Roy W. Dean Grant Spring 2017 Finalists Named

Roy W. Dean Grant Spring 2017 Finalists21 films that are unique and make a contribution to society were named as Roy W. Dean Grant Spring 2017 finalists.  The grant is offered by From The Heart Productions, the non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get funding.  The winner will receive $30,000 in a combination of cash and donated services from film industry professionals and companies which support independent filmmakers. 

“We are very fortunate to have so many filmmakers exploring stories and ideas that look to change how we view our world.” said Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. “These finalists highlight the passion and dedication of the hundreds of applications we received.”

A record number of 345 films were submitted to this year’s Roy W. Dean Grant for Spring from across the US and around the world.  Entries were received from France, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  The projects included features, short films, documentary, and web series. 

View overview of project summaries and filmmakers for the Roy W. Dean Grant Spring 2017 Finalists which include:

American Justice on Trial: People v. Newton (Documentary)      

Belly of the Beast (Documentary)

Bruce the Challenge (Feature)

Flight of the Dodo (Short)

Grace (Documentary)

Imagemakers (Documentary)

L (Feature)

Louder Than Thunder (Documentary)

Restoring Balance: Autism Recovery (Documentary)

Rising Up to Climate Change: Storytelling with Saris (Documentary)

Stoke (Feature)

Stranger At Home (Documentary)          

Stunt Life (Documentary)

The Creative High (Documentary)

The Last Amendment (Documentary)

The Real Thing (Short)

The Roar of a Lion Cub (Documentary)

What If (Short)

Yellow is Forbidden (Documentary)

Yoshi: Wake Up With Me (Documentary)

Now in its 25th year, the Roy W. Dean Grant seeks films that are unique and make a contribution to society that need help getting started or completed.   Out of this group of 21 Roy W. Dean Grant Spring 2017 finalists, a smaller group of 4 to 6 finalists will be selected by our judges.  From that group will come the winner of the Roy W. Dean Grant.  Winner is expected to be announced in late September.

This year’s grant winner will receive $3,500 in cash provided by From the Heart Productions and donations of film services and products from film industry professionals and companies.  Some of which include a 1TB G-Drive from G-Technology, a 30% discount in equipment rental from AbelCine Tech, Inc. NYC, 40% deduction on color, editing, and production services from ProMedia, and much more from heartfelt donors those who care about helping independent filmmakers. 

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Founded in 1992, there are 3 Roy W. Dean Grant every year.   There is a Spring, Summer and Fall Grant.  The Fall Grant is now accepting entries and closes September 30th.  Films submitted to the grant can be short films, documentaries or features from early stages of pre-production to those needing help in post. 

The grant is integral in helping talented artists with great stories get their films produced.  Recent past winners of the grant include the award winning “Heist: Who Stole the American Dream”, “The Brainwashing of My Dad”, and Emmy winner “Mia: A Dancer’s Journey” which just won an Emmy award.  

About From The Heart Productions

The 501(c)3 non-profit was founded by Carole Dean when she saw how many filmmakers with important, new, and often controversial stories were having trouble getting financing for their films.    From The Heart offers fiscal sponsorship for films which allows donors to get a tax deduction for their donations.  Their Intentional Filmmaking Classes which teaches filmmakers the tactics on how to get funded is now open for enrollment.  Classes start September 30th

Fall 2016 Roy W. Dean Grant Won by “Do No Harm”

“Silent Epidemic” of Physician Suicide Exposed in Eye-Opening Documentary Feature

Oxnard, CA Jan 16th, 2016   Why are the doctors we rely on to keep us healthy, ending their own lives at an alarming rate?  Emmy winning former PBS Producer/Director Robyn Symon examines this critical problem in the documentary Do No Harm, the winner of the Fall 2016 Roy W. Dean Grant.   As the grant winner, Robyn will receive $30K in cash, film products, and services to help her finish her project. 

