Cal Humanities

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

California Documentary Project

CA Documentaries Project B Final

What do a Latina bicycle brigade in East LA, a young poet’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet set in Richmond, CA; Howard Jarvis, Proposition 13 and California 1970’s tax revolt; iconic photographer Dorothea Lange; and the reintegration of thousands of “lifers” following California’s amendment of its Three Strikes Law have in common?

They’re just a few of the stories told by the film, audio, and interactive media productions we have supported through the California Documentary Project (CDP).

For over 40 years California Humanities been the leading funder of documentary films, podcasts, interactive media projects by, for, and about Californians. We continue to provide catalytic support through the CDP grant program for high-quality productions about California subjects and issues that are of importance to both statewide and national audiences.

Since 2003, California Humanities has awarded almost $7.5 million through the CDP grant program to nonfiction film, audio, and interactive media projects that document California in all its complexity. Documentaries supported through CDP include the films FREE CHOL SOO LEE, CRIP CAMP, FRUITS OF LABOR, ROMEO IS BLEEDING, TRY HARDER!, WE WERE HERE, UNITED SKATES, and HOLLYWOOD CHINESE; radio productions and podcasts THE OTHER CALIFORNIA, THE STOOP, and WHAT FIRE REVEALS; and the interactive media productions K-TOWN 92 and THE MOJAVE PROJECT. These are our stories, and each adds a new layer to a complex and growing portrait of California. Together, they help us better understand who we are and where we live.

CDP projects have been nominated for Academy Awards, won Emmys, and garnered Peabody Awards. They air nationally on PBS and NPR, stream on Netflix and HBO, and premiere at film festivals all over the world. More importantly, they reach and engage audiences throughout California in classrooms, at public libraries, at community screenings, cultural centers, and beyond. They inspire lively conversation, quiet reflection, and surprising epiphanies about compelling and provocative subjects, issues, and ideas of our time.


Interested in hosting a screening or presentation of a CDP project?

California Humanities regularly programs and facilitates screenings and presentations of the media productions we support through CDP. To inquire about hosting an event that features a CDP project, please contact us at

Click here for a list of recently supported CDP projects.

For more information on applying for a California Documentary Project grant, please visit the CDP Grants page.