduated MSU in 1973.

Bill Mechanic is the chairman and CEO of Pandemonium Films and former chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment. He’s produced numerous films, including The New World, Coraline, and Hacksaw Ridge. He graduated MSU in 1973 with a BA in English.

2021 Mechanic Scholarship Awardees

Mimi Anagli
Ari Adler
Autumn English
Isaiah Johns

Maddie Strong
Mary Telly
Aubrey Whiteside

Laurence Allen Tate
Film Writing Award

Have you written an essay dealing with LGBTQ+ issues in cinema, queer film theory, or critical analysis of an LGBTQ+ film? Have a screenplay dealing with LGBTQ+ concerns? If so, you may be eligible for the The Laurence Allen Tate Film Writing Award ($1,000).

To apply to this competition, please email your essay or screenplay (by attachment) to Professor Bill Vincent, Professor of Film Studies, Please note in your email your major, your year, and the course for which you wrote the essay or screenplay. Deadline 31 March 2021.

Open to majors and minors in Film Studies and to minors in Fiction Filmmaking and in Documentary Production.


Laurence Allen Tate (1945–2008) earned a B.A. in English from Michigan State University, where he was co-founder and assistant editor for the weekly student publication, The Paper. After graduation, Tate moved to the San Francisco area and was involved in the Gay Men’s Health Collective of the Berkeley Free Clinic and San Francisco’s HIV/AIDs hotline service, Project Inform, from 1989-1993. He later moved to Washington D.C. to work at the National HIV/AIDS Prevention Program at the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Known early for his film criticism and anti-war essays, he wrote and spoke primarily about AIDS-related issues and the experience of being gay in America after 1981. A member of the Cherokee Nation, he was a member of Native Americans in Philanthropy, and a former member of the board of the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center.


2021 Laurence Allen Tate Awardees

Winner: Mary Telly, for the short script “Ho’omau.”

Honorable Mention: Morgan Hollemans, for her essay, “Politicization of the Gaze: How bell hooks Paved the Way for Rafiki.”

Honorable Mention: Devin Martin for the excerpt from his script, “Wither.”

2020 Laurence Allen Tate Awardees

Winner: Sarah Kutchinski, for the screenplay “Williams & Proctor.”

Honorable Mention: Olivia York, for her essay, “Gay Intimations in Hitchcock.”

2019 Laurence Allen Tate Awardee

Winner: Veronica Samaha, for the screenplay “ Death is a Drag.”

Fiction Film Screenplay Contest

a closeup of a page from a screenplay

Have a great 20 page script you want to see made into a film? Interested in seeing your work go from the page to the screen? The Fiction Filmmaking Minor is looking for great scripts to produce in the capstone course. The winning script will get $500 and the opportunity to have the script produced. Submission info below!

  1. Submissions are open from March 15 to June 1. The winning script will be produced in Fall 2021 by the FLM435 capstone class. 
  2. You may submit as an individual writer or writing team.
  3. All scripts must be submitted in English and in proper screenplay format as a PDF.
  4. Scripts must be the original work of the author(s) and only original screenplays are eligible. Adaptations of books, plays, or any other source material written by another author are not eligible.  
  5. Scripts should be a minimum of 20 pages and maximum of 35 pages.
  6. Genre is open, however, stories with multiple cast members, ensemble casts, multiple locations and creative challenges are preferred.
  7. Winner will be announced in early June.

Submit your script here (must use MSU e-mail to login):