Hidden Figures, starring, Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe, and Octavia Spencer, took the top feature award at the 2017 Humanitas Prize ceremony, and Ava DuVernay’s 13th took home top documentary honors, tied with Jim: The James Foley Story. Black-ish, starring Tracee Ellis Ross and Jenifer Lewis, won the prize in the 30 Minute category.

Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation, starring Gabrielle Union and Aja Naomi King scored the Sundance Feature Film prize. An American Girl Story, “Melody 1963: Love Has to Win” episode, directed by Tina Mabry, took home the Children’s Life Action prize.

The 42nd annual awards was held at the Four Seasons this year and awards $10,000 each to the winners in its nine categories. The prizes celebrate TV and film scribes whose work inspires “compassion, hope, and understanding.” Of the winners, five will be giving their prize money to non-profits, including DuVernay, (not present at the ceremony as she is in New Zealand filming A Wrinkle in Time) who plans to hand the money to the film collective she founded, ARRAY.

See the full list of winners below!

Feature Film (2 winners)
Hidden Figures, written by: Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
Hacksaw Ridge, written by: Robert Schenkkan and Andrew Knight

Sundance Feature Film
The Birth of a Nation, written by: Nate Parker

30 Minute
Black-ish (“Hope” episode), written by: Kenya Barris

60 Minute
This Is Us (Pilot), written by: Dan Fogelman

Children’s Animation
Sofia The First (“Dads and Daughters Day” episode), written by: Laurie Israel & Rachel Ruderman

Children’s Live Action
An American Girl Story (“Melody 1963: Love Has to Win” episode), written by: Alison McDonald

Documentary (2 winners)
13th, written by: Ava DuVernay
Jim: The James Foley Story, written by: Chris Chuang with Heather MacDonald and Brian Oakes

The David and Lynn Angell College Comedy Fellowship
Magdalen Silberman, University of Texas at Austin

The Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Fellowship
Munis Rashid, American Film Institute
New Voices: Matthew-Lee Erlbach, Morenike Balogun, Andrea Wachner, Tyler Greene, Kim Izzo

PLAY LA winners, who will receive $1,500 each for their new projects:

Patrick Burleigh is a screenwriter and playwright from Los Angeles. He has written screenplays for Dreamworks, Prana, Lin Pictures, Anonymous Content and Archer Gray, among others. His plays have been seen and heard at Atlantic Theater Company, The Blank Theater, The Echo, New York Stage & Film, Naked Angels, Edinburgh Fringe and Dublin Fringe. He was educated at Dartmouth and Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

Sigrid Gilmer makes black comedies that are historically bent, totally perverse, joyfully irreverent and are concerned with issues of identity, pop culture and contemporary American society. Her work has been performed at the Skylight Theatre, Pavement Group, Know Theatre of Cincinnati, Cornerstone Theater Company and Highways Performance Space. She is a winner of the Map Fund Creative Exploration Grant, the James Irving Foundation Fellowship and is a USA Ford Fellow in Theatre.

Corey Hinkle won the 2015 Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville for his play, This Quintessence of Dust, which premiered at the Humana Festival. He is also the recipient of two Jerome fellowships and a McKnight Advancement Grant. In Los Angeles, he has developed plays with Moving Arts and the Playwrights Union.

Meg Miroshnik’s plays include The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls (Yale Rep, Alliance), The Droll (Undermain, Pacific Playwrights Festival), The Tall Girls (Alliance, O’Neill, La Jolla DNA Festival), and Lady Tattoo (Pacific Playwrights Festival). She is a Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center and the recipient of a Whiting Award. Upcoming projects include commissions for Steppenwolf and Yale Rep and a Marivaux adaptation for the Olney Theatre Center. She holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama and is a founding member of The Kilroys.

Tatiana Suarez-Pico is a playwright and a screenwriter. Residencies and fellowships include: Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program Fellow at The Juilliard School, Dramatists Guild fellow, Royal Court Theatre fellow, Mary Louise Rockwell Scholar at ESPA/ Primary Stages, MFA Playwrights’ Workshop at The Kennedy Center and the Lark’s US/Mexico Exchange. Television credits include Parenthood, and A Series of Unfortunate Events. She earned an MFA at the Actors Studio Drama School/New School University.

Chelsea Sutton is a playwright and fiction writer. Her plays have been developed locally with Rogue Artists Ensemble, Skylight Theatre, The Vagrancy, and Brimmer Street Theatre. She has been a finalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, PlayPenn Playwrights Conference, Ingram New Works Lab, Stanley Drama Award, Woodward/Newman Drama Award and Reva Shiner Comedy Award. She is a 2016 Emerging Voices Fellow with Pen Center USA.



About The Author

Tonja Renée Stidhum is a screenwriter/director with cheeks you want to pinch... but don't (unless she wants you to). She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre.

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