The writers of the TV miniseries "Angels in America" and the dark thriller "Dirty Pretty Things" won $25,000 Humanitas Prizes yesterday. The awards are given for works that "entertain and enrich the viewing public."
Tony Kushner won for "Angels in America," the HBO miniseries adapted from his play about heavenly guardians and an ensemble of New Yorkers touched by the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Humanitas called it a "brutally honest examination of society coming to terms with the reality of AIDS."
Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson led the cast of the miniseries.
Steven Knight won for "Dirty Pretty Things," a film about illegal immigrants in London who stumble on a black-market trade in human organs run out of the hotel where they work. Humanitas cited his work for its "stark and realistic depiction of the life of undocumented workers."
The movie, directed by Stephen Frears, starred Audrey Tautou, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Sergi Lopez.
Other winners of Humanitas screenwriting awards:
* Jacob Aaron Estes, who received the group's $10,000 prize for Sundance Film Festival features for "Mean Creek," his tale of youths turning against one another during a river trip.
* Barbara Hall, recipient of a $15,000 prize for the pilot episode of CBS's "Joan of Arcadia," about a teenage girl who meets a stranger claiming to be God.
* JacQui Clay, who received a $10,000 award for an episode of Fox's "Bernie Mac Show" in which Bernie tells a fib to comfort his nephew about the absence of his deadbeat dad.
* Toni Ann Johnson and Michael D'Antonio, who were awarded a $10,000 prize for "Crown Heights," a Showtime movie about the efforts to heal wounds from the riots that broke out after a car driven by a Jewish man struck and killed a black child.
* Chris Nee, recipient of a $10,000 prize for children's animation for an episode of Nickelodeon's "Little Bill" about a child overcoming his fear of a hearing-impaired store clerk by learning some sign language.