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Best Picture Oscar winner "Crash" still collecting awards

from cbsnews.com:

JULY 3, 2006

Crash Screenplay wins Humanitas Award

By SANDY COHEN AP Entertainment Writer

AP) Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco, who won the original screenplay Oscar earlier this year for "Crash," collected another award for the film on Wednesday: the Humanitas Prize.

The screenwriting award honors work that helps "liberate, enrich and unify society." Eleven writers collected awards and their share of $145,000 in prize money at a luncheon at the Hilton Universal Hotel. Haggis and Moresco received $25,000.

"Crash," which also won the best-picture Oscar, tells the intertwining stories of an array of diverse characters over 36 hours in Los Angeles. The Humanitas judges commended it "for its call to reach out with respect and compassion to all of our brothers and sisters."

The award recognizes screenwriters who "give people something worthwhile to think about," said Frank Desiderio, president of the Humanitas Prize. Since 1974, the organization has awarded more than 240 prizes and $2.5 million in cash to television and film writers with "strong ethical voices."

"Storytellers have always shaped culture," Desiderio told The Associated Press. "Stories carry values, and we want to raise up the best values so that the culture is influenced to become one where the common good is really served."

Winners are chosen by the Humanitas Prize organization, which includes more than 50 screenwriters and industry heads, Desiderio said.

While fiction is the focus of the prize, the organization occasionally recognizes documentaries. It did so this year, presenting a special award to "An Inconvenient Truth," which chronicles former vice president Al Gore's quest to draw attention to global warming.

"It points out a social problem that affects the whole human family and gives people a positive way to go," Desiderio said.

Other winners:

_ Richard Curtis won $25,000 for "The Girl in the Cafe," an HBO film that tells the story of a hardworking civil servant's relationship with a mysterious woman he meets in a cafe. It is "a clarion call to universal concern," judges said.

_ Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland received $10,000 for "Quinceanera," which follows a 14-year-old girl in a Los Angeles neighborhood as she prepares for her coming-of-age ceremony.

"It's about unconditional love," Chris Donohue, executive director of the Humanitas Prize, told AP. "It shows the importance of living in a multicultural world and finding family in those people who love you unconditionally."

"Quinceanera" also took top honors at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

_ David Shore won $15,000 for an episode of Fox's "House," which weaves together stories of three patients with similar symptoms. Judges cited its "poignant probe into the pain and confusion that comes when someone we love disappoints us."

_ Greg Garcia received $10,000 for writing the pilot episode of "My Name is Earl," an NBC comedy that follows a small-time crook as he tries to reshape his karma and right past wrongs.

_ Alice Prodanou, Michael Stokes and Steven Sullivan collected $25,000 for their animated work, "Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends: A Froggy Day in Sunny Patch," which judges acclaimed for "its whimsical portrayal of the importance of friendships."

_ Willy Holtzman received $25,000 for "Edge of America," a story about a black teacher who comes to work at the Three Nations Reservations High School in Utah.

_ Colin Marshall, a graduate student at Columbia University, won the "2006 David and Lynn Angell Humanitas Comedy Fellowship," plus $10,000.


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