Whatever we can do to empower, enrich and support writers, we should do because it is writers who show us where we’ve been and where we are going as a culture. And that is a journey we need to explore richly and deeply with writers leading the way.
— Fr. Bud Kieser


humanitas is a non-profit organization that honors and empowers film and television writers whose work explores the human condition in a nuanced, meaningful way which brings the global community closer.

A signature HUMANITAS story:

  • Challenges us to use our freedom to grow and develop

  • Confronts us with our individual responsibility, and examines the consequences of our choices

  • Entertains us with fully realized characters and elegantly crafted stories.

The overarching goal of HUMANITAS is to promote peace and love in the human family–one story at a time.


our programs


Our NEW VOICES PROGRAM identifies, nurtures and empowers the writers of tomorrow by pairing talented newcomers with award-winning HUMANITAS Board and Council Members to develop an original script. NEW VOICES writers are selected through a worldwide script competition and receive a $7,500 grant. By helping to mentor the next generation of writers, our HUMANITAS Trustees keep the HUMANITAS mission alive and thriving.


HUMANITAS COLLEGE FELLOWSHIPS support recent graduates trying to break into the entertainment industry with The Carol Mendelsohn Drama Fellowship and The David and Lynn Angell Comedy Fellowship. After a worldwide competition, winners are chosen and each receives a $20,000 grant.


How OUr story Began

One day in the summer of 1974, Fr. Ellwood "Bud" Kieser, C.S.P. went for a swim in the Pacific Ocean and “got a brilliant idea.” He realized he passionately wanted to change the television landscape. Fr. Bud felt broadcast television was not fulfilling its tremendous potential to both “entertain” and “uplift.” To put it simply, he wanted to encourage the entertainment industry to use the vast reach of the media to enhance the lives of its viewers.

“People aren’t born fulfilled human beings,” said Kieser, “They become fulfilled through a long humanizing process. Film and television have incredible power to help that humanizing process by which we all become more compassionate, more loving and more forgiving.”

Fr. Bud also strongly believed that film and television could play a pivotal role in communicating values, forming consciences and motivating human behavior. To that end, he built a broad-based coalition to create The HUMANITAS Prize which was founded to emphasize the role of the writer. He believed that, while film and television are collaborative mediums, the passion, intellect and point of view in the heart and mind of the writer is always the defining creative force.