Still from Roy W. Dean Grant Winner “Do No Harm”

The Roy W. Dean Grant is awarded 3 times each year to a unique film that makes a contribution to society.   Founded in 1993 by the 501(c)3 non-profit From the Heart Productions, grants are open to all types of film projects including documentaries, short films, features, and web series in any stage of production

Following three people bonded by grief, “Do No Harm” delves into why young physicians in medical school have the highest suicide rate of any profession, almost twice the national average.  They are jumping from hospital roofs, hanging themselves in closets and overdosing on readily available drugs. “This documentary reveals a dark side of our medical system.” commented Carole Dean, president of From the Heart Productions. “We are proud to support Robyn and her work to shine a light through her film on this important underreported story.”

The film shows how what it calls this ‘dirty little secret” in the medical community is a symptom of a broken heath care system that’s not only putting the lives of doctors at risk…  but patients too.

“Medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States alone,”notes director Robyn Symone,”often caused by sleep-deprived and disillusioned doctors forced to practice assembly line medicine. And the crisis is getting worse.”

About the Filmmaker

Robyn Symon is a two-time Emmy winning Producer/Director and has produced programming for many national networks including PBS, The Travel Channel, CNBC and DISCOVERY HEALTH. Robyn began her career as a TV news reporter in Texas before joining the PBS station WPBT in Miami, where she produced documentaries, public affairs programs, the TV series Florida!, the docu-series Voices of Vision, and the medical series Health & Family airing on the Discovery Health network.

Her most recent film, Uncle Gloria: One Helluva Ride!, was selected for a prestigious Film Independent Documentary Lab Fellowship and will premiere at a Miami film festival in April 2016. In addition to two Emmys, Robyn has been honored with 3 national Telly awards; 2 national NABJ awards and honors by both the Associated Press and UPI.

The Fall 2016 Roy W. Dean Grant includes $3,000 cash given by From The Heart Productions.  The winners also receive a hard drive from G-Technology, $15,000 in theme and score music from composer David Raiklen,  $6,000 in animation services from Charlie Canfield,  one week DSLR camera package rental from Birns & Sawyer,  and much more from many heart-felt donors

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Now in its 23rd year, the Roy W. Dean Grant has awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to films.  The grant has been an important lifeline for filmmakers needing help to continue working on their film and to get it completed.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Past winners of the grant that have been completed include the Emmy winning Mia: A Dancer’s Journey, the SXSW Best of Fest Music Film The Winding Stream: An Oral History of the Carter and Cash Family, and the now in release on video and on demand the very relevant The Brainwashing of My Dad.

About From The Heart Productions

From The Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects funded and made.  Besides providing funding through the grant, they are also a fiscal sponsor which allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has raised over $2.4 million for crowdfunding films as a partner with Indiegogo.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts

For More Information, please contact

Richard Kaufman

www.fromtheheartproductions.com

“The Coverup” Wins Roy W. Dean Spring Film Grant for 2016

Roy W. Dean Spring Film Grant Winning Documentary Uncovers Effects of Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

Oxnard, CA  Oct 4, 2016  From The Heart Productions, the 501(c)3 non-profit with a mission to help filmmakers get their films funded, has awarded the Roy W. Dean Spring Film Grant of 2016 to the feature documentary, The Coverup, and its mother and daughter filmmaking team of Lynn Pelletier and Malina Fagan.  For winning the grant, they will receive $30k in cash, film products and services to complete their film.

Started in 1993, the Roy W. Dean Film Grant is awarded 3 times each year to films that are unique and make a contribution to society.  There is a Spring, Winter, and Fall Grant.  The grants are open to all types of film projects including documentaries, short films, features, and web series in any stage of production.  225 films were submitted for this year’s Roy W. Dean Spring Film Grant from the United States and around the world.

"The Coverup" - 2016 Roy W. Dean Spring Film Grant Winner

“The Coverup” – 2016 Roy W. Dean Spring Film Grant Winner

“The Coverup” reveals that the average person is exposed to about 126 chemicals a day, just from their cosmetics and personal care products (soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, makeup, etc.).  Scientists have linked some of the chemicals to serious health effects including cancer, infertility, and birth defects. The documentary seeks to empower consumers and companies alike and challenge our government to protect the public.

