Roy W. Dean Grant Short Film Grant 2021 Finalists

Congratulations to the films selected to be Roy W. Dean Grant Short Film Grant 2021 Finalists.

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.

For more information about the Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant, visit


2021 Short Film Grant Finalists

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90 BPM

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Logline: On the eve of the biggest deal of her career, an unplanned pregnancy throws a woman's carefully planned life into chaos.

Description: “90 BPM” is a slice of life about grief, about plans, and about loss of control. The event that triggers the film’s climax in this case is not a global pandemic, but rather a quieter, more intimate terror- the startling grief caused by a miscarriage. We will use the resources provided by the Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant to complete post production and cover festival submissions.

This is our third time applying for the Roy W. Dean Grant, and "90 BPM" received a 2020 Hot Film in the Making Award from the organization.

A Treatise on Catfishery

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In this satirical take on modern dating, MARIE-LOUISE is a wife, mother, barkeep and fisherwoman. Bizarre combo for that time but she doesn’t go fishing in the river, she catches her bait on land. She leads an organized group of women who catfish’s wealthy men. They send exaggerated over romanticized paintings to town leaders who buy their next wives. When the money comes back, Marie-Louise pockets it, and moves on to the next victim. They will have no choice but to expand their business from destroying town leaders to annihilating the tyrant king invading their lands.

Bienvenidos a Los Angeles

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Inspired by true events, the film tells the timely story of Imani, a Tanzanian single-mother living in Los Angeles. When she offers to help a perfect stranger reunite with her son, Imani learns that this simple act of kindness threatens to jeopardize her own path to citizenship.

Charlie's Freedom

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When a teenage carer rejects the University of her dreams, her disabled Mum takes drastic actions to reverse her decision.

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A hardworking and steadfast teenage girl from Honduras begins questioning her gender identity and personal expression after discovering an underground pole dancing studio in New York City. As Claudia, the film's protagonist, navigates a more “liberal” American culture and finds comfort in the studios’ non-binary community, she’s confronted with the decision to leave behind her conservative past and former guardian, in order to lead a more authentic life.

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After being passed over for a big promotion at work, Miranda discovers that she can control the world via her model railway. A bittersweet comedy about a derailed woman, trying to mould herself to the institution but ultimately finding the power within to create her own.

Fat Lip

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A 13 y.o. skater boy pierces his own lip with a safety pin in hopes of winning over his dream boy; however, he finds that his self-destructive plan may not be as infectious as he had imagined it to be.


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Fragmented is a poetic, intimate, short film drama about memory, love, and perseverance. In an Asian American family, a devoted old wife takes care of her frail aged husband, who is in a late stage of dementia, when she relives the loving memories of their marriage.

The film shows what it means to a family when your loved one is diagnosed with dementia and how devoted, persevering love heals. It delivers a melancholy undertone associated with dementia and the warmth of memories, leaving the audience with a lingering taste of bittersweetness.

The script is a Semifinalist (top 2.8%) of the BlueCat screenplay competition 2021.

How Not To Be A Junkie

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Based on a true story, “How Not To Be A Junkie" is a dark, comedic exploration of addiction, sexual identity, grief, and the innocence of youth and how within every addict, there is a child who longs to feel seen, heard, and loved. The film floats back and forth between two important chapters of our lead character, Lexi's, life. We examine how sometimes seemingly inconsequential moments in our childhood can stay tethered to our souls and affect the choices we make later in life.

Last Run

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ELAINE (40s), a single mother to DYLAN (18), a severely sometimes violent autistic teen, hires a military veteran with PTSD and his girlfriend to help sedate and transport him to an out-of- state private facility.

Lies and Imitations

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A compulsive artist struggles with issues of identity and exposure, all while vying for the attention of a world-renowned painter.

Integrity and authenticity are often sacrificed in pursuit of our dreams. This is a story about that confusion, and about the pitfalls of idol worship. It’s about a man who gets everything he wants overnight, becoming the celebrity he idolizes, only to lose something far more valuable in the process. Our hope is that it appeals to those younger and impressionable to the lure of fame and exposure. It asks... How do we value life and determine self worth? Who are we really making our art for?

Mandy's Voice

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A curious and intelligent non-verbal autistic girl struggles to communicate. Her mother is desperate to provide the necessary tools for survival in a world where if one is without a voice ~ one is invisible to the world as well.
FB: @mandysvoicefilm
IG: @mandysvoicefilm
Twitter: @mandysvoicefilm

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Does carrying a child mean you are a mother?

Proxy which is the story of a woman who is a surrogate for a couple with fertility issues who decide they no longer want the child she is carrying for them when the child is found to have a genetic illness. It explores issues of infertility, sacrifice and motherhood in a unique story written by Brian Leahy and Foster Wilson, the husband wife team of Something Wilde Films and is produced by Lauren Hines of Generative Films

Reverberation Day

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Logline: A lonesome elder quarantining to stay alive for his daughter's belated wedding must make a choice when a party next door breaks pandemic restrictions.

Synopsis: During lockdown in the UK, Lloyd - an elderly man in his seventies with underlying health conditions – is anxious to live for his daughter’s belated wedding. After months of solitude at home aloof from society, he feels threatened when his neighbours break the rules and host a Birthday party.

Based on a true story.



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Lavergne & Tony
Friends & Enemies
Until the Very End

One hot, smoggy afternoon, LAVERGNE, an aging actress on the verge of physical and mental collapse, attempts to climb an absurdly steep flight of stairs in the Hollywood Hills, goaded on by TONY, a young gay man of blind ambition & ample proportions, who has vowed to save her life.

The Fog Catcher

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Jagah (14), from a rural drought-hit village in India, is good at building and fixing things. The shortage of water in his village, a condition worsened by a monopoly over the scarce resource, sets into motion various pressing circumstances, at the heart of which is the need to comfort his 9-year-old sister by finding water for the plant where their mother’s ashes have been laid.

The Perfect Lamb

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After discovering that his lamb pet is going to be sacrificed for the Muslim holiday, a cleft-lip boy Ibrahim must find a way to save it.

Yesterday I was the Moon

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Dreaming about her dead son frequently before her grandson is about to work abroad, grandma and her grandson embark on a journey to find a psychic. The story happens in a traditional but fast-growing city in China, Fuzhou, where the elderly are suffocatingly experiencing their religious beliefs and family memories being taken away by the demolishment and rebuilding of the city. This film is a Columbia College Chicago MFA thesis directed by Yihan Lin whose films have been selected for festivals including Slamdance Festival, Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, Rieti & Sabina Film festival and Blow-up International Arthouse Film fest.

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Project: Zenaida - AFI Thesis Film (Short Film)

Tone: Tragicomedy with Musical Numbers

When Ibrahim, an undocumented Filipino Muslim caregiver who dreams of becoming a drag queen, accidentally kills his patient - an aging Filipina singer, he hides her body in fear of being deported back to his hometown where he was banned for his sexuality.

The film is being edited at the moment. We picture lock first week of October. We need a grant to cover post production and publicity costs.

Here is a direct link to a teaser of Zenaida.



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