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American Film Showcase Notice of Funding Opportunity

Number:                                              DOS-PTA-202003

Title:                                                     American Film Showcase: Film for Human Rights

Award ceiling:                                    $50,000

Deadline for applications:             December 1, 2019


The American Film Showcase (AFS) is the State Department’s flagship film exchange program and is implemented by the University of Southern California’s (USC) School of Cinematic Arts. AFS supports the exchange of U.S. films, filmmakers, and film experts in support of foreign policy priorities. The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy South Africa announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to support the 2020 American Film Showcase in South Africa, with a specific focus on the use of documentary film for conveying human rights messages. 


Concept notes are requested from organizations that have the necessary capacity, experience, and knowledge to support the implementation of the AFS 2020 program in South Africa. Logistical and financial management capabilities, linkages with existing film events and programs, and a focus on innovative approaches will be critical components of a successful proposal.


AFS brings award-winning contemporary American documentaries, independent films, and filmmaking know-how to audiences around the world, offering a view of American society and culture as seen by independent filmmakers. Funded by a grant from the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and produced by the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), the Showcase highlights the value of film in fostering understanding and cooperation, dialogue, and debate. AFS will include a visit from American documentary filmmakers to engage with local audiences, as well as a film collection for use in related activities. See: A U.S. government staff member must be present at all screenings of films provided through AFS, and Embassy officials will guide the selection of films for the activities implemented through this project. 


Additional information can be found at


The program in South Africa will focus on highlighting key human rights issues through American documentary film. Program events will take place in multiple locations in South Africa between February and October 2020. Programming may be structured with specific themes for specific months, including but not limited to February as Black History Month, March as Women’s History Month, and April as Human Rights Month. Proposals that link program activities to commemorations or celebrations in the broader context of South Africa’s cultural landscape are preferred. Proposals that articulate opportunities to link with existing film festivals are strongly encouraged. Applications should be emailed to


Interested applicants may wish to participate in a question and answer conference call specific to this funding opportunity. This call will occur on Monday, November 4 at 15:30 Pretoria local time. To register to participate and receive call-in details, interested applicants should email before 12:00 on Monday, November 4.


Read and download the full announcement here:

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