Filmmakers Lynn and Malina had previously applied several times to the Roy W. Dean Film Grant.  Like all other applicants, were given a free consultation to improve their application. They persisted and made the appropriate adjustments and eventually won the grant. 

“These two women are talented and determined.” admired Carole Dean, president and founder of From the Heart Productions. “Those are two traits that always equal success in film funding.  It’s especially nice for myself and Carole Joyce, my daughter who helps with grant outreach, to be able to give the grant to another mother and daughter team.”

“The Coverup” reveals that the average person is exposed to about 126 chemicals a day, just from their cosmetics and personal care products (soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, makeup, etc.).  Scientists have linked some of the chemicals to serious health effects including cancer, infertility, and birth defects.  The documentary seeks to empower consumers and companies to challenge the government to protect the public.

Filmmaker's Lynn and Malina Fagan

Malina Fagan and Lynn Pelletier

Lynn Pelletier and Malina Fagan are the dynamic mother-daughter duo behind “The Coverup”.  Lynn is a health practitioner of over 30 years who specializes in acupuncture and allergy treatments.  Malina is an award winning filmmaker who is passionate about health, the environment and human empowerment. Having lost several people in their family to cancer, they are committed to raising awareness of environmental toxins and disease prevention.

Malina’s films have premiered in IMAX at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, aired on Rocky Mountain PBS, and been selected at festivals across the country, winning awards for their cinematography and storytelling. 

For winning the Roy W. Dean Spring Film Grant, they will receive $3,500 cash donated by From The Heart Productions.  The grant also includes a hard drive from G-Technology, tape stock from Media Distributors, discount on color, editing and production services from Promedia, equipment rental from Alpha Cine NY,  and much more from many heart-felt donors

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Now in its 23rd year, the Roy W. Dean Grant has awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to films.   The grant has been an important lifeline for filmmakers needing help to continue working on their film and to get it completed.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Past winners of the grant that have been completed include the Emmy winning Mia: A Dancer’s Journey, the SXSW Best of Fest Music Film The Winding Stream: An Oral History of the Carter and Cash Family, and the now in release on video and on demand The Brainwashing of My Dad

About From The Heart Productions

From The Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects funded and made.  Besides providing funding through the grant, they are also a fiscal sponsor which allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has raised over $2.3 million for crowdfunding films as a partner with Indiegogo.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts

For More Information, please contact

Richard Kaufman

www.fromtheheartproductions.com

“Sands of Silence” Wins 2nd Roy W. Dean Film Grant of 2015

Documentary Exposes International Underworld of Sex Trafficking

Oxnard, CA Oct 30th, 2015 – The Summer Roy W. Dean Grant has been awarded to director Chelo Alvarez-Stehle for her feature length documentary “Sands of Silence”. Overseen by the non-profit From the Heart Productions, the film grant is the second of three awarded each year to a filmmaker with a unique project that contributes to society.

Sands of Silence 2“Chelo’s dedication to the production of her film, ‘Sands of Silence’ is exemplary” said Carole Dean, president of From the Heart Productions.  “This film will change lives, open conversations and raise the consciousness on many hidden issues.  We are honored to support Chelo in getting this film made”.

The Roy W. Dean Grant is open to all types of film projects including documentaries, short films, features, and web series in any stage of production.  Submissions were received from from across U.S. as well as internationally from United Kingdom, Australia, and Nigeria.  Winner receives cash and donated film services to help complete their film.

In “Sands of Silence”, Chelo records a 15-year quest to expose the underworld of sex trafficking from Asia to the Americas back to the windswept beach where her childhood ended and family secrets began. Documenting the transformation of young women in Mexico and Nepal from powerless victims” to resilient survivors and passionate advocates, the filmmaker undertakes a parallel journey toward personal healing and family reconciliation.

“I still remember the thought-provoking Documentary Trailblazer course I took with Carole Dean over 10 years ago.” said director Alvarez-Stehle upon learning she had won the grant.  “The course spanned over 12 weeks and it was a stepping stone in my path towards documentary filmmaking.”

From the Heart Productions has also served as a fiscal sponsor for the grant winning documentary.

