Christina Cahill joins HUMANITAS with a sincere love and appreciation for the written word. She takes a direct approach to development, management, and big-picture strategy. While she has honed her production skills for networks like NBC, ABC, the CW, and Turner Television, she also brings a unique creative sensibility that at once figures out how to build the box and then how to think outside of it. Christina has managed mega-crews and skeleton crews with equal aplomb. Same goes for budgets. She has created content for companies like Zillow and Activision, and managed million-dollar budgets for many productions including The 45th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards and American Ninja Warrior for Ignition Films. She is thrilled to be a part of the HUMANITAS team and is committed to empowering writers to give back to the world around them.
Director of new voices
Carole Kirschner is the creator and Director of the CBS Diversity Writers Program. She’s also the Director of the WGA Showrunner Training program. Previously, Carole was Director of Comedy Development at CBS, where she heard over 3,000 pitches and bought hundreds of projects and developed dozens of television series like Murphy Brown and Designing Women. She was also Vice President at AMBLIN TELEVISION, Steven Spielberg’s company. Carole is also an author, speaker and entertainment career consultant. She’s helped hundreds of talented professionals break in, move up and navigate the entertainment industry. Her book, Hollywood Game Plan: How to Land a Job in Film, TV, or Digital Entertainment is used as a textbook at colleges and universities around the country.
Humanitas Prize Judging Chair
Cliff MacGillivray is a writer/producer. His television credits include series such as The Busy World of Richard Scarry, Stuart Little, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, PB&J Otter, Liberty’s Kids, Captain Planet, and Dragon Ball. Along with writing partner Kelly Ward, he was the 2005 HUMANITAS Prize Winner for Children’s Animation for the “Waking Thor” episode of Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks. He has also written and produced documentaries, including We Made it Through the Rain, a film on domestic violence that focuses on abused women and the alternatives available to them – which has been seen by an estimated 40 million viewers throughout North America.
director of educational outreach
Nina Sadowsky is a film and television writer/producer as well as a novelist. Her thriller, Just Fall, published by Ballantine/Random House, debuted in March 2016. She is developing a TV series based on the book with producer Mark Canton and STARZ. Sadowsky has written numerous screenplays and also has produced many films, such as The Wedding Planner starring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey, Lost Souls starring Winona Ryder and Northern Lights starring Diane Keaton when she was President of Production at Meg Ryan’s Company, Prufrock Pictures. Sadowsky's second novel, The Burial Society, will be published by Ballantine January 30, 2018, the first of a three-book series. Nina is also an adjunct professor at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she teaches script development and producing.
director of pLAY LA
Shem Bitterman is a writer who has written over 30 plays and screenplays. His plays have been produced at South Coast Rep, The Actor's Theatre of Louisville, CTG, Geva, The WPA, Cornerstone and many more. Awards include: PEN USA Award (Harm’s Way), CBS/FDG New Play Program (Iowa Boys), Kennedy Center Fund For New American Plays (Beijing Legends), SCR California Playwrights Competition (The Ramp), LA Drama Critic Circle’s Ted Schmitt Award (The Job). In 2009, he adapted and directed the film version of The Job starring Ron Perlman and Joe Pantoliano. In 2014, his teleplay, Betty & Coretta, was nominated for a HUMANITAS Prize. In 2015, his film, Whitney, directed by Angela Bassett, was nominated for an Image Award. Last year his play, The Stone Witch, starring Judd Hirsch, premiered at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. He has taught in communist China and the California prison system. In 2011, he initiated the PlayLab at LA’s Skylight Theatre, which has been responsible for mentoring more than 25 original plays from idea stage to completion.
Abigail Boland joined HUMANITAS with a diverse non-profit background and focus on giving back. Under the direction of Executive Director Cathleen Young, Abigail works to develop programs that honor film and television writers whose work breaks down the isms that divide us. Abigail has helped grow the NEW VOICES script competition into a highly sought-after VIP mentorship opportunity. She also coordinated the expansion of the Independent Film category which brought in submissions worldwide, including foreign language scripts. Additionally, she manages sponsorships at all levels with Studio and Network partners for the HUMANITAS Prize Awards. With a passion for connecting people from all backgrounds and cultures, Abigail continues to shine a spotlight on storytellers that help us to consider our place in the world, and examine our own moral compasses.
Since graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Lena Parodi has written and directed short films for Cinequest Film Festival’s Picture the Possibilities program, assisted editors and producers at C4 Media and Beau Willimon’s Westward Productions, translated interview footage from Italian to English for a currently airing History Channel documentary series about ISIS, and edited English translations of Korean comics for the web and mobile platform Spottoon. She was a Researcher for The 45th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, and she was a Production Coordinator for Ignition Films. She uses these skills, her knowledge of storytelling, and her fluency in Italian and Spanish, to curate the many wonderful programs and initiatives HUMANITAS offers.