Humanitas nod to Knight’s ‘Things’

HBO, CBS, Fox, Nickelodeon, Showtime draw TV kudos

Writer Steven Knight received the $25,000 feature film Humanitas Prize for “Dirty Pretty Things” at the 30th annual Humanitas Prize luncheon at the Universal Hilton Thursday.

Org cited the film for its “stark and realistic depiction of the life of undocumented workers.”

HBO, CBS, Fox, Nickelodeon and Showtime all drew one nod apiece in the television categories.

Humanitas Prize prexy Father Frank Desidero said that the award honors those whose work is “excellent both in the areas of craft as well as in the area of values.”

Prize, created in 1974 by Father Ellwood “Bud” Kieser, honors and encourages those writers who explore the human condition in their work.

Eight awards totaling $115,000 in prize money were given out to winners selected from three finalists in each category. Finalists were selected from over 350 script submissions.

Over 100 people were involved in the selection process, in which scripts were reviewed first and then footage of the films and teleplays was screened to see how the writer’s message translated to the screen.

“Mean Creek” writer Jacob Aaron Estes received the Sundance feature film Humanitas Prize for his work about a trip down a river gone awry.

Christopher Carlson, a student at Columbia U.’s graduate film program, was awarded the David and Lynn Angell Humanitas Comedy Fellowship, founded last year in honor of the late “Frasier” writer who was aboard the first plane to strike the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Other winners at the luncheon included Tony Kushner for HBO’s “Angels in America”; Barbara Hall for the pilot episode of “Joan of Arcadia”; Jacqui Clay for “Saving Sergeant Tompkins” (“The Bernie Mac Show”); Chris Nee for “I Can Sign — The Sign for Friend” (“Little Bill”); and Toni Ann Johnson for “Crown Heights.”

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