“Carole was there for me through good and bad times and has always been a beacon and an inspiration. So now that my film is finally about to see the light after all these years, receiving the Roy W Dean Grant feels like coming around full circle, a feeling of completion, as if the positive energy that she encouraged me to pour in my film, had manifested. I could not be more grateful”.

Director Chelo Alvarez-Stehle

Director Chelo Alvarez-Stehle

Journalist, documentary and new media producer Chelo Alvarez-Stehle has worked for over 15 years exposing stories of human trafficking through her creative and outreach work. She worked on documentaries for NHK and became Spain’s El Mundo daily correspondent first in Tokyo, then in Los Angeles. Canal+ Spain turned one of her print reportages on trafficking in the Himalayas into TIN GIRLS feature documentary film.

As producer/director she did her first short documentaries WISDOM IN SMOKE and THE POWER OF 2 distributed to 30 countries, in Cuba.  She then directed and co-produced the SOLD IN AMERICA: A Modern-Day Tale of Sex-Slavery (Montreal Human Rights Film Festival.)  She is currently producing/directing a transmedia project that encompasses the feature-length documentary SANDS OF SILENCE: Journey into Trafficking, the SOS_SLAVES social impact videogame and a micro-documentary series on sexual exploitation. She has just produced the short documentary THROUGH THE WALL, about a family divided by the US/Mexico border.

In addition to $3,500 cash given by From The Heart Productions, the winner receives goods, services, and discounts including hard drives from G-Technology, tape stock from Media Distributors, post production consultation from colorist Sam Dlugach, music post production from Audiokut,  a full scholarship to The Writer’s Boot Camp, and much more from many heart-felt donors.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Now in its 23rd year, the Roy W. Dean Grant has awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to films that without its help may never have been made.  Films submitted to the grant can be short films, documentaries or features from early stages of pre-production to those needing help in post.

The grant has been integral in fostering award winning films.  Past winners of the grant that have been completed include the award winning “Heist: Who Stole the American Dream”, emmy winning “Mia: A Dancer’s Journey” and “The Winding Stream: An Oral History of the Carter and Cash Family” which is now showing in film festivals around North America.

About From The Heart Productions

From The Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects made.  Besides providing funding through the grant, they are also a fiscal sponsor which allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has raised over $1.9 million for crowdfunding films as a partner with Indiegogo.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of “The Art of Film Funding” which is now in its second edition.

Stephanie Howard Wins Roy W. Dean Film Grant

Documentary explores family members and loved ones who care for our wounded upon their return to civilian life

Oxnard, CA Feb 12, 2015 From The Heart Productions, the film funding non-profit that oversees the Roy W. Dean Film Grant, has awarded the final Film Grant of 2014 to director Stephanie Howard for her documentary “Not The Same: Families After War”.  Stephanie will receive nearly $30,000 in film services and cash to help fund her project and get it completed.

Soldier and Child

“Not The Same: Families After War” addresses the emotional challenges faced by those who care for their loved ones wounded in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. It is about military men and women who must now rely on their families to heal and to function.

The goal of this documentary is to create awareness of what it is like to care for our wounded, illuminate their “new normal” and celebrate the unsung heroes of war

“Stephanie is a passionate and very talented filmmaker who cares deeply about the subject of her documentary” commented Carole Dean, president of From The Heart Productions.  “It is wonderful to honor her work and assist her in getting this important project to the screen”

The Roy W. Dean Grant is awarded to films that are unique and make a contribution to society.  The grant offers cash as well as discounted production services and goods to help filmmakers get their projects started or completed.  Over 200 filmmakers applied for the Roy W. Dean Fall Film Grant.  The yearly deadline for submissions was September 30th, 2014.  Projects submitted included documentaries, narrative features, and short films.

In addition to $2,500 cash given by From The Heart Productions, the winner will receive a hard drive from G-Technology, tape stock from Comtel/Edgewise Media, major discounts on post production services from Solvent Dreams, full theme music and score from composer David Raiklen,  and much more from many heart-felt donors.

“Carole Dean and From the Heart Productions have been my fiscal sponsor for my documentary.  In that time, Carole has gone above and beyond to guide me through the documentary process and has always been there for advice… and some great “cheerleading.” said winner Stephanie Howard.

