Lincoln Presidential Foundation Secures Grant from The Better Angels Society to Launch “Latest Generation Film Contest”

Project aims to inspire young filmmakers to interpret history through documentary filmmaking

Chicago, IL (May 7, 2024) – The Lincoln Presidential Foundation announces it has received a major grant from The Better Angels Society through the Amy Margerum Berg Education Fund. This generous support will enable the relaunch and expansion of the previously Illinois-based “No Malice Youth Film Contest” into the “Latest Generation Film Contest.” Starting this August, the contest will engage teens and young adults throughout the Midwest in documentary filmmaking. 

Inspired by Abraham Lincoln’s question to an Indianapolis crowd during his inaugural journey—”Shall the Union and shall the liberties of this country be preserved to the latest generation?”—the contest encourages young filmmakers aged 14-22 to create documentary films that explore history. This year’s theme, “On This Land,” invites participants to produce short films (5-8 minutes) rooted in the geography around them to foster a deeper understanding of the events, figures, and movements that have shaped their local area and beyond.  

This fall, contestants will have access to free online mentoring workshops led by experienced filmmakers and historians, designed to strengthen their artistic, historical, and critical thinking skills. Teachers who wish to integrate the contest into their curricula will have access to free professional development workshops and lesson plans. 

Filmmakers may submit their entries until December 31, 2024, with winners to be announced in March 2025. Contest winners will receive cash prizes ranging from $500 to $2,000, and their films will be featured at a red carpet premiere in Chicago. This year, the contest will include participants from the Midwest Region, with plans to expand nationwide by next year.

“Our Foundation is grateful for the generous support of The Better Angels Society, which enables us to relaunch this effort at a time when young adults are actively engaged in storytelling and filmmaking,” said Erin Carlson Mast, President & CEO of the Lincoln Presidential Foundation. “Their perspectives on history and contemporary events are not only valuable but also indispensable, particularly in a time when our society grapples with the complexity of our shared history and world today. It is of paramount importance to convey these narratives through film with a conscientious and responsible approach to storytelling. It is our goal to ensure that young filmmakers not only explore history through their work but also champion the significance of engaging in the work of history itself.”

“We are proud to invest in the Latest Generation Film Contest to encourage the latest generations to tell the stories of our history that are meaningful to them in their voices,” said Katherine Malone-France, President & CEO of The Better Angels Society. “The Better Angels Society is focused on providing opportunities for young people to explore our shared history through documentary films that are grounded in thorough historical research and will foster discussions about our past and shape the future narratives of our society. We are eager to see the unique perspectives and creative works these young filmmakers will develop around this fascinating topic and with mentorship from film professionals.”

About the Lincoln Presidential Foundation 

Established in 2000, the Lincoln Presidential Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity headquartered in Illinois. It is the only national foundation focused on increasing access to history, educational programs, exhibits, and sites highlighting the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. The Foundation does its work in cooperation and partnership with others locally, nationally, and globally. Its vision is a world where freedom and democracy flourish, inspired by the life and work of Abraham Lincoln. Learn more at

About the Better Angels Society

The Better Angels Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Americans about their history through documentary film. They are the pre-eminent organization supporting excellence in American history documentaries in ways that advance education and civic engagement. The Society works to ensure that films about American history by emerging and established filmmakers are completed, broadcast, promoted, and shared with wide audiences. The organization raises funds to support individual films in partnership with public media and annually awards the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film to the best American history documentary in partnership with the Library of Congress. The Better Angels Society also awards Lavine Fellowships to emerging documentaries and provides recognition and mentoring to student filmmakers through programs like the Latest Generation Film Contest and The Next Generation Angels Awards in partnership with National History Day®.