16 Nov 2016, by admin in general


  • John Ridley receives the Kieser Award and Ali LeRoi’s photo portraits line the walls of the Director’s Guild of America at the 41st Annual HUMANITAS Awards.
  • 550 guests attend the prestigious evening event, a change from the traditional luncheon.


  • The HUMANITAS/CTG (Center Theatre Group) Playwriting Prize is created, awarded to the best unproduced play written by a Southern Californian playwright.


  • Ali LeRoi becomes President of the Board.
  • Carole Kirschner joins HUMANITAS as New Voices Program Director.


  • Tom Fontana becomes President of the Board.


  • Fr. Frank Desiderio becomes Chairman of the Board.
  • Co-founder John Furia, Jr. and HUMANITAS Board member dies on May 7, 2009.
  • Documentary Category is added.


  • HUMANITAS winner John Wells becomes President of the Board. With an astounding 267 Emmy nominations and 55 Emmy wins as a writer/producer for hit series like ER, The West Wing, Third Watch and China Beach, John Wells helps launch the “new vision” to not only “honor the writers of today, but to also empower writers to tell the stories of tomorrow.”


  • HUMANITAS winner and long-time Advisory Council member Cathleen Young joins the HUMANITAS family as Executive Director.
  • Former Executive Director Chris Donahue joins The Shepard/Robin Company as Executive Vice President.
  • Drama Student Fellowship is added.


  • For the first time in over ten years a Special Award is awarded to the documentary film An Inconvenient Truth, which was directed by Davis Guggenheim, and chronicles former Vice President Al Gore’s decades long commitment to the issue of global warming.


  • The first David & Lynn Angell Comedy Fellowship Award is given to UCLA graduate student, Kathy Fischer.
  • Members of the entertainment industry created the fellowship to honor David and Lynn Angell. David was a writer on the staff of Cheers and co-creator of Wings and Frasier. The Angells were aboard Flight #11 when it crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.


  • Bill Moyers receives the first Kieser Award.
  • The award is created in memory of Fr. Bud Kieser and is given to an individual (and/or group) whose work has helped to promote a greater appreciation for the dignity of each member of the human family and challenged others to examine the role they play in our search for meaning, freedom and love.


  • HUMANITAS Founder Fr. Bud Kieser dies on September 16, 2000.
  • Fr. Frank Desiderio, C.S.P. is elected President and Chris Donahue is hired as the first full-time Executive Director.
  • The Sundance category is added to the Prize.
  • Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Love and Basketball wins the first Sundance HUMANITAS Prize.


  • The Feature Film category is added.
  • Schindler’s List by Steven Zaillian (Universal) is the first winner of the category. Zaillian is also a finalist for Searching for Bobby Fischer.


  • A record 480 scripts submitted for the HUMANITAS Prize.


  • The PBS/Cable category was added.
  • PBS’s Three Hotels by Jon Robin Baitz took home the Prize in its first year.


  • HUMANITAS retrospectives at the Museum of Broadcasting in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.


  • HUMANITAS educational programs expanded to include monthly Master Writers Workshops.
  • HUMANITAS winners including David E. Kelley, Eric Roth, Steve Zaillian, John Wells, Antwone Fisher and Steven Bochco all participate.


  • The Children’s Animation and Live Action categories are created.
  • The first Children’s Animation award goes to CBS’s Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies “Eight Take Away One Equals Panic” by Jeffrey Scott.
  • The first Live Action award was awarded to CBS’ Schoolbreak Special “The Day the Senior Class Got Married” by Charles Purpura.


  • Dan Burke (Capital Cities Broadcasting), Tom Murphy (Capital Cities Broadcasting), John Kluge (Metromedia) and Dan Ritchie (Group W) lead a group of the twenty-five top broadcasters in a one million dollar commitment to the HUMANITAS vision.


  • A luncheon is held at the “Tale of the Cock” on La Cienega to honor the winning writers on the Today show.


  • Ray Bradbury, Fr. “Bud” Kieser and reporter Bob Abernathy announce the first HUMANITAS Prize winners live on the Today show.


  • Fr. Ellwood “Bud” Kieser brings together a broad-based coalition in the entertainment industry to create the HUMANITAS Prize. Lilly Foundation provides initial funding.









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