The Better Angels Society

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

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 director or a producer on the filmmaking team must have previously produced or directed at least one long-form documentary for broadcast or online distribution. The applicant must submit at least 20 minutes of a full-length rough or fine cut AND a script of the full length rough or fine cut at the time of submission of application.  A full rough or fine must be available for review upon request.  Industrial, promotional, branded content, or instructional films are not eligible. Applicants will be notified of their status on or before September 1, 2023. Prize winners will be recognized by Ken Burns and the Librarian of Congress at an Awards Ceremony  on September 26, 2023. SUBMISSIONS CLOSED: MAY 15, 2023 at 11:59 pm EST


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

The Better Angels Society