Pierson Honored by Humanitas

Apr 18, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The Humanitas Prize board of directors has chosen Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences President Frank Pierson as the recipient of the 2005 Kieser Award.

Mr. Pierson, whose credits include writing, directing and producing for television and film for the past half-century, will receive the award during the 2005 Humanitas Prize Luncheon on June 29 at the Universal Hilton in Los Angeles. He will give the keynote speech at the event.

In addition, the nonprofit organization, which has handed out its Humanitas Prizes to film and TV writers since 1974, plans to increase the amount of cash earmarked to go along with the 2006 Humanitas Prizes it will award to children’s television writers.

Mr. Pierson is being honored for “his ongoing leadership within the industry and his ability to tell compelling stories that challenge the way viewers look at the world,” said Chris Donahue, executive director of Humanitas.

The Kieser Award was established in 2002 to honor people in the entertainment industry whose “contribution to society helps us reflect on who we are,” according to the organization. The honorary award has been given out twice before, in 2002 and 2003. It was named after the founder of Humanitas, Ellwood Kieser. Past recipients of the award are Fay Kanin and Bill Moyers.

Recipients of the Humanitas Prize receive money ranging from $10,000 to $25,000, with the larger award reserved for the 90-minute teleplay and feature film screenplay winners.

Mr. Donahue said he would like to change that, however. Beginning in 2006, Mr. Donahue said, Humanitas plans to award $25,000 to the winners of the two children’s teleplay categories as well. The organization’s goal is to support writers of children’s entertainment and, ultimately, “change the culture of writing for children,” Mr. Donahue said.

Aside from the increased prize money, Humanitas will host Master Writers Workshops that focus entirely on children’s entertainment writing.