Public Programs: Media Projects Production

Period of Performance

4/1/2017 - 12/31/2019

Funding Totals

$300,000.00 (approved)
$300,000.00 (awarded)

The Adventures of Saul Bellow

FAIN: TR-254072-17

Ciesla Foundation (Washington, DC 20008-2042)
Rachel S. Engleberg (Project Director: August 2016 to present)

The Adventures of Saul Bellow is a documentary film and companion website that examine the life and work of one of the 20th century’s most celebrated writers. Saul Bellow (1915-2005) won the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Medal of Arts, and three National Book Awards. He wrote over 40 novels and novellas, stories, non-fiction works, and plays, breaking literary norms and influencing at least generation of writers. In the name of intellectual freedom, he also frequently offended those closest to him, and challenged the sensibilities of his readers. Yet remarkably, there has never been a substantive film made about him. With unprecedented support from the Bellow Estate, from biographers and scholars, and from those who knew him best, our film and website will introduce Saul Bellow and his writing to a new generation.

Associated Products

The Adventures of Saul Bellow (Film/TV/Video Broadcast or Recording)
Title: The Adventures of Saul Bellow
Writer: Asaf Galay
Director: Asaf Galay
Producer: Rachel Engelgerg
Producer: Naama Pyritz
Abstract: 'The Adventures of Saul Bellow' is the first-ever documentary film on writer Saul Bellow, the man described by the critic James Wood as the 'greatest of American prose stylists in the 20th century'. Marking the centennial of his birth and the tenth anniversary of his death, it features original interviews, previously restricted footage and takes the viewer to the locations that shaped Bellow and his fiction.
Year: 2019
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: The link above is for the full, finished film, "The Adventures of Saul Bellow," submitted for the NEH records.
Access Model: Not ready for streaming
Format: Film


Date: 1/1/2022
Organization: Peabody Awards
Abstract: production of a 90-minute documentary film exploring the life and work of author Saul Bellow. Director and screenwriter, Asaf Galay.