Contact: Gabriel Scott (323) 782-4603
News Release: July 2, 2002
2002 Humanitas Prize Winners Announced

LOS ANGELES --     The annual Humanitas Prize awards luncheon was held on June 25 at a luncheon attended by more than 300 television and film industry professionals. The twelve awards -- totaling $145,000 -- were handed out to film and television writers whose work, according to the Humanitas foundation, "entertains and enriches the viewing public." The winners included works about a noted author afflicted with Alzheimer's; a hate crime in Wyoming; a young Jewish girl hiding from Nazis; and the first tie in the Humanitas Prize's 28-year history.

Screenwriters Richard Eyre and Charles Wood won the award in the feature film category for their work on Iris, a portrait of author Iris Murdoch and her battle with Alzheimer's disease. Kirk Ellis' screenplay for Anne Frank was honored in the 90-minute or longer network category, while Moises Kaufman snagged the corresponding cable prize for The Laramie Project, the adaptation of his stage play about the Wyoming town coping with the murder of Matthew Shepard.

The first tie in the Humanitas' history was announced in the 60-minute TV category, in which Lukas Reiter and David E. Kelley's "Honor Code" episode of The Practice and The West Wing's "Two Cathedrals" written by Aaron Sorkin both won the award.

Matt Tarses' "My Old Lady" episode of Scrubs took home the prize in the 30-minute category. Prize winners also included Anna Sandor for My Louisiana Sky in the children's live action category; Dev Ross for her "Wolf Quest" episode of Balto II in the children's animation category; and George LaVoo and Josefina Lopez for Real Women Have Curves in the Sundance feature film category.

Also presented at the luncheon was the newly established "Kieser Award" to journalist Bill Moyers in recognition of his 30-year career. The Keiser award is named in memory of the late Father Ellwood "Bud" Kieser, founder of the Humanitas organization.

"Bill Moyers work reflects many of the same values and beliefs of Fr. Kieser," said Frank Desiderio, president of the Humanitas Prize. "Moyers' projects propel us to reflect on who we are and how we relate to each other."

During the ceremony, Peter Casey, co-creator and producer of Frasier introduced a posthumous tribute to his colleague David Angell, who, along with his wife, Lynn, was aboard the first hijacked plane to hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. The occasion marked the establishment of the "David and Lynn Angell Humanitas Fellowship in Comedy Writing," a fellowship funded in part by Paramount Television and designed to give beginning writers a stipend and an opportunity to work on a television series.