Finalists Announced for 40th Annual HUMANITAS Prize Honoring Outstanding Television and Film Writing

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Awards Luncheon is January 16, 2015 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel

Thirty-one (31) writers were named finalists in eight (8) categories for the 40th Annual HUMANITAS Prize, it was announced today by HUMANITAS President Ali LeRoi and Executive Director Cathleen Young. The writers will be competing for $90,000 in prize money to be handed out at the annual luncheon, which will be held on Friday, January 16, 2015 at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The HUMANITAS Prize was created 40 years ago to honor television and film writers whose work explores the human experience in a way that both entertains and enlightens.

“HUMANITAS does a simple thing,” said President Ali LeRoi. “It says to the writer, that having something more to say than the guy gets the girl, the bad guy gets it in the end, and if you loved this one, wait for the sequel, is okay. Mind you, all of those things are perfectly fine devices to capture someone’s imagination and give them the endings to stories that keep them satisfied and coming back for more. But sometimes, challenging the audience, and giving them something more than what they expect, or even at times more than they know what to do with, is a good thing. Satisfaction does not always make us better. Examining our dissatisfaction is the thing that makes us move and learn and grow. That’s a thing that’s rarely said, and less often rewarded.”

"Every year, I am amazed by the talent of the HUMANITAS finalists,” said Executive Director Cathleen Young. “They make me laugh and cry. They show me my world and help me understand my place in it. They explore the kinds of demons most of us have felt as well as the comforts and joys that make life worth living. They show me what is possible and they do it with words. Always with words. Words that move us all forward into a more fully examined life."

The 2014 HUMANITAS Prize Finalists are:

Feature Film Category
12 YEARS A SLAVE Written by: John Ridley
BELLE Written by: Misan Sagay
NEBRASKA Written by: Bob Nelson

Sundance Feature Film Category
CAMP X-RAY Written by: Peter Sattler
HELLION Written by: Kat Candler
LOVE IS STRANGE Written by: Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias
WHIPLASH Written by: Damien Chazelle

Documentary Category
FINDING VIVIAN MAIER Directed by: John Maloof & Charlie Siskel
MERCHANTS OF DOUBT Directed by: Robert Kenner
THE CASE AGAINST 8 Written by: Ben Cotner & Ryan White

90 Minute Category
MARY AND MARTHA Written by: Richard Curtis (HBO)
RING OF FIRE Written by: Richard Friedenberg (Lifetime)
THE NORMAL HEART Written by: Larry Kramer (HBO)

60 Minute Category
HOMELAND “The Star” Written by: Alex Gansa & Meredith Stiehm (Showtime)
PARENTHOOD “The Pontiac” Written by: Jason Katims (NBC)
THE KILLING “Six Minutes” Written by: Veena Sud (AMC)
TRUE DETECTIVE “Form and Void” Written by: Nic Pizzolatto (HBO)

30 Minute Category
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER “Last Forever, Part 2” Written by: Carter Bays & Craig Thomas (CBS)
MODERN FAMILY “Under Pressure” Written by: Elaine Ko (ABC)
THE MIDDLE “Happy Halloween IV: The Ghost Story” Written by: Roy Brown (ABC)

DAVID & LYNN ANGELL COMEDY FELLOWSHIP
Nora Sullivan, USC
Han-Yee Ling, UCLA
Jessica Blaire, UCLA

DRAMA FELLOWSHIP
Emily Brochin, USC
Kendell Klein, AFI
Mike MacGillivray, LMU

Since its inception in 1974, The HUMANITAS Prize has awarded over $3 million to more than 320 deserving television and motion picture writers whose work affirms the dignity of the human person, probes the meaning of life, and enlightens the use of human freedom. HUMANITAS exists to encourage, stimulate and sustain the nation's screenwriters in their humanizing task, and to give them the recognition they deserve.

The HUMANITAS Prize is funded by an endowment established through the generosity of individuals, networks, studios and foundations. Winners of the HUMANITAS Prize have included: David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook); Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild”); Denis Leary & Peter Tolan (“Rescue Me’); Geoffrey Fletcher (Precious); Steve Levitan ("Modern Family," "Frasier"); Ryan Murphy ("Glee"); Robert & Michelle King ("The Good Wife"); David E. Kelley ("The Practice," "Picket Fences"); Ben Affleck and Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting); Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List); David Shore ("House"); Aaron Sorkin ("The West Wing"); Tim Robbins (Dead Man Walking); Jason Katims ("Friday Night Lights"); Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and Pete Docter (WALL-E); Nancy Oliver (Lars and the Real Girl); Eric Roth & Michael Mann (The Insider); Paul Haggis (Crash); Steven Bochco ("Hill Street Blues," "NYPD Blue") and Keir Pearson & Terry George (Hotel Rwanda).

For more information, please visit The HUMANITAS Prize at http://www.humanitasprize.org.

Contact:
The HUMANITAS Prize
Deirdre Dooley, Program Administrator
310-454-8769

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HUMANITAS
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