National Endowment for the Humanities Short Documentary Grant

The National Endowment for the Humanities has recently opened a grant opportunity for short documentaries.

The Short Documentaries program supports the production and distribution of documentary films up to 30 minutes that engage audiences with humanities ideas in appealing ways.  The program aims to extend the humanities to new audiences through the medium of short documentary films.  Films must be grounded in humanities scholarship.

The Short Documentaries program supports production of single films or a series of thematically-related short films addressing significant figures, events, or ideas.  The proposed film(s) must be intended for regional or national distribution, via broadcast, festivals, and/or online distribution.  The subject of the film(s) must be related to “A More Perfect Union”: NEH Special Initiative Advancing Civic Education and Commemorating the Nation’s 250th Anniversary.

Applicants must have consulted with a team of scholarly advisers in the humanities to develop the humanities themes, subjects, and ideas that the film(s) will explore.  The humanities scholars must provide diverse perspectives, and incorporate a range of scholarly ideas and approaches.


  • Maximum award amount: $300,000
  • Open to: Organizations
  • Expected Output: Film/TV/Video; Online Video
  • Period of Performance: Six to Twenty-Four months


  • Application Available: June 25, 2020
  • Optional Draft Due: July 8, 2020
  • Applications Due: August 12, 2020
  • Expected Notification Date: April 1, 2021
  • Project Start Date: May 1, 2021

To apply and to find out more information, visit the National Endowment for the Arts website.

For questions, contact the Division of Public Programs Team at 202-606-8269 or [email protected].