Harika Bommana finalist for screenwriting award

Harika Bommana, a second year MFA Film, Television and Digital Media student, was selected as one of five finalists for the prestigious 2022 Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Award.

Bommana wrote the script, “When Mangoes Start to Turn Yellow,” as a love letter to her family back home in India. The storyline takes place in the 1980s focusing on four sisters and how they navigate a patriarchal society. Bommana said she is passionate about telling stories set in South Asia that focus on self and cultural identity.

“Writing this reminds me of my mom and sisters and aunt,” Bommana said. “Writing is like reconnecting with them.”

Two women in a workout facility film a scene
Harika Bommana (left) films a scene for one of her UGA MFA Film classes.

Bommana wrote the script during her Writing for Screen class taught by Neil Landau, who was recently named director of the MFA Film program. Each student was assigned to write a complete script during the semester. Each class, the students submitted 10 more pages of their script, and the time in class was spent providing feedback.

The feedback was valuable to Bommana.

“I would much rather people tell me what’s wrong with the script than what’s right,” Bommana admits. “I always value honesty.”

Bommana and others in the class were encouraged by Landau who provided encouragement to submit scripts to screenwriting festivals.

While Bommana said being named a finalist provides her a lot of encouragement, Landau sees this as special recognition.

“This is an extraordinary honor — and well deserved,” Landau said.  “Humanitas has thousands of submissions each year.”

Bommana looks forward to working on her thesis film project in the semesters remaining and graduating at the end of next summer.

The Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Award recognizes the talents of young writers with financial support, empowering them to write impactful dramas. It is presented by Humanitas, a non-profit organization dedicated to recognizing writers who explore the human experience.