Humanitas Awards Honor USC’s Sheridan Watson For ‘Lady Lazarus’ College Comedy Fellowship

The 45th annual Humanitas Prizes honoring film and television writers whose work inspires compassion, hope, and understanding in the human family were given out last night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

The finalists are nominated for their work in 10 categories, including Comedy Teleplay, Drama Teleplay, Children’s Teleplay, Independent Feature Film, Drama Feature Film, Comedy or Musical Feature Film, Family Feature Film, and Documentary. In addition, this year Humanitas has introduced two new categories: Limited Series, TV Movie or Special and Short Film, to reflect the increased significance of those forms in the digital media landscape.

Ava DuVernay received the Humanitas Voice for Change Award, which honors an individual in the film and television industry who makes high-level, sometimes challenging choices to create positive systemic change.

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Greg Berlanti received the Kieser Award, a lifetime achievement award for television and feature film writers whose work not only entertains, but also enriches the viewing public. It is named after Humanitas founder Fr. Ellwood “Bud” Kieser.

All winners, except for those in the Independent Feature Film, Short Film, College Fellowship, and New Voices categories, designate a nonprofit of their choice. Past recipients have included Young Storytellers, The Writers Guild Foundation, Rosie’s Theater Kids, Film2Future, Hedgebrook, ARC, The Remix Project, and WriteGirl, among others.

Since its inception in 1974, the HUMANITAS Prize has awarded over $4 million to more than 360 television and motion picture writers whose work examines what it means to be a fully realized human being in a world struggling with racism, terrorism, sexism, ageism, anti-Semitism, political polarization, religious fanaticism, extreme poverty, violence, and unemployment.

The David and Lynn Angell College Comedy Fellowship went to Sheridan Watson of USC for Lady Lazarus, winning a $20,000 prize. The Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Fellowship.was won by King Lu from Columbia University for From June to July. He also gets $20,000 in prize money.

Six Humanitas New Voices winners were also honored at the event. Those winning writers receive mentorship and will be awarded $7,500 in prize money.

The 45th annual Humanitas Prize winners:

Children’s Teleplay Category

WINNER: ELENA OF AVALOR “Changing of the Guard” Written by Kate Kondell

Comedy or Musical Feature Film Categorys

WINNERS: THE FAREWELL Written by Lulu Wang, JOJO RABBIT Written by Taika Waititi

Independent Feature Film Category

Short Film Category

WINNER:  KITBULL Written by Rosana Sullivan

Documentary Category
WINNER:  THIS IS FOOTBALL “Redemption” Directed by James Erskine, Written by John Carlin

The David and Lynn Angell College Comedy Fellowship

The Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Fellowship

New Voices 


Robert Axelrod, TUCKED
Christina Brosman, SACRIFICIAL
Jeanine Daniels, CONVOLUTED
Obiageli Odimegwu, THE SHOW
Roniel Tessler, BLUE MOON


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