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‘Hidden Figures,’ ‘Hacksaw Ridge,’ ‘Birth of a Nation’ Honored by Humanitas Prize

Hidden Figures Hacksaw Ridge
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox/Summit Entertainment

Screenwriters of “Hidden Figures,” “Hacksaw Ridge” and “The Birth of a Nation” took the top film honors at the 42nd annual Humanitas Prize ceremony.

Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi of “Hidden Figures” and Robert Schenkkan and Andrew Knight of “Hacksaw Ridge” tied for the feature film honor. Nate Parker, writer-director of “Birth of a Nation,” was recognized in the Sundance feature film category. The Humanitas kudo aims to recognize works that revolve around efforts to improve the human condition.

There was also a tie in the feature documentary category between Ava DuVernay for “13th” and Chris Chuang, Heather MacDonald and Brian Oakes for “Jim: The James Foley Story.”

In television, Dan Fogelman won the 60-minute category for the pilot of NBC’s “This Is Us.” Kenya Barris, creator of ABC’s “Blackish,” won the 30-minute category for the “Hope” episode dealing with police brutality.

Laurie Israel and Rachel Ruderman won for children’s animation for the “Dads and Daughters Day” episode of Disney Channel’s “Sofia the First.” Children’s live-action honors went to Amazon’s “An American Girl Story” (“Melody 1963: Love Has to Win”).

Winners of Humanitas awards receive a $10,000 stipend. Several of this year’s winners have opted to donate the money to charitable causes.

The awards also recognize students and emerging writers through a script competition. The David and Lynn Angell College Comedy Fellowship went to Magdalen Silberman of University of Texas at Austin.

The inaugural Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Fellowship went to Munis Rashid of the American Film Institute.

The New Voices initiative gives five winners a grant of $15,000 apiece and the opportunity to write a pilot script under the direction of a Humanitas-affiliated showrunner. This year’s winners are: Matthew-Lee Erlbach, Morenike Balogun, Andrea Wachner, Tyler Greene and Kim Izzo.

Separately, Humanitas has awarded $1,500 grants to six playwrights to support the development of new works. The six scribes selected for the Play LA workshop are: Patrick Burleigh, Sigrid Gilmer, Corey Hinkle, Meg Miroshnik, Tatiana Suarez-Pico and Chelsea Sutton.

(Pictured: “Hidden Figures,” “Hacksaw Ridge”)