ISU Professor wins National Film Script Award of Excellence – News

ISU Communication Professor Dr. John McHale won the 2022 Award of Excellence for a film screenplay written by a faculty member from the Broadcast Education Association, the premier academic and professional organization representing over 250 colleges and universities from around the world.

“Illinois State University, and particularly the School of Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences, is an extremely supportive environment for creative work. I appreciate an academic home in which I can continue to craft film scripts,” McHale said.

Dr. John McHale, professor in the School of Communication

McHale won the 2022 BEA Award of Excellence for Faculty Film Screenplay for Again. McHale said of the story, “What drives an intelligent, ethical man to destroy his life and family through drug abuse? And can a man and his family recover from recovery? In the dramatic feature Again, Ryan, professor and filmmaker, divorces the love of his life as he struggles to grow spiritually in recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction.”

“Winning this Award of Excellence for a feature film script fuels my desire to work on the next project. I am currently completing a script on Illinois State University students and teachers who fought in the Civil War. Being the recipient of this award for film scriptwriting at BEA adds fuel to my desire to write the best script possible.”

“It is an incredible honor to earn an Award of Excellence in the film writing category in BEA, which represents over 250 colleges and universities from around the world,” McHale said. Having been a judge for several years, I know that the standards for the BEA faculty film writing competition are very high. This BEA Award of Excellence fuels my desire to write and increases my morale for my next project.”

“This Award of Excellence also provides a feeling of validation that my students are getting the best education in film writing possible.”

The Award of Excellence in film writing is an evaluation of all the film scripts written and submitted by faculty members from among the 250 schools represented by BEA.

The BEA Award of Excellence in feature film writing is based on dramatic content, consistency in format and adherence to professional standards, and the approach to description, direction, and dialogue that reveals the idiosyncratic nature of each character.

“There are many great scripts submitted each year by faculty members from around the world, McHale said. The honor of this award provides encouragement to continue writing feature films. It is a sign from the universe that I am doing what I should be doing, and I am where I should be. I am deeply grateful.”

“Colleagues in the School of communication were also very helpful as I revised and rewrote. I am grateful for all the support the university has given me and continues to provide as I do my best to produce quality creative activity and scholarship,” McHale said.

For more information, contact Dr. John McHale directly at or 309-830-5229.

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