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The 32nd HUMANITAS Prize


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32nd HUMANITAS Prize Finalists Chosen

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Thandie Newton and Matt Dillon in 'Crash'

LOS ANGELES, California -- Frank Desiderio, President of the HUMANITAS Prize, announced 33 writers were named finalists in eight categories for the 32nd HUMANITAS Prize. The writers will be competing for $145,000 in prize money to be handed out at the annual luncheon, which will be held on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 at the Hilton Universal Hotel. The HUMANITAS Prize was created 32 years ago to reward great writing for television and film.

"Pessimists who proclaim that there is nothing good or worthwhile on television or in movie theaters need to look no further than these productions," commented Chris Donahue, Executive Director of the HUMANITAS Prize. "The stories that these writers have generated should have all of us asking questions about our own lives."

President of HBO Films, Colin Callender, will receive the 2006 Kieser Award and deliver the keynote speech at this year's luncheon. "Writers can write the best scripts, but if someone doesn't give them the greenlight the story will never get off the page. Colin Callender has consistently developed movies that shine a light on the human condition," stated Frank Desiderio.

Since its inception in 1974, the HUMANITAS Prize has presented over 237 prizes and dispersed over 2.4 million dollars in prize money to television and motion picture writers, whose work honestly explores the complexities of the human experience and sheds light on the positive values of life.

Each year, the HUMANITAS Prize holds Master Writers Workshops presented by today's leading writers. Winners of the HUMANITAS Prize have included: Steven Bochco for his writing talents on "Hill Street Blues," Alan Alda for his turn as writer for "M*A*S*H" and David E. Kelley for the legal drama, "The Practice." Kenneth Lonergan won for "You Can Count On Me."

Barbara Hall won a HUMANITAS Prize for her television writing on "Joan of Arcadia," Steven Zaillian for "Schindler's List" and Tim Robbins for "Dead Man Walking." Matt Damon and Ben Affleck won for their Academy Award-winning script, "Good Will Hunting" and Aaron Sorkin for his writing efforts on "Sports Night" and "The West Wing."

Winners Criteria

Prizes are awarded each year for stories which:

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32nd HUMANITAS Prize Finalists

(winners will appear highlighted in red)

Feature Film Category ~ ($25,000)

"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe"

Screenplay by: Ann Peacock, Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

Studio: (Walt Disney Pictures)

"Crash"

Screenplay by: Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco

Story by: Paul Haggis

Studio: (Lions Gate Films)

"Glory Road"

Written by: Christopher Cleveland and Bettina Gilois

Studio: (Walt Disney Pictures)

90 Minute Category ~ ($25,000)

"The Colt"

Screenplay by: Stephen Harrigan

Network: (Hallmark Channel)

"The Girl In The Cafe"

Written by: Richard Curtis

Network: (HBO)

"Warm Springs"

Written by: Margaret Nagle

Network: (HBO)

60 Minute Category ~ ($15,000)

"ER"

Episode: "Darfur"

Written by: Janine Sherman Barrois

Network: (NBC)

"House"

Episode: "Three Stories"

Written by: David Shore

Network: (Fox)

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"

Episode: "Ripped"

Written by: Jonathan Greene

Network: (NBC)

30 Minute Category ~ ($10,000)

"George Lopez"

Episode: "The Kidney Stays in the Picture"

Written by: Jim Hope

Network: (ABC)

"My Name Is Earl"

Episode: "Pilot"

Written by: Greg Garcia

Network: (NBC)

"Scrubs"

Episode: "My Way Home"

Written by: Garrett Donovan and Neil Goldman

Network: (NBC)

Children's Animation Category ~ ($25,000)

"Maya & Miguel"

Episode: "Miguel's Wonderful Life"

Written by: Jonathan Greenberg

Network: (PBS)

"Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends"

Episode: "A Froggy Day in Sunny Patch"

Written by: Alice Prodanou, Michael Stokes, Steven Sullivan

Story by: Steven Sullivan

Network: (Nick, Jr.)

"ToddWorld"

Episode: "Benny's Missing Chew Toy"

Written by: Pamela Hickey and Dennys McCoy

Network: (Discovery Kids/TLC)

Children's Live Action Category ~ ($25,000)

"Edge of America"

Written by: Willy Holtzman

Network: (Showtime)

"Felicity: An American Girl Adventure"

Teleplay by: Anna Sandor

Network: (WB Network)

"High School Musical"

Written by: Peter Barsocchini

Network: (Disney Channel)

Sundance Feature Film Category ~ ($10,000)

"Punching At The Sun"

Written by: Tanuj Chopra and Hart Eddy

"Quinceanera"

Written by: Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland

Studio: (Sony Pictures Classics)

"Wristcutters: A Love Story"

Written by: Goran Dukic

The David & Lynn Angell Fellowship in Comedy Writing ~ ($10,000)

Colin Marshall

Columbia University

Graduate Writing Program

Spec Script: "My Name Is Earl"

Episode: "My Name is Santa"

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Gore's 'Truth' Wins Special Humanitas Award

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Al Gore in the documentary, 'An Inconvenient Truth'

LOS ANGELES, California -- The Al Gore documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth" will receive a rare recognition from the Humanitas Prize, which honors screenwriting that helps "liberate, enrich and unify society."

"An Inconvenient Truth," which chronicles Gore's quest to draw attention to global warming, will receive the organization's first Special Award in over 10 years, president Frank Desiderio announced on Wednesday.

"It's a very important film," he said in a statement. "We want to shine a light on it." The documentary's director, Davis Guggenheim, said he was "thrilled" with the recognition, adding that Humanitas "supports the achievements and sacrifices of filmmakers trying to change the world."

Since 1974, the Humanitas Prize has presented awards and grants to TV and film writers whose fictional work reflects "the positive values of life." Documentaries are occasionally recognized with Special Awards. The last such honors went to Bill Moyers and Judith Davidson Moyers in 1995 for their documentary, "What Can We Do About Violence."

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'Crash' Screenplay Wins Humanitas Prize

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Actor Matt Dillon, center, interrupts an interview with 'Crash'

co-writers Bobby Moresco, left, and Paul Haggis, right, to

congratulate them on their winning script

Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco, who won the Original Screenplay Oscar earlier this year for "Crash," collected another award for the film on Wednesday, June 28: the Humanitas Prize.

The screenwriting award honors work that helps "liberate, enrich and unify society." Eleven writers collected awards and their share of $145,000 in prize money at a luncheon at the Hilton Universal Hotel. Haggis and Moresco received $25,000.

"Crash," which also won the Best Picture Oscar, tells the intertwining stories of an array of diverse characters over 36 hours in Los Angeles. The Humanitas judges commended it "for its call to reach out with respect and compassion to all of our brothers and sisters."

The award recognizes screenwriters who "give people something worthwhile to think about," said Frank Desiderio, president of the Humanitas Prize. Since 1974, the organization has awarded more than 240 prizes and $2.5 million in cash to television and film writers with "strong ethical voices."

"Storytellers have always shaped culture," Desiderio told The Associated Press recently. "Stories carry values, and we want to raise up the best values so that the culture is influenced to become one where the common good is really served."

Winners are chosen by the Humanitas Prize organization, which includes more than 50 screenwriters and industry heads, Desiderio said.

While fiction is the focus of the prize, the organization occasionally recognizes documentaries. It did so this year, presenting a Special Award to "An Inconvenient Truth," which chronicles former Vice President Al Gore's quest to draw attention to global warming.

"It points out a social problem that affects the whole human family and gives people a positive way to go," Desiderio said.

Other winners include:

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