Roy. W. Dean Film Grant Names Finalists for 2021 Summer Grant

Winner to Receive $3,500 and Thousands More in Production Services

Twenty finalists were chosen for the 2021 Roy W. Dean Film Grant for Summer 2021.  Offered by the non-profit From The Heart Productions , the grant is awarded to a unique film and the makes a contribution to society.  The winner will receive $3,500 cash and thousands more in donated production services from film industry professionals and companies.

Roy W. Dean Film Grant Finalists Summer 2021

“These films are all excellent and deserve to be completed and shown to the public.” said Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. “It is a great pleasure and honor to be able to be exposed to all this incredible work for very talented filmmakers.”

The Roy W. Dean Film Grant for Summer is the penultimate Roy W. Dean Film Grant for 2021.  Now in its 30th year, the grant seeks to help filmmakers get their films completed.  All applicants to the grant are offered a free consultation on their project. They can discuss their proposals, search for funding, distribution, or whatever they feel is needed to move their film forward.  

Winner of the grant is expected to be named at end of October.

The finalists are:

Title Type Submitting Filmmaker
Ellis Documentary Feature Sascha Just
The Bridge Ministry (wt) Documentary Feature Christopher Farina
I Was Born This Way Documentary Short Daniel Junge
An Extraordinary Woman Documentary Short Tara Price
Mujeres Gobernando Documentary Feature Timothy Moran
Discharge Short Fiction Ken Schwartz
Finding the Money Documentary Feature Maren Poitras
Broken Toy Short Fiction Oliver Woodward
The Legend of Princess Ronkonkoma Feature Fiction Maria Capp
Impossible Town Documentary Feature Meg Griffiths
Simulating Religious Violence Documentary Feature Jenn Lindsay
Hangtown Documentary Feature Stuart Harmon
On Board Documentary Feature Muriel Cravatte
The Missing Documentary Feature Fahrinisa Oswald
Stopping Traffic 2 Documentary Feature Siddhali Shree
Not Soft Short Fiction Robert Macfarlane
The Portrait Feature Fiction Vinicius de La Rocha
Prodigal Daughter Documentary Feature Mabel Valdiviezo
Afghan Dreamers Documentary Feature Beth Murphy
The Science of Ink Documentary Feature Cary Weldy
Watering the West Web Series Shari Due
Coming Home: Fight for a Legacy Documentary Feature Matia Karrell
A Family of Stories Documentary Feature Alexandra Hidalgo

Each finalist is given the opportunity to post information on their contending film on the From the Heart Productions website.  Filmmakers can include an image from the film, filmmaker info, and loglines.  If they have available, filmmakers can include a link to their film’s website, Facebook page, or relevant social media connection. 

In addition to the  $3,500 in cash provided by From the Heart Productions the winner will also receive $1295.00 Scholarship to Writers Boot Camp, applicable to Online or live Professional Membership sessions, $429.00 OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dock hard drive from OWC , a major discount on sound mix from Jeff Alan of Alan Audio Works, and more from film industry companies and individuals.

Roy W. Dean Grant for Fall 2021 Now Accepting Applications

The final Roy W. Dean Grant of the year is open for submissions until Oct 31st.  Winner will receive $3,000 and thousands more in donated services including a film score, animation, camera rental, and more to help them complete their film.

For more information and to apply, go to: https://fromtheheartproductions.com/roy-w-dean-film-grants-and-awards/

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Now celebrating its 30th year, the Roy W. Dean Grant has awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to independent films. The grant is awarded to films budgeted under $500,000 that are unique and make a contribution to society.  It has been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers that help to get their projects started or finished.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Past winners of the grant include the Emmy winning Mia: A Dancer’s Journey,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, Peabody Award nominee Belly of the Beast, and acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity.

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 offer film fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers.  This allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has helped independent filmmakers raise over $30 million through its fiscal sponsorship program.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts and the new online class “How to Fund Your Film”.

Hot Films in the Making – Roy W. Dean Film Grant for Summer 2021

26 Films from Talented Filmmakers That You Will Be Hearing from in Future

With each of the four Roy W. Dean Film Grants offered by From the Heart Productions, there is a select group of films and filmmakers that, while not making the finals, deserve recognition.  These are the Hot Films in the Making.  These are films that chosen by the grant judges that have excellent concepts and brilliant filmmakers.  They should be in the finals for Roy W. Dean Grant in coming years.