Submissions are now being accepted for the 2015 Roy W. Dean Spring Film Grant.   Cash value for the grant has been increased to $3,500.

About the Filmmaker

Stephanie is a co-producer of the award-winning documentary “Refusenik”.  She is a television news producer and writer based in Los Angeles and has worked at local television stations as well as the L.A. bureaus of Fox News Channel, CNN, NBC News and Reuters.  Stephanie is winner of a commemorative Los Angeles Area Emmy for her work as associate producer of the news magazine program “L.A. Roundtable”.  She has also been nominated for Emmy awards as a segment producer at KTTV News and KNBC-TV.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Now in its 23rd year, the Roy W. Dean Grant awards filmmakers with great stories, told with passion, the funding to get their projects started or completed.  Films submitted to the grant can be short films, documentaries or features from early stages of pre-production to those needing help in post.

The grant has been integral in making sure that talented artists with great stories get their films produced.  Recent past winners of the grant include the award winning “Heist: Who Stole the American Dream”, “The Winding Stream: An Oral History of the Carter and Cash Family” which was featured at film festivals in , and “Mia: A Dancer’s Journey” which just premiered in New York this February.

About From The Heart Productions

From The Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects made.  Besides providing funding through the grant, they are also a fiscal sponsor which allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has raised over $1.6 million for crowdfunding films as a partner with Indiegogo.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of “The Art of Film Funding” which is now in its second edition.

Video Editor Aaron Garcia Joins Roy W. Dean Grant Donors

Winners of Summer and Fall Grant to receive 40% discount on editing for trailers

From The Heart Productions welcomes video editor Aaron Garcia as a donor for the Roy W. Dean Grant for Summer and Fall.  Aaron brings 15 years of experience as a video editor to the grant.   The winner of those grants will receive a 40% discount off his services for editing their trailers.

Aaron-Garcia 2Aaron has worked with companies such as Apple Computers, Comcast, HGTV, and The Recording Academy.  He is comfortable in Avid, Final Cut Pro 7 and X, Premiere, Motion, After Effects, and Photoshop.   Besides trailers, Aaron also edits narrative, reality, documentary, and corporate videos.

Currently, Aaron is the director, editor, writer, and cinematographer of the web series “We are Angels”. It’s a web based fantasy series with a unique blend of storytelling, surreal imagery, and dramatic performance.  It offers a new modern take on the world of Angels and Demons.  The series was an official selection Marseille Web Festival 2012 and winner of best cinematography at Hollyweb Festival in 2014.

You can view samples of his work at Aaron Garcia’s YouTube Page.  You can contact Aaron at    or by calling 310-351-3534.

You can check out all the donors at the Roy W. Dean Grant Donor Page.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

For over 23 years, the Roy W. Dean Grant seeks films that are unique and make a contribution to society.  Submissions for the Summer and Fall Roy W. Dean Grant begin May 1st, 2015.  Submissions are now being accepted for the Roy W. Dean Spring Grant.  Deadline is April 30th, 2015.

The Roy W. Dean Spring Grant in 2015 includes $3,500 in cash to the winner.  You can enter by completing the Roy W. Dean Grant Application.

For more information on the Roy W. Dean Grant, please contact

or call 805-984-0098

Rachel Seed Wins Roy W. Dean Film Grant

Winning documentary explores director’s search for the mother she never knew through their shared love of photography.

From The Heart Productions, the film funding non-profit that oversees the Roy W. Dean Film Grant, has awarded the 2014 Summer Film Grant to director Rachel Seed for her documentary “A Photographic Memory”.   Rachel will receive nearly $30,000 in film services and cash to help her complete her project.

Contact Sheet by Sheila Turner-Seed

Contact Sheet by Sheila Turner-Seed

Thirty years after the death of her mother, Sheila Turner-Seed, photographer Rachel Elizabeth Seed discovers her work—interviews with some of the greatest photographers of the 20th Century, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lisette Model and W. Eugene Smith—in her father’s garage.  When she threads the audio reels and presses play, she hears her mother’s voice for the first time since she was a baby. Rachel finds it familiar and comforting, and is transformed by the experience.

