Roy W. Dean Grant Summer 2020 Finalists
Congratulations to the films selected to be Roy W. Dean Grant Finalist for our 2020 Summer Grant.
26 films were chosen to be considered for the grant. On this page, we give each filmmaker the opportunity to tell the world about their film. They choose the pictures and loglines. Some may choose not to reveal their projects on this page and we respect their wishes.
Since 1992, From the Heart Productions has supported filmmakers with cash and substantial professional discounts from our film industry partners, averaging an estimated $30,000 per filmmaker. The Roy W. Dean grants program, with several annual deadlines, has grown into one of the most sought after competitions in the world.
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.
2020 Summer Grant Finalists
”Small Miracles: Mary’s Story”
Faith is questioned when one young girl prays for a baby sister to heal her parents marriage. Only prayers are answered in unexpected ways and complications occur threatening the life of the mother, when she must chose between bringing a life into the world at the risk of losing her own.
One child every “26 Seconds” is trafficked globally, the majority ending up in the sex trade. “26 Seconds” features the heartbreaking stories of children and women from vastly different cultures experiencing horrifically similar traumas. The documentary highlights the active efforts of survivors, other individuals and NGO’s to rescue victims, and raise awareness to those in power to affect change, and ultimately put a stop to this horrific, worldwide industry. “26 Seconds” follows children and women from each of the target countries: Thailand, Cambodia, India, Iraq, Mexico, East Africa and in our own backyards in the USA.
All We've Lost
In the small town of Laurel, Montana, a mother refuses to give up fighting for her wrongfully imprisoned son’s release, culminating in a spectacular bipartisan collective effort spanning local and national exoneration and innocence activist movements.
Behind These Walls
Behind These Walls is a documentary short that offers an unprecedented lens into a South-Central Los Angeles neighborhood’s arduous five-year campaign to end operations at their neighborhood oil drilling site - a site that is part of the largest urban oil field in the nation. Told through the perspective of local residents and community activists, this documentary explores the harsh realities and health consequences of urban oil drilling, while highlighting the perseverance of these activists in the face of adversities and setbacks.
When earth's existence is threatened by a massive energetic wave travelling through space that is rapidly increasing in power, there is only one solution: Everybody on the planet has to collaborate and dance for the sake of our existence. Dancing as if our lives depend on it, the released energy will form an energetic shield around the globe, protecting our planet from this destructive wave. Will we be able to get everyone together in time? And will 'everyone' be enough..?
COLORS is a project created to show the world that we need each other, that we are all one and equal and that we should be collaborating to have a future together. Let us color the world. Let Us Unite!
Dawn Dusk is a feature length documentary about Chelli Look, a leather bag designer who overcame darkness and found her creative voice through forgiving her brother-in-law who murdered her sister.
Fight Like a Lady: The Rusty Kanokogi Story
“Fight Like a Lady: The Rusty Kanokogi Story” is a feature documentary about a trailblazer in women’s judo. In 1959, “Rusty” (née Glickman) Kanokogi disguised herself as a man to compete in judo. She won a medal that was promptly taken away after she was pressured to admit that she was a woman. Afterward, she spent the rest of her life fighting for gender equality and eventually succeeded at getting women’s judo into the Olympics.
From Pre-school 2 Prison
Did you know that more than 300,000 children under the age of 12 were educationally lynched between 2013-2017?
This 4-part docuseries explores how schools in under-resourced communities employ unqualified, uncertified or ineffective teachers to work with high-need students. With little training, school leaders and teachers are often forced to implement and enforce zero-tolerance policies that set up a pathway for children of color and children with special needs to go from school to prison.
Good Side of Bad
When three adult siblings' worlds collide in the stark face of mental illness, they begin the journey of discovering what the good side of bad really is.
Only In Theatres
Only in Theatres is a feature-length documentary telling the story of one immigrant family, the Laemmles, who helped shape Hollywood and now faces challenges not only from streaming content and reduced audience size, but the unexpected threat of COVID-19. The family represents the motion picture world in the midst of an enormous industry-wide reevaluation. Like the last family farm, or the last bookstore, what happens when it is gone?
Filmmaker Mabel Valdiviezo chronicles her journey as an undocumented artist making tough choices to survive in the U.S. When she returns to Peru, she confronts her past and unveils the secrets that tore her apart from her parents. Diagnosed with cancer, Mabel must find a way to open her heart, forgive her family and herself before it's too late.
Through the intimate lens of one courageous survivor, PRODIGAL DAUGHTER explores and humanizes the complex nexus of family separation, mental health, and border policy at a time of rising anti-immigrant sentiment.
When a timid young woman summons the courage to walk into her first Sexual Assault support group she gets an unlikely and hilarious pep talk from a punk rock singer.
A quirky bunch of kids and professional artists gather each year on a little island farm to learn how to make music and film together. This year, a pandemic threatens the ability to gather safely, will the kids still find a way to adapt and evolve? Can Rock ShopZillah! survive the plague and transform into something new?
