Documentary Films

MacArthur's journalism and media grantmaking supports the production of social-issue documentary films on important contemporary topics, intended for a broad audience. Over the last 30 years, the Foundation has supported over 200 films that combine exceptional storytelling with in-depth journalism. These films are often used in educational, community, and policymaking settings to spark conversations and activities that contribute to social and policy change.

Now showing "All Documentary Films"

  • Street Soldiers follows the progress of three young men as they try to extricate themselves from the gang world that dominates their neighborhood. More
  • Tracing the impacts of the 1992 shooting death of William Ford, Jr., an unarmed African American, and the devastation of the Ford family when his killer goes unpunished. More
  • Presenting personal and community context to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, through the eyes of a local filmmaker  More
  • Terra Incognita examines the stakes involved in stem cell research. More
  • This film explores the exhaustive process that Americans from all walks of life must get through in order to earn a spot in Oakland’s fire department. More
  • The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords examines the rich history of African-American newspapers in the United States. More
  • The Civil War is a nine-part TV miniseries directed and produced by Ken Burns that examines the causes, actions, and results of the bloody conflict. More
  • A series of short films that will serve as a catalyst for dialogue on the deep racial tension and polarization that exist in U.S. communities More
  • Four friends in four stages of incarceration struggle to reenter society and confront their future in the old neighborhood.  More
  • Fight in the Fields is the first film to look at Cesar Chávez’s life and his contributions to migrant workers’ rights in the United States. More
MacArthur Awards 19 Documentary Film Grants thumbnail

MacArthur Awards 19 Documentary Film Grants

The new grants represent MacArthur’s largest single year investment in documentaries, and they bring the total number of documentary films supported by the Foundation since 1985 to more than 300. Read More