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NEH Media Production Grant

Humanitarian Documentary Fund for US Filmmakers

The Media Projects program supports the development, production, and distribution of radio programs, podcasts, documentary films, and documentary film series that engage general audiences with humanities ideas in creative and appealing ways. Projects must be grounded in humanities scholarship and demonstrate an approach that is thoughtful, balanced, and analytical.

Media Projects offers two levels of funding: Development and Production. In the recorded workshops provided, NEH program officers and previous awardees offer guidance on applying for Media grants.

Project Types

Radio Programs, Podcasts, Documentary Films, Documentary Film Series: Projects should be designed to engage the public with humanities themes.

Who Can Apply?

  • Eligible Applicants: U.S. nonprofit organizations, state and local governmental agencies, federally recognized Native American tribal governments, and educational institutions.
  • Independent filmmakers cannot apply directly but can partner with eligible organizations.
  • International Partnerships: While primary applicants must be U.S.-based entities, international collaborators may participate as project partners.

Project Types

    •    Radio Programs
    •    Podcasts
    •    Documentary Films
    •    Documentary Film Series

Projects should aim to engage public audiences with humanities themes in innovative and compelling ways.

Key Criteria

  •  Humanities Scholarship: Projects must be grounded in rigorous humanities scholarship.
  • Thoughtful and Analytical Approach: Projects should demonstrate a thoughtful, balanced, and analytical approach to the humanities themes they explore.
  • Audience Engagement: Projects must engage a general audience in ways that are creative and appealing.
    Project Feasibility: Projects should have a feasible plan for production and distribution.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Artistic Vision and Compelling Storytelling: Strong narrative and creative vision are essential.
  • Cultural Relevance: Projects should address contemporary cultural issues.
  • Originality and Feasibility: Original projects that are feasible within the proposed budget and timeline.
  • Journalistic Rigor: For applicable projects, a commitment to thorough research and factual accuracy.
  • Potential to Reach and Connect with Audiences: Projects should have a clear plan for reaching and engaging their intended audience.


  • Development grants up to $75,000
  • Production grants up to $700,000
  • Chair’s Special Awards up to $1,000,000
  • Creative and professional development support


  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Institutions of higher education
  • State and local governmental agencies
  • Federally recognized Native American tribal governments
  • Public radio and television stations
  • Independent filmmakers need to collaborate with eligible entities to apply

Expanded Eligibility

  • Applicants must adhere to the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) guidelines.
  • Projects must be grounded in humanities scholarship.
  • Applications are open to a variety of media formats, including film, TV, online video, podcast, and radio broadcast.
  • Applicants must register for a SAM number and an account with

Program Statistics

  • Average number of applications per competition: 79
  • Funding ratio: 14%
  • Average number of awards per competition: 11
up to $1,000,000

How to Apply

See Opening Dates and Deadlines, Detailed Project Requirements, Submission Process and Selection Criteria. Click to Apply.

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