“Separation” – Feature from Hasan Demirtas

“These films deserve to be noticed and be supported.” said Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. “It is exciting to see, in the throes of creation, so many touching, heartfelt stories being tackled by exceptional filmmakers.”

The Roy W. Dean Grant seeks films that are unique and that make a contribution to society.  It is the hope of From the Heart Productions that, by shining a light on these films, it will not only expand their audience, but help them find those who will help the films on their journey to completion. 

The films chosen for Hot Films in the Making include documentary, narrative features, short films and web series.  Projects were submitted to the grant from filmmakers in Asia, Europe, the United States and Canada.

The Hot Films in the Making for the Roy W. Dean Grant for Summer 2021 are:

Title Type Filmmaker
Underdogs Documentary Feature Ashia Lance
The Door Short Fiction Pablo Lopez
Saving Amy Feature Fiction Jessie Kahnweiler
Fish House Documentary Feature Kristin Adair
Woman in the Mirror Documentary Feature Tatyana Bronstein
The Better Part Feature Fiction Mollie Mulvey
American Sons Documentary Feature Andrew Gonzales
The Haunting of Molly Pickett Feature Fiction Michael K. Johnson
Why Are You You? TV,Web or New Media Lindsay LaPointe
For a Daughter Feature Fiction Daniel Pouesi
My Piece Documentary Short Bervick J. Decullus II
The Gathering Society Documentary Feature Barb Benton
Broken Strings Series Catherine Dudley-Rose
I’m So OCD Documentary Feature Charles Frank
Separation Feature Fiction Hasan Demirtas
Motherland Short Fiction Grace Merriman
There is No Sushi Chef Feature Fiction Vinicius de La Rocha
Plant Moms Short Fiction Liv Amundsen
Oaklead Documentary Feature Alex Bledsoe
Rediscovering John Bergman Documentary Feature Kelly Lamphear-Dash
Saving Walden’s World Documentary Feature James Merkel
Caddisfly Documentary Short Liv Johnson
The New York Love Songs Documentary Feature Darah Golub
Just Bake Cookies Short Fiction Quinn Early
Unmuted Series Milena Warns
City of Heroes Documentary Feature Fiona Lloyd-Davis

Each finalist is given the opportunity to post information on their contending film on the From the Heart Productions website.  Filmmakers can include an image from the film, filmmaker info, and loglines.  If they have available, filmmakers can include a link to their film’s website, Facebook page, or relevant social media connection. 

Roy W. Dean Grant for Fall 2021 Now Accepting Applications

The final Roy W. Dean Grant of the year is open for submissions until Oct 31st.  Winner will receive $3,000 and thousands more in donated services including a film score, animation, camera rental, and more to help them complete their film.

For more information and to apply, go to: https://fromtheheartproductions.com/roy-w-dean-film-grants-and-awards/

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Now celebrating its 30th year, the Roy W. Dean Grant has awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to independent films. The grant is awarded to films budgeted under $500,000 that are unique and make a contribution to society.  It has been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers that help to get their projects started or finished.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Past winners of the grant include the Emmy winning Mia: A Dancer’s Journey,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, Peabody Award nominee Belly of the Beast, and acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity.

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 offer film fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers.  This allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has helped independent filmmakers raise over $30 million through it’s fiscal sponsorship program.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts and the new online class “How to Fund Your Film”.

First Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant Won by “Stairway to the Stars”

Short Fiction Film to Receive Cash and Donated Services to Complete Film

Non-profit From the Heart Productions is pleased to announce that “Stairway to the Stars” has captured the inaugural Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant for 2021.  TheRoy W. Dean Short Film Grant grant is awarded to a live action or animated short fiction film that is unique and that makes a contribution to society.

Writer/Director Lorenzo DeStefano (“Talmage Farlow”, “Los Zafiros-Music From The Edge of Time”, “Hearing is Believing”, “Shipment Day”, “The Diarist”), was chosen to receive this prestigious award that comes with a $3,000 cash prize and access to significant in-kind and discounted goods and services from film industry donors.

