Submissions open February 22, 2022 

Submissions close June 1, 2022 at 11:59pm EST

Please Note:

  • You will need to create a free Submittable account in order to submit to these forms. 
  • You can save a draft of your work if you would like to finish filling out the form at a later date. 
  • Please be sure the email address you used to sign up for your Submittable Account is one that you check regularly. 

Contact Us:

  • For technical questions only, please contact Submittable Customer Support at submittable.com/help/submitter.
  • For general submission questions, please contact submissions@betterangelssociety.org.


To see information on previous winners and finalists, please click here.


The Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film is a $200,000 cash award presented annually to an independent film project for post production and finishing costs, including outreach and marketing, associated with an original, feature length U.S. historical documentary. (For purposes of this prize, feature length is considered 50-minutes or longer.)

The Better Angels Society will also award a $50,000 cash prize to the runner-up and $25,000 to 3-4 finalists.

General Guidelines:
Films must reflect the highest standards of historical research, balance, accuracy, and dramatic storytelling.  
The project must be a late-stage documentary film with a running time of 50 minutes or longer.
The subject matter of the film must be U.S. history.
The applicant  or a key member of their filmmaking team must have previously produced or directed at least one long-form documentary for broadcast or online distribution.
The applicant must submit a full-length rough or fine cut AND a script of the rough or fine cut at the time of submission of application.
Industrial, promotional, branded content, or instructional films are not eligible.
Applicants will be notified of their status on or before September 15, 2022.

Prize winners will be recognized by Ken Burns and the Librarian of Congress at an Awards Ceremony  on October 18, 2022.

SUBMISSIONS CLOSE: JUNE 1, 2022 at 11:59 pm EST
Contact Us:

  • For technical questions only, please contact Submittable Customer Support at submittable.com/help/submitter.
  • For general submission questions, please contact:  submissions@betterangelssociety.org.