James Solomon was awarded the 2012 HUMANITAS Prize honoring excellence in Feature Film for his screenplay for THE CONSPIRATOR.
The HUMANITAS Prize is awarded each year to film and television writers whose work explores the human condition in a nuanced, meaningful way.
HUMANITAS Executive Director Cathleen Young presented the awards at the 38th annual ceremony on September 14. "We honor the most gifted writers working today. It is extremely gratifying to play a role in recognizing and honoring these HUMANITAS winners. The work of these writers is truly inspiring," said Young.
The other Feature Film nominees were Alexander Payne, Jim Rash, & Nat Faxon (THE DESCENDANTS), John Logan (HUGO), and Steve McQueen & Abi Morgan (SHAME) for the prize.
Past winners include Paul Haggis (CRASH), Tim Robbins (DEAD MAN WALKING), Steve Zaillian (SCHINDLER'S LIST), and Ben Affleck & Matt Damon (GOOD WILL HUNTING).
For more information, visit the HUMANITAS website at www.humanitasprize.org.
THE CONSPIRATOR spurs remembrance project in honor of Frederick Aiken.
The American Film Company's first history movie, THE CONSPIRATOR, told the story of Mary Surratt, the first woman to be executed by the United States government for her role in the Lincoln assassination, and of the valiant efforts of her attorney, Frederick Aiken, to spare her life. When James McAvoy was announced as the lead actor, a fan, Christine Christensen, decided to find out a bit more about Frederick Aiken. Her research led to the discovery that Aiken has been buried in an unmarked grave in D.C.'s Oak Hill Cemetery since his death in 1878.
A member of the Surratt Society, a volunteer affiliate of historic Surratt House Museum in Maryland, Mrs. Christensen asked the group to support a fund to place a simple headstone at Aiken's grave, and that project is now underway. If you are interested in donating to this project, tax-deductible donations may be sent to "Surratt Society," c/o Surratt House Museum, 9118 Brandywine Road, Clinton, MD 20735. Further details may be obtained here or you can contact Laurie Verge at 301-868-1121 or firstname.lastname@example.org . We also invite you to visit www.surratt.org/
The 2-Disc Collector's Edition of THE CONSPIRATOR DVD is available to purchase here!
Venture behind the true story of one of the world's most famous assassinations as Lionsgate debuts The Conspirator on Blu-ray Disc, 2-Disc DVD, Digital Download and On Demand this August. Oscar-winning director Robert Redford (Best Director, Ordinary People, 1980) gives viewers a front-row seat in the thrilling courtroom battle waged against Mary Surratt (Golden Globe nominee Robin Wright), the only female charged in the murder of President Abraham Lincoln.
The film costars Golden Globe nominee James McAvoy as the attorney who reluctantly takes on Surratt's defense, and who becomes her biggest ally as government forces align to bring her down. Featuring an all-star supporting cast including Kevin Kline (A Fish Called Wanda), Danny Huston (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Evan Rachel Wood (HBO's "True Blood"), Justin Long (Going the Distance) and two-time Oscar nominee Tom Wilkinson, Lionsgate presents The Conspirator in a deluxe Blu-ray Disc and 2-Disc DVD that both contain in-depth special features, including a feature-length documentary about the plot to kill Lincoln, interviews with the cast and crew, plus numerous featurettes that look at the making of the film and the true story it captures. The Blu-ray version of the film also includes a video commentary (instead of the audio commentary) with Robert Redford and image galleries. Housed in collectible embossed, foil stamped packaging for a limited time, The Conspirator Blu-ray Disc and 2-Disc DVD are available for the suggested retail price of $39.99 and $29.95, respectively.
In the wake of the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865, a country mourns its leader, and eight people are charged with conspiring to kill the President, Vice President and Secretary of State. The lone woman accused, Mary Surratt (Wright), owns the boarding house where the attack was planned. Faced with a certain death, Surratt's only hope comes in the form of a newly minted lawyer and Union war hero, Frederick Aiken (McAvoy), who reluctantly agrees to defend Surratt before a military tribunal. As the courtroom trial unfolds, Aiken realizes his client may be innocent and that she is being used as bait in order to capture the only conspirator to have escaped a massive manhunt, her son (Johnny Simmons, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World).
THE CONSPIRATOR premiered at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC on Sunday, April 10, 2011. Director Robert Redford, The American Film Company founder Joe Ricketts and cast members James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline, Evan Rachel Wood, Tom Wilkinson, Alexis Bledel, Stephen Root, Norman Reedus, and Johnny Simmons attended the event alongside DC elite Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
It was the first film event at Ford's Theatre in 20 years, according to Ford's Theatre Society Director Paul Tetreault. Tetreault, Redford, and Ricketts introduced the film and encouraged guests to spread the word. "I really like the idea of people seeing a movie and then visiting about it, having cocktails or dinner and talking about the movie," Ricketts recently told New York Times' Jamie Malanowski.
Ford's Theatre plays an integral role in the film, which tells the story of the only woman charged in the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln, and the young attorney forced to defend her. It is an unfamiliar story surrounding a very well-known event. "It was a story no one knew about, and it was tied to a story everyone knows about," said Redford.
THE CONSPIRATOR opens nationwide April 15, 2011.
THE CONSPIRATOR, directed by Academy Award winner Robert Redford, will release on April 15, 2011. The date marks the 146-year anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination.
The film portrays the true story of the only woman charged in the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln, and the young attorney forced to defend her. Robin Wright and James McAvoy star along with a cast that also features Kevin Kline, Evan Rachel Wood, Tom Wilkinson, Alexis Bledel, Danny Huston, Justin Long, Colm Meaney and James Badge Dale.
THE CONSPIRATOR is distributed by Roadside Attractions and The American Film Company.