The 30th Annual Humanitas Awards were held yesterday, July 8, at the Hilton Universal Hotel in Los Angeles, Calif. The event drew more than 350 writers, directors, producers and entertainment execs as TV and film scribes vied for a total of $115,000 and the satisfaction of knowing their work is appreciated for its socially conscious messages.
While Disney and Pixar’s Oscar-winning animated feature, Finding Nemo, cleaned up in a number of other award ceremonies over the past year, writers Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson and David Reynolds went home empty-handed as the $25,000 Feature Film prize went to Steven Knight for Miramax’s Dirty Pretty Things. Seabiscuit writer Gary Ross was also in the running.
In the Children’s Animation category, Chris Nee took the $10,000 purse for the “I Can Sign—The Sign for Friend” episode of Nickelodeon’s Little Bill. The episode, which has Little Bill overcome his fear of a hearing-impaired store clerk, was cited for "its assertion that open and honest dialogue can bring about change." Nee was also nominated for the Little Bill installment “A Ramp for Monty.” He was up against Peter K. Hirsh for the “Big Horns George” episode of PBS’s Arthur. Last year’s winner was Dwayne McDuffie, writer of the “Jimmy” episode of the Kids’ WB! series, Static Shock.
In recent years, animated projects such as Balto II, Clifford the Big Red Dog, The Sissy Duckling and Rugrats have all been the recipients of the prestigious award. To see a full list of 2004 Humanitas Prize winners, visit www.humanitasprize.org.