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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:

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.

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.

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

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.

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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January 31, 2011, Washington DC

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1 – 4 March 2011, Adelaide, Australia 
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Documentary Campus
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