Humanities Endowment Awards $6.4 Million for 16 Film Projects

WASHINGTON, (June 30, 2005)

Nine earn recognition as We the People projects

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced that documentary filmmakers and cultural institutions in five states and the District of Columbia will receive $6.4 million for 16 film projects. Nine of these have been named We the People projects, a special recognition by the NEH for model projects that advance the study, teaching, and understanding of American history and culture.

"Documentary films invite the viewer to experience the images, sounds, and narratives of history," said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. "NEH is proud to support the collaboration of talented filmmakers and distinguished scholars to create films that disseminate knowledge, broaden perspectives, and illuminate the events of the past."

Film projects announced today received funding for one of three separate stages in a project's development: production, scripting, or planning. Several grant recipients have received offers of additional federal matching funds totaling $450,000; organizations receiving such offers must generate equivalent support from individual, foundation, or corporate donors.

Ten of the 16 grants will support production of documentaries, including the following We the People projects: Film/Video Arts, Inc., in New York City for a two-hour television biography of Walt Whitman; Straight Ahead Pictures, Inc., in Conway, Mass., for a two-hour television documentary on the life of Helen Keller and her place in American culture; KCET-TV in Los Angeles, Calif., for a four-hour documentary examining the life and times of Andrew Jackson; Filmmakers Collaborative in Waltham, Mass., for a one-hour documentary on the life and work of Louisa May Alcott and for a one-hour documentary on the Ellis Island immigrant hospital; and City Lore: NY Center for Urban Folk Culture in New York City for a two-hour film exploring the life and work of American playwright Eugene O'Neill.

NEH awarded five scripting grants, including ones to the New York Foundation for the Arts in New York City for a three-hour documentary series about the history of African-American theater and to Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland for a two-hour television biography of Simon Bolivar. NEH also awarded one planning grant to the National Constitution Center, in Philadelphia, Pa., for a television documentary on three constitutional crises faced by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. A state-by-state list of the grants is available here.

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