NEH (U.S.) Awards Grants for Documentaries

NEH Bridging Cultures Through Film Grants Awarded

By Michael Rose

The first round of documentary filmmaker recipients of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) new Bridging Cultures through Film initiative were announced today. 

“They were made, for a total of $1,116,715– three for development, and two for production of documentary films,” said Paula Wasley, Public Affairs Specialist at the NEH.

These were the first Bridging Cultures through Film grant awards.

The film grants are part of a larger Bridging Cultures initiative that was implemented by NEH chairman James Leach, who as a former member of Congress, developed an expertise in foreign affairs while chairing the House subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs.

The selected documentary film projects look at international and transnational themes in the humanities.

“Among the projects supported in this category is a film exploring the evolution of economic, social, and cultural relations between China and Africa from the fifteenth century to the modern day, and a documentary on the Balkan civil war and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia’s prosecution of war crimes against women,” said Wasley.

And the winners are:

CALIFORNIA
Oakland
Raymar Educational Films, Inc.  
Outright: $75,000
Project Director: Erica Marcus
Project Title: Africa’s Freedom Train and Other China-Africa Tales
Project Description: Development of a 60-minute documentary film exploring the history of relations between Africa and China.

ILLINOIS
Chicago
Kartemquin Educational Films  
Outright: $75,000
Project Director: Maria Finitzo
Project Title: Encounters with the Other
Project Description: Development of a documentary film examining the indigenous Tsimane people as they transition from a traditional to modern way of life.

MARYLAND
Takoma Park
JWM Productions, LLC  
Outright: $517,330
Project Director: Christine Romero
Project Title: Besa: The Promise
Project Description: Final production of a 90-minute documentary on the history, culture, and beliefs of Albanian Muslims who worked to rescue Jewish refugees during World War II.

NEW YORK
New York

Arcadia Pictures Ltd  
Outright: $43,675
Project Director: Andrea Simon
Project Title: Angel Wagenstein: Art is a Weapon
Project Description: Development of a documentary film that explores the life and work of Angel Wagenstein, a Bulgarian filmmaker, war hero, and novelist.

WNET.ORG  
Outright: $405,710
Project Director: Pamela Hogan
Project Title: Women, War and Peace: The Balkans
Project Description: Production of a one-hour documentary examining the impact of civil war in the Balkans on women and the first international trial for crimes of sexual violence in wartime.

Click here for more information about Bridging Cultures and to read the press release with all of the NEH’s grant recients.

There is some more detail about the grant program in the Bridging Cultures Through Film grant guidelines

Michael Rose is a documentary filmmaker.

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OUR NEXT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

REALSCREEN 2011
Workshop with A&E’s Stephen Harris
January 31, 2011, Washington DC

Getting Your Concept to the Side of the Bus:
A Network Insider’s Guide to
Greenlighting a Factual Program
Improve your chances of success as you learn what’s inside the minds of network executives as they take pitches, buy in to them, promote the strongest concepts to their colleagues, budget productions, and fight for the final sign off. 
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AIDC
Australian International Documentary Conference

1 – 4 March 2011, Adelaide, Australia 
 
Documentary Edge Forum 
Auckland, New Zealand
Watch out for details

Documentary Campus
in association with the
One World Film Festival
New Directions in Human Rights Documentaries
(Working Title)
11-13 March 2011, Prague, Czech Republic
Watch out for details
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