Wanting to know more about her mother and to revitalize and honor her work, Rachel revisits the photographers, as well as her mother’s friends and family, to learn who she was while also looking at how photography can help preserve memory and reconnect us with those we have lost.

Rachel Seed and Mother

Rachel Seed and Mother

Through this process, Rachel reconnects to her mother by discovering how much they have in common: their looks, ambition, career paths, and desire to settle down and have a family.  However, in order to move on with her own life, Rachel comes to realize she must set herself apart from Sheila, and to do that must find out if she has the same genetic predisposition to early death that took her mother’s life. Rachel’s ability to forge her own path hinges on these medical results.our country.

“In A Photographic Memory, I go on a journey to learn – through our shared profession – about the mother I never knew but whom I so desperately need to know.” Rachel explained on her Kickstarter campaign page for her film.

“I am blending my mother’s 1970s interviews with my own footage, creating a posthumous mother-daughter collaboration that connects me to my mother while re-examining the course of the careers of some of the most influential photographers in the history of the medium.”

In addition to $2,500 cash given by From The Heart Productions, the winner receives goods, services, and discounts including hard drives from G-Technology, tape stock from Comtel/Edgewise Media, marketing consultation and services from Smart Girls Productions,  audio post production from AudioKut, a full scholarship to The Writer’s Boot Camp,  lighting from Paskal Lighting, and much more from many heart-felt donors.

About the Filmmaker

Rachel Seed

Rachel Seed

Growing up surrounded by photography, Rachel Seed became a photographer nearly 20 years ago and has run a successful freelance business for the past few years, while also earning an MFA from Indiana University (in progress since 2009).  Since 2006, she has conducted 35 video interviews internationally of women and men whose mothers died when they were young, also photographing them.

This work has been supported by several grants including the Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Yarka Vendrinska Memorial Award at the Maine Media Workshops, and a World Affairs Council Association grant for international travel, and exhibited in Russia and the United States. She was also named a Top 25 Artist at 3rd Ward Brooklyn’s annual contest in 2010.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Now in its 23rd year, the Roy W. Dean Grant funds unique films that make a contribution to society.  It gives filmmakers with great stories, told with passion, the funding to get their projects started or completed.  Films submitted to the grant can be short films, documentaries or features from early stages of pre-production to those needing help in post.

The grant has been integral in making sure that talented artists with great stories get their films produced.  Recent past winners of the grant that have been completed include the award winning “Heist: Who Stole the American Dream” and “The Winding Stream: An Oral History of the Carter and Cash Family” which is now showing in film festivals around North America.

About From The Heart Productions

From The Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects made.  Besides providing funding through the grant, they are also a fiscal sponsor which allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has raised over $1.5 million for crowdfunding films as a partner with Indiegogo.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of “The Art of Film Funding” which is now in its second edition.

 

The 2015 Roy W. Dean Spring Grant is now accepting submissions.  Cash value has increased this year to $3,500.  If you’d like to submit your project, please go to the Roy W. Dean Grant Application Page and follow instructions.  The deadline for submissions is April 30th 2015. 

Short Film “Christmas Dance” Wins Britt Penrod Award

By a margin of just 31 votes out of more than 1,200 votes cast, director Ping-Wen Wang’s short film “Christmas Dance” has won the 2nd Britt Penrod Audience Award for 2014.   7 indie film finalists for the Roy W. Dean Film Grant for Summer competed for the award with voting taking place on Facebook from Sept 12th to Oct 12th.  The winner’s prize of $250 will help her complete production of her project.

Christmas Dance- Promotion Animation from Ping-Wen Wang on Vimeo.

The Britt Penrod Audience Award is open to finalists for the Roy W. Dean Grant.  Seven out of the 22 finalists for the Summer Grant competed by posting trailers for their films on Britt Penrod Audience Award App on the Roy W. Dean Grant Facebook page.  Registered users of Facebook including film fans and followers of the artist and grant can then view and vote on their favorite.

“It feels great,” Ping-Wen said upon learning she had won, “and the award is truly for my Taiwanese and LMU family and friends. With their support we are able to continue and building upon our dream.”

