This annual national prize, now in its fifth year, is designed to provide finishing funds, including outreach and marketing, for feature-length U.S. historical documentaries in the tradition of Ken Burns.
Documentary films on issues of importance to our nation create space for us to have mutually informed conversations about our history. The documentary film medium is perhaps the most relevant and powerful means by which we can explore our history and ourselves. The lessons learned from our past inform and inspire our future.
Bringing this critical educational tool to as broad an American audience as possible is our goal.
The establishment of the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film reflects the critical role history documentary film plays today in educating Americans about the American story. The Prize is bestowed by Librarian Carla Hayden and filmmaker Ken Burns who will co-chair a national jury of esteemed scholars, filmmakers, and journalists. The Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film joins other awards bestowed by the Library of Congress including the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the Prize for American Fiction, and the Kluge Prize for the Study of Humanity.