Ava DuVernay’s documentary feature 13th and Hidden Figures have been named as finalists in nine categories for the 42nd annual Humanitas Prize.   The Humanitas Prize honors film and television writers whose work inspires compassion, hope, and understanding, the nominees will be competing for $100,000 in prize money.  The winners will be revealed at the annual luncheon on Wednesday, February 22 at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills.

DuVernay’s 13th received a nomination in the documentary category alongside 120 Days: Undocumented In America written by Ted Roach and Jim: The James Foley Story, written by Chris Chuang & Heather MacDonald.  Hidden Figures received a nomination in the feature film category alongside Arrival written by Eric Heisserer and
Hacksaw Ridge written by Robert Schenkkan.

“We received a huge number of worthy submissions this year, which made narrowing the field down to these exceptional finalists especially challenging and rewarding,” said Humanitas Executive Director Cathleen Young. “These were truly the best of the best, writers whose work engaged, illuminated, inspired and entertained, all while exploring the range of human experience from fresh and diverse perspectives. Or as Humanitas founder Father Bud Keiser put it, works that ‘tackle the big questions…and challenge us to seek out our own answers.’”

“At a time of great cultural and political division in our country and around the world, it’s easy to write off entertainment as a frivolous distraction,” said Ali LeRoi, Humanitas President. “But great stories can play an essential role in people’s lives by reminding us of our common humanity and motivating us to be our best selves. Many of the extraordinary works by this year’s finalists touch on issues of inclusion, equality and tolerance, ideas that are of particular importance in today’s conflict-ridden world.”

Previous Humanitas Prize winners include: John Ridley (12 Years A Slave), Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), and many others.

The Humanitas Prize finalists are listed below:

Feature Film Category
ARRIVAL Written by: Eric Heisserer
HACKSAW RIDGE Written by: Robert Schenkkan
HIDDEN FIGURES Written by: Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi

Sundance Feature Film Category
THE BIRTH OF A NATION Written by: Nate Parker
FIRST GIRL I LOVED Written by: Kerem Sanga
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CARING Written by: Rob Burnett
TALLULAH Written by: Siân Heder

30-Minute Category
BLACK-ISH “Hope” Written by: Kenya Barris
GRACE & FRANKIE “The Party” Written by: Alexa Junge
THE REAL O’NEALS “The Real Grandma” Written by: Casey Johnson

60-Minute Category
THIS IS US “Pilot” Written by: Dan Fogelman
MADAM SECRETARY “Waiting for Taleju” Written by Joy Gregory
THE NIGHT OF “The Call of the Wild” Written by: Richard Price & Steven Zaillian

Children’s Animated Category
THE LION GUARD “Never Judge a Hyena by Its Spots” Written by: Kevin Hopps
NINA’S WORLD “Nina’s Brother for a Day” Written by: Maria Escobedo
SOFIA THE FIRST “Dads and Daughters Day” Written by: Rachel Ruderman & Laurie Israel

Children’s Live Action Category
AN AMERICAN GIRL STORY “Melody 1963: Love Has to Win” Written by: Alison McDonald
DEGRASSI: NEXT CLASS “#TurntUp” Written by: Courtney Jane Walker
GIRL MEETS WORLD “Girl Meets The Forgiveness Project” Written by: Matthew Nelson

Documentary Category
13th: Written by: Ava DuVernay
120 DAYS: UNDOCUMENTED IN AMERICA Written by: Ted Roach
JIM: THE JAMES FOLEY STORY Written by: Chris Chuang & Heather MacDonald

David & Lynn Angell Comedy Fellowship
Magdalen Silberman, University of Texas at Austin
Jonathan Talbert, Loyola Marymount University
Beau Ballinger, University of Texas at Austin

Drama Fellowship
Daniel James Boddicker, Columbia University
J.J. Braider, University of Southern California
Munis Rashid, American Film Institute

 

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