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The Nation Institute and the Fertel Foundation have partnered to launch the Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize, to be awarded to a film that embodies values of truth-telling, protecting the public interest, promoting social justice, or articulating the qualities of a more just society. The deadline is December 1, and the prize, which includes a $10,000 stipend, will be awarded this Fall.

From the press release:

October 8, New York City – The Nation Institute and The Fertel Foundation announced today the launch of the Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize. This new prize, which carries a $10,000 stipend, will be awarded alongside the three other Ridenhour Prizes—Truth-Telling, Book and Courage— in April 2011 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“The launch of a film award, eight years after the establishment of The Ridenhour Prizes, recognizes the prominent role of filmmakers in truth-telling,” said Randy Fertel, co-founder of the prizes.

“Film today is a principal purveyor of truth,” said Fertel, president of The Fertel Foundation. “In a media-dominated age, filmmakers serve both as investigative journalists and whistle-blowers, raising awareness about issues that entrenched communities of power would rather keep hidden.”

Andrew Breslau, President of The Nation Institute, which co-founded the prizes added, “The Ridenhour Prizes honor the strength and vision of those who challenge orthodoxies and confront injustice. Documentary film can illuminate difficult truths in ways that no other medium can. This addition to the Ridenhour portfolio is a logical extension of our mission and a living tribute to the life, career and spirit of the man in whose name we give these prizes.”

To be eligible for the film prize, a documentary must be an American production of feature length (at least 50 minutes) and must have been shown or be scheduled for showing in 2010 in a week-long theatrical run, or at one or more of nine major film festivals specified in the submission guidelines, or on free or pay TV. The deadline for nomination is December 1, 2010; details are included at the end of this release and may also be found at

The annual Ridenhour Prizes recognize those who persevere in acts of truth-telling that protect the public interest, promote social justice or illuminate a more just vision of society. Past winners include Jimmy Carter and Gloria Steinem (Ridenhour Courage Prize); Matthew Hoh and Thomas Tamm (Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling); and Jane Mayer and Joe Sacco (Ridenhour Book Prize).

Films must be over 50 minutes, U.S. productions, and have received some form of release (theatrical, TV or at a qualifying festival) during the calendar year 2010. For complete details on eligibility and applying, visit the site.

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