National Geographic's 'Cosmos' creator scores award for pushing boundaries of television

Every year, the Sun Valley Film Festival recognizes cutting-edge film and television from their ski resort in Idaho. They cancelled the March festival due to COVID-19, but still awarded prizes to many filmmakers and screenwriters with a virtual announcement.

On Thursday morning, the festival awarded Ann Druyan with the National Geographic Further Award for her groundbreaking work, most recently on "Cosmos: Possible Worlds."

Druyan pioneered the original "Cosmos" series in 1980 alongside her late husband, Carl Sagan. Bringing the original series back to life, Druyan is a creator, writer, director and executive producer of the newest "Cosmos" series.

The 13-episode installment of "Cosmos: Possible Worlds" takes viewers on an adventure through humanity's past, present and future, exploring the vast realm of possibilities of our existence. Using science as the basis for exploration, the miniseries branches off into more speculative hypotheses of new planets and discoveries.

The film festival recognized Druyan for being "uniquely innovative, timely, and impactful" in addition to "boldly push[ing] the boundaries of her field."

While the series is currently airing through a very uncertain time, Druyan is confident we can build a better future. "If we start listening to what the scientists are telling us...we can get out of this horrible mess that we've created for ourselves," she told On The Red Carpet at the series' premiere event.

Other winners from the film festival include Shia LaBeouf for his script "Minor Modifications," independent films "Nine Days," "Once Upon a River" and more.

"Cosmos: Possible Worlds" airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT | 7 p.m. CT on National Geographic.
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