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Bridging Cultures through Film: International Topics

Division of Public Programs

Receipt Deadline June 10, 2015 for Projects Beginning January 2016

The deadline for this program has passed.

Updated guidelines will be posted in advance of the next deadline. In the meantime, please use these guidelines to get a sense of what is involved in assembling an application.

Brief Summary

NEH’s Division of Public Programs supports activities that engage millions of Americans in understanding significant humanities works and ideas. The Bridging Cultures through Film: International Topics program supports films that examine international themes and subjects in the humanities. The films are meant to spark Americans’ engagement with the broader world by exploring countries and cultures outside of the United States.

The Division of Public Programs encourages innovative nonfiction storytelling that presents multiple points of view in creative formats.  At the center of every NEH-funded film is a core set of humanities ideas developed with the input of scholars, matched to imaginative formats that bring the humanities alive for people of all ages and all walks of life. The proposed film must be analytical and deeply grounded in humanities scholarship. It may be as short as thirty minutes or as long as a feature-length film.

We invite a wide range of approaches to international topics and themes, such as

  • an examination of a critical issue in ethics, religion, literature, or history, viewed through an international lens;
  • an exploration of a topic that transcends a single nation-state;
  • a biography of a foreign leader, writer, artist, or historical figure; or

an exploration of the history and culture(s) of a specific region, country, or community outside of the United States.

Program Statistics

In the last five competitions the Bridging Cultures through Film: International Topics program received an average of 67 applications. The program made an average of five awards per competition, for a funding ratio of 7 percent.

The number of applications to an NEH grant program can vary widely competition to competition, as can the funding ratio. Information about the average number of applications and awards in recent competitions is meant only to provide historical context for the current competition. Information on the number of applications and awards in individual competitions is available from


Contact the staff of NEH’s Division of Public Programs at 202-606-8269 or Hearing-impaired applicants can contact NEH via TDD at 1-866-372-2930.