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Winners of the 44th Annual HUMANITAS Prize were announced and honored tonight at The Beverly Hills Hotel. In addition to presenting awards to film and television writers in eight categories, winners were announced for NEW VOICES of HUMANITAS and PLAY LA, as well as The David & Lynn Angell College Comedy Fellowship and The Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Fellowship.

HUMANITAS Prize winners donated their $10,000 cash prize to non-profit organizations dedicated to affecting positive change both at home and on the world stage.

HUMANITAS Prize Winners

  • Drama Feature Film : ON THE BASIS OF SEX Written by Daniel Stiepleman
  • Comedy Feature Film: LOVE, SIMON Screenplay by Elizabeth Berger & Isaac Aptaker, Based on the Novel Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  • Family Feature Film: 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
  • Documentary: STOLEN DAUGHTERS: KIDNAPPED BY BOKO HARAM Written and Produced by Karen Edwards, Directed by Gemma Atwal
  • Independent Feature Film: BRIAN BANKS Written by Doug Atchison
  • 30-minute Comedy (tie): THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, “Mid-way to Mid-town” Written and Directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino and DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, “Volume 2: Chapter VIII” Written by Jack Moore
  • 60-minute Drama: GOD FRIENDED ME, “Pilot” Written by Steven Lilien & Bryan Wynbrandt
  • Children’s Teleplay: ALEXA & KATIE, “Winter Formal: Part 2” Written by Matthew Carlson

Prizes Donated to Philanthropic Partners
A total of $80,000 was awarded to HUMANITAS Prize winners: $10,000 per category. Each winner designated a non-profit to receive their prize money. Our 2019 recipients:

  • The Children’s Hospital Los Angeles – Matthew Carlson
  • A Place Called Home, The California Innocence Project – Doug Atchison
  • Story Pirates – Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt
  • eQuinoxe Europe – David Magee
  • The Trevor Project – Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger
  • Ghetto Film School – Daniel Stiepleman
  • Alliance of Women Directors – Gemma Atwal
  • Arrupe Neighborhood Partnership – Jack Moore
  • Planned Parenthood – Amy Sherman-Palladino

College Fellowship Winners
The Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Fellowship and the David and Lynn Angell College Comedy Fellowship each include a $20,000 award. They are open to undergraduate and graduate students from almost 50 participating universities.

  • The David and Lynn Angell College Comedy Fellowship: FERNANDO – Adam Lujan (NYU)
  • The Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Fellowship: RUE PIGALLE – Jessica Shields (Columbia University)

Winners of the NEW VOICES program for emerging writers receive a $15,000 grant and write a pilot script under the supervision of one or more seasoned showrunners. This year’s mentors included Chris Harris, Jay Kogen, Melanie Marnich, and Nancy Pimental. This year’s recipients were:

  • Augusto Amador
  • Sydney Mitchel
  • James Pratt
  • Joel Sinensky

PLAY LA Winners
PLAY LA nurtures playwrights with unique voices and helps support the Los Angeles theatre community. Each year, the playwrights develop a new play from the ground up. In addition to receiving a $1,500 grant, writers are mentored by award-winning film, theatre, and TV professionals. This year’s PLAY LA recipients were:

  • Jami Brandli
  • Leviticus Jelks III
  • Mariana Carreño King
  • Ashley Rose Wellman
  • Gina Young

Hosts and Presenters
The ceremony was emceed by the Executive Producer of Friday Night Lights and Parenthood, David Hudgins. The keynote address was delivered by Kieser Award recipient Marta Kauffman, winner of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series for Friends. Kenya Barris, creator of black-ish, was honored with the Voice for Change Award in acknowledgment of the stories he tells that allow us to move closer to our shared universal truths.

Presenters included Gloria Allred, Ngozi Anyanwu, Jenny Bicks, David Kidd, John Eisendrath, Bill Lawrence, Ali LeRoi, Carol Mendelsohn, Holly Morris, Michelle Satter, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, Robin Swicord, Aaron Thomas and David Zuckerman.

“We were extremely gratified to recognize this incredible group of writers, who have used their powers to write stories that unite us, rather than divide us,” said HUMANITAS President Ali LeRoi. “And these winners are also using their prize money for good, by supporting amazing organizations devoted to empowering the next generation of writers.”

“Now, more than ever, HUMANITAS is dedicated to shining a light on stories that reflect who we are as complex, fallible human beings, where we’ve been and where we’re going,” said Executive Director Cathleen Young. “The America we all grew up with is now increasingly fractured with new narratives taking root that foment hatred and bigotry and a level of divisiveness that threatens the very future of our democracy by breaking down all the core values that used to unite us. We must do everything we can to nurture and empower the next generation of journalists, film and television writers and playwrights.”

About The HUMANITAS Prize
HUMANITAS exists to encourage, stimulate and sustain the nation’s screenwriters in their humanizing task, and to give them the recognition they deserve.

For more information, please visit the HUMANITAS Prize at