NEXT GENERATION ANGELS AWARDS

A key component of continuing Ken’s legacy is to engage and empower the next generation of documentary filmmakers. The Better Angels Society is committed to paving the way for the filmmakers of tomorrow and honoring the legacy of Ken Burns.

Partnership with National History Day (NHD)

The Next Generation Angels Awards are an annual prize sponsored by The Better Angels Society in coordination with National History Day. The award is presented to six middle and high school student documentary filmmakers to recognize excellence in well-researched history filmmaking in the model of Ken Burns. Each year, The Better Angels Society celebrates the six student winners with a trip to Washington, DC where they are recognized as part of the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Award for Film, a professional award.

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.

LEARN MORE ABOUT NHD
KEN BURNS’ NHD RESOURCES

2021 Winning Films

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

EVENTS

The events to honor the work of the 2021 Next Generation Angels are:

  • The 3rd Annual Student History Documentary Film Festival
  • A Mentorship Conversation with Ken Burns
  • A Mentorship Conversation with the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film Winners
  • A “Students Teaching Teachers” event hosted by the Library of Congress
FILM FESTIVAL
STUDENTS TEACH THE TEACHERS
view THE PREVIOUS WINNERS OF the next generation angels awards

Hilton was a proud sponsor of the 2019 Next Generation Angels Awards.

This webpage was created by a National History Day student, Anika Kapoor, through a youth internship program sponsored by The Better Angels Society.