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Project director: Eric Stange
Key words: 'Edgar Allan Poe' (this phrase)
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TR-50533-14

Center for Independent Documentary, Inc. (Boston, MA 02135-1032)
Susan L. Walsh (Project Director: August 2013 to April 2014)
Eric K. Stange (Project Director: April 2014 to present)

The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe

Production of a 90-minute documentary film and an educational website exploring the life and work of the 19th-century American writer Edgar Allan Poe.

"The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe" is a multi-platform project anchored by a 90-minute documentary that explores one of America's most influential, popular, and misunderstood writers. Although he is a cultural icon recognized around the world, Poe is seen by many as a one-dimensional character whose tremendous contribution to American letters is ignored. For many decades critics considered Poe outside the mainstream of American literary tradition when, in fact, he was an astute shaper of literature and popular tastes, a fierce advocate for raising the bar for American literature, an influential critic, and a prolific writer who invented the modern detective story and refined other genres. This film places Poe in the context of his times to better understand America in the 1820s-1840s. Intended for PBS broadcast, we will extend the film's reach through a partnership with Maryland Public TV and its educational website Knowing Poe--a highly successful literacy teaching tool.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
America's Media Makers: Production Grants

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$500,000 (approved)
$500,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2014 – 7/31/2016


TD-50322-11

Center for Independent Documentary, Inc. (Boston, MA 02135-1032)
Wally Coberg (Project Director: August 2010 to January 2012)
Eric K. Stange (Project Director: January 2012 to present)

The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe

Development of a two-hour film biography of Edgar Allan Poe, a related website, and curriculum materials.

THE MYSTERY OF EDGAR ALLAN POE is a two-hour high documentary for public television that will explore the life and times of one of the most famous and widely read American authors. Few writers can lay claim to his undiminished popularity. Yet the true story of Poe's life and his impact on American culture is unknown to most Americans for reasons that unfold like one of the mysteries he invented. Inspired and informed by an impressive body of modern scholarship, this film will examine how early 19th Century cultural trends in America such as the growth of cities, widespread fascination with death and remembrance, and advancements in publishing shaped and were shaped by Poe and his work. In addition to broadcast, the film will be distributed to schools, colleges and libraries and will be available for home video. A comprehensive educational outreach program and teacher’s guide will also be developed, along with a detailed interactive website.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
America's Media Makers: Development Grants

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2011 – 7/31/2012