NEXT GENERATION ANGELS AWARDS: PREVIOUS WINNERS

2021 Winning Films

In 2021, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, The Better Angels Society will honor the winning students for their filmmaking talent and hard work virtually. By leveraging digital platforms, we can bring the work of the winning students to more students and teachers nationally. All of this year’s winning films can be viewed below.

MIDDLE SCHOOL DIVISION

FIRST PLACE
Claire Flynn, Connecticut
Clearing the Air: How John Hersey Communicated Hiroshima Survivors’ Stories to the World and Changed the Global Perspective on Nuclear Weapons
SECOND PLACE
Madeline Rong, New York
Normal Rockwell: Communicating Racial Inequality Through Art
THIRD PLACE
Luke Morris, North Carolina
Hetch Hetchy: Constructing the Framework for Modern Environmentalism

HIGH SCHOOL DIVISION

FIRST PLACE
Sasha Allen, Minnesota
Don’t Believe Your Eyes: How Falsified Visual Media Built the Cult of Stalin
As the first place senior division winner, Sasha Allen received the Anne Harrington Award, named for the late longtime friend and colleague of Ken Burns.
SECOND PLACE
Ryan Seun Woo Kwon, South Korea
The Korean Diaspora: Reunion of Separated Families through Media Communication
THIRD PLACE
Melinda Chen, New Jersey
Oklahoma! The Dawn of a Beautiful Morning for Storytelling in Musical Theatre

2020 Winning Films

Due to the pandemic, The Better Angels Society moved from sponsoring in-person events to a virtual program that honored and promoted the student winners’ exceptional history documentaries while using the move to a virtual space to reach an even larger audience than ever before. The 2020 Next Generation Angels Awards included a virtual film festival, The Second Annual Student History Film Festival, reaching thousands of teachers and homeschooled students who participated from their schools via a nationwide live-streamed event. Additional programming included a copyright presentation ceremony where the students received official copyrights from the Library of Congress, as well as exclusive mentorship sessions with Ken Burns and filmmakers who were honored with the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film.

The 2020 winners were also featured on PBS’s website, where they received a special message of praise from Ken.

MIDDLE SCHOOL DIVISION

FIRST PLACE
Allison Reed, Kansas
All the World Loves a Baby: Breaking the Two Pound Barrier
SECOND PLACE
Rishit Shaquib, Florida
Harvey Wiley: The Man Who Changed America One Bite at a Time
THIRD PLACE
Caroline Bruton, Virginia
Penicillin: Breaking Bacterial Barriers

2019 Winning Films

Through the support of The Better Angels Society, the 2019 Next Generation Angels Award winners and their chaperones received an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC where the Library of Congress education team programmed a series of enrichments. Winners visited the Library of Congress’ National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, where films are preserved and stored for posterity, and had their films screened before a student audience at American Film Institute Theater’s first annual Student History Film Festival. The trip culminated in the The Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film dinner, where the winners were honored for excellence in history filmmaking by Ken Burns and Librarian Carla Hayden.

The 2019 winners were also featured on PBS’s website, where they received a special message of praise from Ken.

SEE THE 2020 Next Generation Angels Awards WINNERS