NEH Documentary Film Competition

Light House Studio National Endowment for the Humanities Documentary Film Project

A Collaborative Project between High School Filmmakers and Light House Studio 

Human/Ties is a gathering of some of the world’s leading authors, filmmakers, scholars, and artists to explore the importance of the humanities in the modern world. The Forum on the Public Humanities will take place from September 14-17, 2016 in Charlottesville, Virginia and is designed to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The event will consist of a series of public lectures, panels, film screenings, and workshops across Charlottesville, Virginia, all of which are free and open to the public.

As part of the Forum Light House Studio has received a grant to help Virginia youth create short documentaries centered on one of the Forum’s five areas of focus: war, the environment, race, globalization, and democratic citizenship. A panel of award-winning professional filmmakers will evaluate student films, and the best films will be screened as part of the Forum in September.

Light House Studio offered documentary filmmaking workshops at various High Schools in Central Virginia, at Light House Studio’s teaching studio located in downtown Charlottesville, and partnering with other nonprofit organizations. High School students were invited to attend workshops, schedule appointments with Light House Mentors to develop, film, and edit documentaries, and submit completed documentaries to be reviewed for inclusion in the September Forum Screening. Read on to learn how you can submit your documentary!

Stay up to date with NEH’s September event in Charlottesville:
Learn more about our amazing guest judges here!
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Judges will choose the best documentary films, and the winner will receive a $500 cash prize, as well as VIP seating at a screening and Q&A of Freedom Riders at the September HumanTies Forum with award-winning director Stanley Nelson!

High School Filmmakers! Finished a short documentary and ready to submit to the competition?
Fill out this form to submit your film!
Deadline: July 31st, 2016

Submission Guidelines:

  • must have been completed after July 2015
  • must be 7 minutes or less
  • must be documentaries that fit into any of the following five categories: war, the environment, race, globalization, and democratic citizenship.
  • must have been made entirely by high school filmmakers. Adults may assist, but may not be the primary filmmakers.