THE LAVINE FELLOWSHIP
The Better Angels Lavine Fellowship Program was established in 2021 as a component of the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film. The Lavine Fellowship is made possible by The Better Angels Society and Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine through the Crimson Lion Lavine Family Foundation. The fellowship is for promising filmmakers whose films are not selected as finalists for the Lavine Prize, but demonstrate the potential for excellence. With a special emphasis on film projects telling the stories of America’s diversity, the filmmakers receive mentorship, guidance, and advice from a panel of expert filmmakers on the film projects they submitted to the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film.
In 2021, the Fellowship film Fannie Lou Hamer’s America went from late-stage production to broadcast on PBS in less than one year, and the filmmakers credited this Fellowship with a significant impact in the project’s success.
The Better Angels Lavine Fellowship provides mentorship for 5-6 filmmakers per year. All applicants to the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film will be considered automatically for the fellowship. No additional application materials are necessary.
Learn more about how to apply for the Prize here.
2023 Lavine Fellow Films
Bad Like Brooklyn Dancehall
Directed by Ben DiGiacomo
The story of New York City’s dancehall culture told by its legendary participants, from early pioneers to present day megastars Shaggy and Sean Paul. Bad Like Brooklyn Dancehall creates a coherent account of dancehall as a New York immigrant evolution of shared Jamaican identity and cultural pride.
Directed by Elizabeth Ai
Mile-high hair. Synthesized music. Underground parties. The “Vietnamese new wave” scene of 1980s California was the catalyst to healing a generation of refugees in limbo. NEW WAVE is the coming-of-age story about trailblazers who pioneered a raucous music scene and inspired their community to rebuild in the wake of war.
PHOTOGRAPHIC JUSTICE: THE CORKY LEE STORY
Directed by Jennifer Takaki
Using his camera as a “weapon against injustice,” Chinese American photographer Corky Lee brought art and politics together through decades of documentation of the Asian American experience. From Lunar New Year to street protests, Pakistani Independence Day to Diwali, Lee’s photographs empowered generations of AAPI pride. Filmmaker Jennifer Takaki’s unprecedented access reveals the triumphs and tragedies of the man behind the camera.
Directed by Patrick Longstreth
Directed by Robert Carpenter
Lacrosse is an ancient, Indigenous pastime, played on North American shores long before the first settlers arrived. In the late 1800s, colonists appropriated the game and turned it into modern lacrosse, which has become a major contemporary sport. Second Growth tells the story of the Indigenous lacrosse journey to regain agency in modern lacrosse and use the modern platform as the foundation of a larger cultural movement.
2022 Lavine Fellow Films
A LONG MARCH
Three Filipino-American veterans trace their paths from war to erasure by the U.S. Government, marching from an obscured history to the Federal courts, right up to the steps of Congress in search of promises denied.
BUFFALO SOLDIERS: FIGHTING ON THE TWO FRONTS
THE PHILADELPHIA ELEVEN
When eleven women became Episcopal priests against the rules in 1974, they challenged two thousand years of patriarchal Christianity. The media catches on, and they find themselves leading a movement. In a largely archival journey, with parallels to today, we meet the women who create a blueprint for institutional change.
GARDEN CITY KANSAS
THE LAST PHILADELPHIA
Award-winning film director John Carstarphen’s The Last Philadelphia explores racial violence, the MOVE bombings and the power of the Black family in this dramatic memoir about the Eastwick neighborhood in Southwest Philadelphia in the 1960s and 1970s. Told primarily through the POV, experiences and voices of Black mothers, The Last Philadelphia shows us that Black History is everyone’s history, and that ultimately, one American’s story is every American’s story.
A TASTE OF HEAVEN: THE ECSTATIC SONG & GOSPEL OF MAESTRO RAYMOND ANTHONY MYLES
2021 Lavine Fellow Films
FANNIE LOU HAMER’S AMERICA
KANSAS CITY DREAMIN’
From the evolution of jazz in the 1930’s, to present day popular music. This film shows Kansas City’s importance to American music. Featuring interviews with Kansas City natives: Bobby Watson, Janelle Monáe and Tech N9ne. With segments on area legends like Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Big Joe Turner, and others.
Patti Henley & Brenda Lee Eager are two talented singers from the golden age of rock/soul and R&B. Soul Sisters is about their lives: first working for Martin Luther King/Jesse Jackson’s Operation Breadbasket. They become the “Voice of the Movement”. Now they bring powerful messages about Black History to schoolchildren.
HOME FROM SCHOOL: THE CHILDREN OF CARLISLE
In 2017, a delegation of Northern Arapaho tribal members travels from Wyoming to Pennsylvania to retrieve remains of three children who died at Carlisle Indian Industrial school in the 1880s. It’s a journey into the troubled history of Indian boarding schools, and a quest to heal generational wounds.
INVISIBLE WARRIORS: AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN IN WORLD WAR II
During World War II, 600,000 African American “Rosie the Riveters” work in industry and government for the first time. These “Greatest Generation” heroines overcome racism and sexism to create employment opportunities for future generations of Black women.