Announcing the 2017 Humanitas Prize Finalists!

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Thirty-two writers have been named as finalists in nine categories for the 42nd annual Humanitas Prize. Honoring film and television writers whose work inspires compassion, hope, and understanding, the nominees will be competing for $100,000 in prize money to be handed out at the annual luncheon, set for Wednesday, February 22, at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills.

“We received a huge number of worthy submissions this year, which made narrowing the field down to these exceptional finalists especially challenging — and rewarding,” said Humanitas Executive Director Cathleen Young. “These were truly the best of the best, writers whose work engaged, illuminated, inspired and entertained, all while exploring the range of human experience from fresh and diverse perspectives. Or as HUMANITAS founder Father Bud Kieser put it, works that ‘tackle the big questions…and challenge us to seek out our own answers.’”

“At a time of great cultural and political division in our country and around the world, it’s easy to write off entertainment as a frivolous distraction,” said Ali LeRoi, Humanitas President. “But great stories can play an essential role in people’s lives by reminding us of our common humanity and motivating us to be our best selves. Many of the extraordinary works by this year’s finalists touch on issues of inclusion, equality and tolerance, ideas that are of particular importance in today’s conflict-ridden world.”

Established in 1974, previous Humanitas Prize winners include: Wash Westmoreland & Richard Glatzer (Still Alice); John Ridley (12 Years A Slave); Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild); Denis Leary & Peter Tolan (Rescue Me); Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List); Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and Pete Docter (WALL-E); and Keir Pearson & Terry George (Hotel Rwanda), among many others.

 

The Humanitas Prize finalists are:

Feature Film Category
ARRIVAL Written by: Eric Heisserer
HACKSAW RIDGE Written by: Robert Schenkkan and Andrew Knight
HIDDEN FIGURES Written by: Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi

Sundance Feature Film Category
THE BIRTH OF A NATION Written by: Nate Parker
FIRST GIRL I LOVED Written by: Kerem Sanga
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CARING Written by: Rob Burnett
TALLULAH Written by: Siân Heder

30-Minute Category
BLACK-ISH “Hope” Written by: Kenya Barris
GRACE & FRANKIE “The Party” Written by: Alexa Junge
THE REAL O’NEALS “The Real Grandma” Written by: Cheryl Holliday

60-Minute Category
THIS IS US “Pilot” Written by: Dan Fogelman
MADAM SECRETARY “Waiting for Taleju” Written by Joy Gregory
THE NIGHT OF “The Call of the Wild” Teleplay by: Richard Price & Steven Zaillian

Children’s Animated Category
THE LION GUARD “Never Judge a Hyena by Its Spots” Written by: Kevin Hopps
NINA’S WORLD “Nina’s Brother for a Day” Written by: Maria Escobedo
SOFIA THE FIRST “Dads and Daughters Day” Written by: Laurie Israel & Rachel Ruderman

Children’s Live Action Category
AN AMERICAN GIRL STORY “Melody 1963: Love Has to Win” Written by: Alison McDonald
DEGRASSI: NEXT CLASS “#TurntUp” Written by: Courtney Jane Walker
GIRL MEETS WORLD “Girl Meets The Forgiveness Project” Written by: Matthew Nelson

Documentary Category
13th: Written by: Ava DuVernay
120 DAYS: UNDOCUMENTED IN AMERICA Written by: Ted Roach
JIM: THE JAMES FOLEY STORY Written by: Chris Chuang with Heather MacDonald, Brian Oakes

David & Lynn Angell Comedy Fellowship
Magdalen Silberman, University of Texas at Austin
Jonathan Talbert, Loyola Marymount University
Beau Ballinger, University of Texas at Austin

Drama Fellowship
Daniel James Boddicker, Columbia University
J.J. Braider, University of Southern California
Munis Rashid, American Film Institute