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National Endowment for the Humanities: Short Documentaries

Deadline: January 8, 2020

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Short Documentaries program supports the production and distribution of documentary films up to 30 minutes that engage audiences with humanities ideas in appealing ways. The program aims to extend the humanities to new audiences through the medium of short documentary films. Films must be grounded in humanities scholarship in disciplines such as history, art history, literature, religious studies, philosophy, or anthropology.

The Short Documentaries program supports production of single films or a series of thematically-related short films addressing significant figures, events, or ideas. Programs should be intended for regional or national distribution, via broadcast, festivals, and/or online distribution. The subject of the film(s) must be related to “A More Perfect Union”: NEH Special Initiative Advancing Civic Education and Commemorating the Nation’s 250th Anniversary. Applications must present clear central ideas in the humanities and must demonstrate a solid command of the humanities scholarship on their subject. Applicants must have consulted with a team of scholarly advisers to develop the intellectual ideas that the program will explore. The scholars must represent fields relevant to the subject matter, have a strong record of research and scholarship in the humanities, and offer diverse perspectives and approaches. Projects must also demonstrate an approach that is thoughtful, balanced, and analytical.

All proposed projects must:

  • Relate to “A More Perfect Union”
  • Employ appealing formats that will engage the general public in learning
  • Build on sound humanities scholarship
  • Deepen public understanding of significant humanities questions
  • Approach a subject analytically, presenting a variety of perspectives
  • Involve humanities scholars in all phases of development and production
  • Involve appropriate media professionals

Short Documentaries awards may support activities such as:

  • Meeting with scholars
  • Script refinement
  • Shooting and editing of short films
  • Creation or enhancement of resources, including websites or other digital components, related to the proposed short film(s)
  • Distribution, outreach activities, and public engagement related to the proposed short film(s)

Amount: Nine awards will be made for a 6-24 month period of performance. Awards of up to $60,000 will be made for a single film, and awards of up to $250,000 will be made for a series of films.

Eligibility: U.S. nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, state and local governmental agencies, federally recognized Native American tribal governments, and accredited public and 501(c)(3) institutions of higher education.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=322038

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