Call for Films: American Documentary Showcase

The American Documentary Showcase (Showcase), funded by and as a cooperative program with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (BECA) of the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and administered through a cooperative grant to the University Film and Video Association (UFVA), is a curated selection of contemporary documentaries that is offered to US Embassies for screening abroad. The Showcase is designed to travel American documentaries and their filmmakers to international overseas venues, including, U.S. Embassy organized events and/or U.S. Embassy supported international documentary film festivals.

The goal of The Showcase is to offer a broad diversified look at life in the United States and the values of a democratic society as seen by American documentary filmmakers. The Showcase is intended to demonstrate the role documentary plays in fostering understanding and cooperation among people.

With renewal of a grant by BECA to UFVA, we are now able to include 5-10 new titles and filmmakers in the second round of the Showcase, which runs through December 2010. Filmmakers may nominate their own films. Student films of exceptional quality are welcome.

Qualifications for Consideration:

Documentaries nominated can be of any length and style, although the emphasis is on shorter, under one hour films in this grant cycle. They must have a release date no earlier than January 2007 and must be completed by September 2009, and available on DVD. They must be made by an American citizen, focus primarily on American subjects (this can be Americans overseas, but the main emphasis must be on American citizens), and fit in to one, or preferably more, of the following categories:

Subject Categories:

The Democratic Process
Environmental, Nature, Our Planet
Ethnic Diversities
Innovation in Education
Music and Society – no concert film or music videos
Popular Culture
Women, Families and Children

A panel of experts will recommend up to 10 films for possible inclusion in the Showcase. BECA will make the final decision about inclusion.

To nominate a film, four NONRETURNABLE DVDs must be submitted along with a short SYNOPSIS and CREDIT LISTS. Entries must be shipped PREPAID. Nomination Postmark Deadline: SEPTEMBER 25, 2009

Inclusion in the Showcase grants BECA, the DOS, the UFVA and the International Documentary Association (IDA) the right to use brief clips, photographs, and biographical data of filmmakers and their subjects for publicity and promotional purposes, including UFVA/IDA/DOS websites, podcasts and internet feeds. If a film is chosen to be included in the Showcase, the copyright holder further grants permission to the Showcase to make DVD duplicates and to screen the entire documentary, or portions thereof, at American Embassies and overseas venues selected by the Embassies, including foreign film festivals. The copyright holder also agrees to allow the Showcase to subtitle the film as deemed necessary by the Showcase.

All materials must be shipped/mailed with all charges prepaid to:
Betsy McLane, PhD
Showcase Director
3801 University Avenue
Suite 260
Riverside, CA 92501

For more information visit
Any questions not addressed above should be directed to:

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