Rita & Burton Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing graduate Robert Cohen '09 received a Screenwriting Award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 2009 for his feature-length script Bystander. The script addresses the 1964 rape and murder of Kitty Genovese, during which more than 30 witnesses looked on without intervening, and revolves around a fictional account of the non-fictional psychological research (eventually resulting in the term "bystander effect") following the attack.
Cohen's script was developed at the Hamptons Screenwriters Lab and won the Tribeca Film Institute’s Student Grand Jury Prize. Cohen is now a staff writer for Law & Order: SVU . His award-winning scrip inspired the recent Law & Order: SVU episode "41 Witnesses."
To read more about Cohen's process of adapting his screenplay into a television episode, and the psychology in the Genovese case, read his recent interview with Science & Film at the Museum of the Moving Image.