Finalists Announced for 44th Annual HUMANITAS Prize

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (November 27, 2018) – Fifty-eight film and television writers have been named finalists for The 44th Annual HUMANITAS Prize, it was announced today by HUMANITAS Executive Director Cathleen Young and President Ali LeRoi. The writers are nominated for their work in the 30-minute Comedy, 60-minute Drama, Children’s Teleplay, Independent Feature Film, Drama Feature Film, Comedy Feature Film, Family Feature Film and Documentary categories. The HUMANITAS Prize was created to honor film and television writers whose work inspires compassion, hope, and understanding in the human family.

Six college students have also been named as finalists for The David and Lynn Angell College Comedy Fellowship and The Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Fellowship. The winning writers in each category will be awarded $20,000 in prize money.

All Prize winners will be announced at The 44th Annual HUMANITAS Prize event on Friday, February 8, 2019 at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.

HUMANITAS will also honor Marta Kauffman with The Kieser Award and Kenya Barris with the VOICE FOR CHANGE Award.

Marta Kauffman is a critically acclaimed writer/director/producer. She won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series for Friends, a series she co-created. She also co-created HBO’s Dream On, was the co-producer for NBC’s Veronica’s Closet, and is the co-creator of Netflix’s Grace and Frankie.

Kenya Barris is also a critically acclaimed writer/producer and the creator of ABC’s Black-ish and Grown-ish. He won The HUMANITAS Prize for Black-Ish: “Hope” in 2017. He won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series in 2016/17. He has received three nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series at the Primetime Emmy Awards.

Since its inception in 1974, The HUMANITAS Prize has awarded over $3.5 million to more than 360 deserving television and motion picture writers whose work examines what it means to be a fully realized human being in a world struggling with racism, terrorism, sexism, ageism, anti-Semitism, political polarization, religious fanaticism, extreme poverty, violence, and unemployment. By deeply exploring the cultures, lifestyles, sexual orientations, political views, and religious beliefs of people who are very different from ourselves, we can dissolve the walls of ignorance and fear that separate us from one another.

All winners, except for those in the Independent Feature Film and College Fellowship categories, designate a non-profit focused on nurturing the next generation of writers to receive their earnings. Past recipients have included Young Storytellers, Film2Future, P.S. Arts, The Heidelberg Project, Rosie’s Theatre Kids, International Documentary Association, and Inside Out Writers.

“HUMANITAS enjoyed an embarrassment of riches this year,” said HUMANITAS President Ali LeRoi, “There were so many incredible submissions from such gifted writers.”

“It’s always an honor and a privilege to lift up writers who are passionate about telling stories that entertain us, but also deeply explore what it means to be a human in a way that promotes peace and love,” said Executive Director Cathleen Young.

The 44th Annual HUMANITAS Prize finalists are:

60-minute Drama Category

GOD FRIENDED ME, “Pilot” Written by Steven Lilien & Bryan Wynbrandt

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, “Be Free” Written by Brian Chamberlayne

THE GOOD DOCTOR, “More” Written by David Shore & Lloyd Gilyard, Jr.

THIS IS US, “This Big, Amazing, Beautiful Life” Written by Kay Oyegun

30-minute Comedy Category

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, “Volume 2: Chapter VIII” Written by Jack Moore

ONE DAY AT A TIME, “Hello, Penelope” Written by Michelle Badillo & Caroline Levich

THE GOOD PLACE, “Jeremy Bearimy” Written by Megan Amram

THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, “Mid-way to Mid-town” Written and Directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino

Children’s Teleplay Category

ALEXA & KATIE, “Winter Formal, Part 2” Written by Matthew Carlson

MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC, “Surf and/or Turf” Written by Brian Hohlfeld

MUPPET BABIES, “You Say Potato, I Say Best Friend” Written by Laura Sreebny

Z-O-M-B-I-E-S Written by David Light & Joseph Raso, Based on Zombies & Cheerleaders Written by David Light & Joseph Raso

Drama Feature Film Category

BLACK PANTHER Written by Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole, Based on the Marvel Comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

BOY ERASED Screenplay by Joel Edgerton, Based on the memoir Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

ON THE BASIS OF SEX Written by Daniel Stiepleman

WHAT THEY HAD Written and Directed by Elizabeth Chomko

Comedy Feature Film Category

BOUNDARIES Written and Directed by Shana Feste

CRAZY RICH ASIANS Screenplay by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim, Based on the Novel Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

EIGHTH GRADE Written and Directed by Bo Burnham

LOVE, SIMON Screenplay by Elizabeth Berger & Isaac Aptaker, Based on the Novel Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Family Feature Film Category

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN Screenplay by Alex Ross Perry and Tom McCarthy and Allison Schroeder, Story by Greg Brooker and Mark Steven Johnson, Based on the characters created by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard

INCREDIBLES 2 Written and Directed by Brad Bird

ISLE OF DOGS Screenplay by Wes Anderson, Story by Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, and Kunichi Nomura

MARY POPPINS RETURNS Screenplay by David Magee, Screen Story by David Magee & Rob Marshall & John DeLuca, Based upon the Mary Poppins stories by P.L. Travers

Independent Feature Film Category

BRIAN BANKS Written by Doug Atchison

LAUGH OR DIE Screenplay by Heikki Kujanpää and Mikko Reitala

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU Written and Directed by Boots Riley

THE GRIZZLIES Written by Graham Yost and Moira Walley-Beckett

THE RIDER Written and Directed by Chloé Zhao

Documentary Category

TRANSMILITARY Concept by Fiona Dawson, Written by Jamie Coughlin and Gabriel Silverman, Directed by Gabriel Silverman, Co-Directed by Fiona Dawson

STOLEN DAUGHTERS: KIDNAPPED BY BOKO HARAM Written and Produced by Karen Edwards, Directed by Gemma Atwal

THE FOURTH ESTATE, “Part 3: American Carnage” Directed by Liz Garbus and Jenny Carchman, Produced by Liz Garbus, Jenny Carchman, Justin Wilkes

THE PRICE OF FREE Story by Davis Guggenheim, Derek Doneen, Sarah Anthony, Directed by Derek Doneen, Produced by Davis Guggenheim and Sarah Anthony

The David and Lynn Angell College Comedy Fellowship

BAND OF MOTHERS - Sabrina Brennan (USC)

FERNANDO - Adam Lujan (NYU)

HEAD CASE - Ellie Goodman (Northwestern University)

The Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Fellowship

RUE PIGALLE - Jessica Shields (Columbia University)

THE BARGEMAN - Joe Hemphill (Boston University)

WILCOX PARK - Omar Willis (USC)

For more information, please visit the HUMANITAS Prize at

Media Contact:


Cathleen Young

Executive Director

(310) 454-8769

Abigail Boland