Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

1.The Humanitas Prize goes to…  Congratulations, of course, to Mad Men, Modern Family and all the winners at last night’s Emmy Awards (BTW, is it just a coincidence that the EMmy Awards seems to favor shows that actually begin with the letter M) but the Emmys (like the Oscars) tend to award whatever is considered hip, edgy and politically correct at the fleeting moment in time the awards are doled out. I like the Humanitas Prize (created in 1974) because of its dedication to rewarding writers “whose work explores the human condition in a nuanced, meaningful way.” To me, that means enduring values as opposed to fleeting ones — values that include love, faith, kindness, tolerance, forgiveness.

Anyway, this year’s Humanitas winners  (announced Friday in Beverly Hills) in the feature film category include the Oscar-winning film The King’s Speech (written by David Seidler) and previous Sundance winner Win, Win (written by Thomas McCarthy). The documentary Louder Than a Bomb (produced and directed by Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel) was also honored.

TV side winners were Modern Family (Episode: The Kiss written by Abraham Higgenbotham), Friday Night Lights (Episode: Always written by Jason Katims). Non-series winners included HBO’s Thurgood  (written by George Stevens, Jr.) and Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special (written by Jonathan Groff and Jon Pollack).

BTW, not to take anything away from Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special (which I haven’t seen and, for all I know, was a very moving experience), it’s, perhaps, a sign of the times (and the current relationship TV networks have with the subject of faith) that the Christmas season was represented by Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special.

The David & Lynn Angell Fellowship in Comedy Writing went to UCLA’s Robin W. Morton for a Modern Family spec script  entitled Life is Beautiful. The Humanitas Student Fellowship was awarded to USC’s Amy Ripling for  an original called Inklings.

The Kieser Award, named for Rev. Ellwood “Bud” Keiser, the Catholic Priest who founded the Humanitas Prize (and who died in 2000), was bestowed upon Gary David Goldberg (whose body of work includes the TV series Family Ties and Brooklyn Bridge).

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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