National Endowment for the Humanities: Grants for Film

OVERVIEW: NEH is an independent government organization that funds projects to promote research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities.

IP TAKE: Grant seekers should expect to compete with applicants from throughout the humanities. Be sure to look over previously funded projects to get a better idea of what NEH supports.

PROFILE: Created in 1965, National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) was established by the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act. The same legislation also created the National Endowment for the Arts. It seeks to “[serve and strengthen the] republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans.” NEH supports film through multiple grantmaking programs.

NEH grants support “cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, and radio stations, and to individual scholars.” Grant amounts range from just a few thousand up to $1 million. These grants have supported Ken Burns’ The Civil War documentary, the Library of America editions of works of literature, The United States Newspaper Project, 16 Pulitzer Prize winning books, and funding for lectures, discussions, and exhibitions throughout the country. The list of grant available programs changes annually, so grant seekers should check frequently to see which programs are active. Current and past film grant programs include Media Projects: Production Grants, Media Projects: Development Grants, Documenting Endangered Languages, Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions.

View past grantees here and here. Apply at


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