She Always Wins
She Always Wins explores the fragility of masculinity as the unintended consequences of a couple’s backgammon game on a lazy summer afternoon accelerate what may have taken decades to unravel.
Squeegee is a portrait of a group of young people and their wider community struggling to overcome poverty, and the ingenuity they bring to making a living on Baltimore’s streets. It is a story of transient and extraordinary young adults who are overlooked and ignored by the communities that are supposed to support and protect them.
Stronger for Life
What does an internationally renowned fitness expert and entrepreneur do when faced with a diagnosis of breast cancer?
Stronger for Life follows Ilaria Montagnani’s remarkable journey for two years from diagnosis to treatment to recovery.
The story reveals how her philosophy of being strong in body and mind play a crucial role in her recovery and inspires
her commitment to advocate early detection and breast cancer awareness.
Two West Texas roughnecks discover they’re in the middle of a love triangle and must reckon with their masculinity when the woman they love decides to keep dating them both.
The Dancing Man
Dancing to a rhythm all his own, a retired scientist and staple of the Los Angeles concert scene for six decades, grapples with the effect that COVID-19 has on his concert going lifestyle.
The Flag Makers
In the heart of Milwaukee, Wisconsin sits the largest American flag factory where 5 million flags are sewn and shipped annually. These American flags - are stitched by refugees and immigrants. This film is a portrait of what makes a community, and what defines patriotism. It is a nuanced look at the tension between the hands that weave our patriotic threads and those who grip anti-immigrant protect signs. The Flag Makers is a snapshot of what our country embodies at this moment, with all its confounding contradictions.
The Forbidden Zone
The Forbidden Zone is a stop-motion short film that tells the story of Dumont, the sole survivor of a toxic fog that consumes all living things. Dumont has found safety in an abandoned train station in the French alps. There he tends his plants, trying desperately to bring life back to earth. When his generator suddenly fails and the poison gas leaks in, destroying his last living plant, Dumont finally finds himself truly alone. Then a glowing Nymph crashes near the train station like a meteorite. Out of the crater formed by the crash, Dumont spies rich green foliage. Life. In this moment Dumont decides to leave the safety of his shelter- Facing certain death.
The Job of Songs
In Doolin, an isolated village teetering on the western edge of Ireland, a community of musicians seeks refuge from a long history of loneliness by turning to the tunes of their ancestors.
the smallest steps
What does it take to have a voice? What sustains people on the long road from fear and silence to courage and action? For women whose voices are often suppressed, the journey is full of challenges. Many quit along the way. But in Ottawa, Ontario, two law students and two mothers have decided to take a stand and join the anti-violence movement. The only trouble is, they don’t know how to be activists.
Together and on their own, these women must find the courage to speak out, risking stigmatization and burnout along the way. If they can overcome the personal and political barriers that threaten to derail them, they will join a long legacy of courageous women who refuse to be silenced.
This is Not a War Story
A motley crew of combat veterans engage in a rare form of political dissent, by destroying their uniforms to make art. Narrowly escaping the traumatic spectre of self-destruction, they find that their only path to sanity is a denouncement of war.
In the insular Orthodox Jewish community, women are expected to follow certain laws of modesty and a strict code of sexual conduct, but many have found a new way to explore and express their sexuality: boudoir photography. But is it empowering? if so, why? is it in harmony with the standards of the Orthodox community or is it a form of rebellion? Is this a feminist statement or another form of submission?
What happens when troubled people work with troubled dogs? Shot in Redwood City, California, UNDERDOGS examines homeless dogs that are transformed into adoptable animals through the efforts of minimum-security inmates.
UNDERDOGS combines unique subject matter — namely the pairing of rough prisoners with behaviorally challenged dogs — and looks at their interactions through the lenses of redemption and the power of love to change lives.
Voice of Vanilla
Although many take vanilla for granted, this difficult and dangerous crop is a lifeline out of poverty for farmers in Madagascar. Will the women responsible for vanilla cultivation be able to weather the storms that threaten its very existence?
WIAN What's In A Name - A Versace Story
Alfredo Versace's story is one of much intrigue. A man raised from humble beginnings, builds a life of fortune, to have it all taken away; stripped of his name, fortune, and friends. However, Alfredo would survive this tragedy in a way that clearly reveals his true character.
Previous Roy W. Dean Summer Grant Winners
2019 – Heather Dune Macadam for 999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz
2018 – Allison Otto and Maria Clinton for The Love Bugs
2017 – Erika Cohn for Belly of the Beast
2016 – Rob Herring for The Need to Grow
2015 – Chelo Alvarez Stehle for Sands of Silence
2014 – Rachel Elizabeth Seed for A Photographic Memory
2013 – Jason Grant Smith for I Voted? – A Non-Partisan Documentary
2012 – Alicia Brauns for The Mosaic of Life
2011 – Leslie Neale for Unlikely Friends
2010 – Sara Maamouri & Jesse Deeter for Burned
2009 – Lori Miller for Shakespeare High
2008 – Karin Mak for Red Dust
2007 – Chelo Alavarez for Sold in America
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