Fisher nets Humanitas

Kanin, Fischer, Caro also receive kudos

Writer Antwone Fisher received the Humanitas Prize for feature film “Antwone Fisher,” worth $25,000, at the 29th annual Humanitas Prize lunch Thursday at the Universal Hilton.

“I could hardly believe it!” Fisher exclaimed. “The Humanitas Prize is something meaningful because it describes the things I went through and what I overcame.”

Humanitas Prize prexy Father Frank Desiderio said the award honors TV and film writers who help us “gain some insight into what is going on in society” through their honest and humanizing descriptions of the human condition.

Eight awards and $105,000 in prize money went to winners selected from three finalists in each category that were selected from more than 380 scripts.

Arthur Hiller presented the Keiser Award to Fay Kanin for her noble work on and off the stage.

Kathy Fischer received the inaugural David & Lynn Angell Humanitas Comedy Fellowship, named in honor of the “Frasier” producer and his wife, victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It includes $10,000 and an internship in television for the recent UCLA grad.

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Helmer Niki Caro received the Sundance feature film award for “Whale Rider,” about a Maori girl who’s the next in line to lead her patriarchal tribe. Producer Linda Goldstein accepted the award and praised Caro, who was absent after recently having a baby, for showing “intelligence, insight and respect for another culture.”

Other winners were Gordon Rayfield for “Our America”; David E. Kelley for “Final Judgment” (“The Practice”); Teri Schaffer, Steve Tompkins and Larry Wilmore for “Sweet Home Chicago, Part II” (“The Bernie Mac Show”); Marita Giovanni and Bruce Graham for “A Ring of Endless Light”; and Dwayne McDuffie and Alan Burnett for “Jimmy” (“Static Shock”).

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