What does she plan on doing with her prize money?

This is the first money we’ve raised for the film. We plan on pooling it with the rest of the funds we raise to help pay our crew who will, for the most part, be working for credit and meals.”

Projects that were up for the award included short films, documentaries, and features. As with all submissions to the grant, the projects are all works in various states of production.  They all adhere to the goal of the grant which is to fund unique films that make a contribution to society.

“It is a great opportunity for the talented artists applying for the grant to have their works in progress exposed to a wide audience”, commented Carole Dean president of From The Heart Productions which oversees the Roy W. Dean Grant.  “These are important projects that need to be seen and supported.”

About Christmas Dance

Christmas Dance is a 15-minute short fiction film about a lonely old woman suffering from Alzheimer’s who enters a dream world and meets her long lost family and friends on Christmas Eve. She must relive her most important memories with her daughter and let go of all her regrets before she forgets everything. The 15-min short film, currently in pre-production, is a PingWen’s graduate thesis project for Loyola Marymount University.

Christmas Dance is a personal journey inside an Alzheimer’s patient’s mind. Because the disease causes her to no longer remember who she is, her mind fights tirelessly to hold on to her memories. She enters a dream world where she can be herself and share one final dance with her daughter.

By telling a touching story between a mother and daughter, Wang attempts to draw public attention to the disease as well as comfort and honor Alzheimer’s patients and their families. While most films about Alzheimer’s tend to show the sadness and the cruel nature of the disease, Wang wants to bring hope to those involved. As Ella Chen, granddaughter to an Alzheimer’s patient, states in The Long Goodbye, “I don’t know how much my grandmother can remember, but I think they’re all the happiest memories”.

Now, crowdfunding on indiegogo, you can check out the campaign for the film and contribute at  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/christmas-dance

You can also learn more about the film on their Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/christmasdancefilm or on the film’s website at  http://christmasdancefilm.com/

About Director Ping-Wen Wang

A female director hailing from Taiwan, Ping-Wen Wang is dedicated to telling LGBT and PingWenwomen’s stories through the power of cinema.  Wang’s first short “The Clown” won the Jury Award in the International Student Film Festival Hollywood, was nominated at Film Outside the Frame (FOF), and screened on Public TV in Taiwan. Her latest work “Between Us” is an official selection of the Palm Springs International ShortFest, Boston LGBT Film Festival, Barcelona International Gay&Lesbian Film Festival, Hong Kong International Gay&Lesbian Film Festival, Taiwan International Queer Film Festival and won the Special Prize of Excellence at the Screwdriver International Short Film Contest in Taiwan.

About the Britt Penrod Audience Award

Founded this year, the Britt Penrod Audience Award is a $250 prize awarded to a finalist of the Roy W. Dean Grant with the best trailer.  It is only open to finalists for the Roy W. Dean Grant.   Results of the award have no bearing on the grant, but give the contestants an opportunity to increase awareness of their project.

The award’s namesake, Britt Penrod, has been a good friend and longtime supporter of the Roy W. Dean Grant.  When Britt made a very generous, sizable personal donation to Grant, it was put it to use in the creation of the award.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Now in its 23rd year, the Roy W. Dean Grant is awarded 3 times each year to films that are unique and make a contribution to society that, without its help, might otherwise never get made.  Films submitted to the grant can be short films, documentaries or features from early stages of pre-production to those needing help in post.

The grant has given out over $2 million in a combination of cash, goods, and production service discounts from industry donors to date.  It has been integral in making sure that talented artists with great stories get their films produced.  Recent past winners of the grant that have been completed include the award winning “Heist: Who Stole the American Dream” and “The Winding Stream: An Oral History of the Carter and Cash Family” which is now showing in film festivals around North America.

About From The Heart Productions

From The Heart Productions, which oversees the Roy W. Dean Grant and the Britt Penrod Award, is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects made.  Besides providing funding through the grant, they are also a fiscal sponsor which allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has raised over $1.3 million for crowdfunding films as a partner with Indiegogo.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of “The Art of Film Funding” which is now in its second edition.