“We are very excited to have this excellent project as our first recipient of the Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant. ” commented Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. “Lorenzo faced tough competition from many wonderful projects from other very talented filmmakers.  We look forward to seeing his project completed.”

In addition to the $3,000 cash prize, filmmaker DeStefano will receive $3,000.00 in music and audio services from well-known composer David Raiklen, $6,000.00 in animation from Emmy award winner Charlie Canfield, $1,400 value (4 hours of sound mix session) from Silver Sound, and more from many heartfelt donors that love and support indie filmmakers.

About “Stairway to the Stars”

“Stairway to the Stars’ is based on a real incident witnessed by DeStefano when he first moved to Hollywood from Honolulu and later produced as a One-Act play.  The film explores the complex relationship between friends who are enemies and enemies who are friends. Lorenzo’s film is a tribute to Nathanael West’s “Day of the Locust”, the plays of Samuel Beckett, and to the countless two-reel comedies shot in these very hills over 100 years ago.

Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant

Sean Young

Starring as the lead character Lavergne, a has-been thespian in her 70’s, is the celebrated actress, Sean Young (“Stripes”, “Blade Runner”, “Dune”, “No Way Out”, “Wall Street”, “Fatal Instinct”, “A Kiss Before Dying”, and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”).  “Sean is the ideal choice to bring this complex character to life.” added director DeStefano.  On the verge of physical and mental collapse, Lavergne’s love hate relationship with Tony, a young gay man of blind ambition & ample proportions who has vowed to save her life, is the central theme of the film.

One hot, smoggy afternoon, Lavergne and Tony attempt to climb an absurdly steep flight of outdoor steps in the Hollywood Hills. Lavergne wishes she were back in her Hollywood apartment watching “The Match Game” and eating Cheetos. Tony refuses to give up on her, goads her up the stairs with a mixture of brutality and real tenderness. Humorous, tragic, and deeply touching, Lavergne & Tony’s story reveals itself between the bottom of the stairs and the top, mined by the filmmakers for its maximum serio-comic potential.

Fundraising Campaign Underway for Final Funding

With half of the production budget raised, a crowdfunding campaign is running through October 7, 2021 on WeDid.it (https://stairwaytothestars.wedid.it/campaigns/9578-please-support-stairway-to-the-stars). With fiscal sponsorship provided by From The Heart Productions, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the goal is to raise an additional $30,000 in tax-deductible contributions by October 7th.  Westshire Films plans to shoot the film on L.A. locations in early-to-mid October, 2021. 

DeStefano and his filmmaking team are very pleased to be returning to production after so many months of uncertainty.  Their efforts and those of other committed filmmakers all over the world strive to get us back in the business of telling great stories and bringing people together in the dark, where stories that shed light on the human condition can be shared and appreciated. 

Narrative short films are undergoing a real renaissance. Recognized and celebrated by numerous international film festivals and award-giving entities, this genre has evolved into a powerful and audience-friendly genre. Opportunities for international streaming & broadcast distribution have also improved exponentially in the past few years, reflecting a growing appetite and demand for high-quality, compelling short stories. 

With its strong cast, unique characters, high-profile locations, and compelling narrative, “Stairway to the Stars” is aiming for a 2022 film festival & awards release and will be marketed internationally to all available sales, distribution, exhibition, and social media platforms.

More information on the film can be found at www.stairwaytothestarsfilm.comwww.facebook.com/pg/Stairway-to-the-Stars-586330618549435/about/?ref=page_internal, and at the filmmaker’s IMDb page – https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0221805/.

About the Filmmaker

Roy W. Dean Short Film GrantBorn and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Lorenzo DeStefano is a playwright, screenwriter, producer, director, and photographer.  A member of the Directors Guild of America and past member of the Motion Picture’s Editors Guild, DeStefano has worked in the U.S. and U.K. theater.   He has written fiction & non-fiction, original screenplays and adaptations, as well as producing and directed narrative and documentary films.

He is producer/director of the 2018 Humanitas Prize-nominated documentary “Hearing is Believing” about the astonishingly  talented young musician and composer, Rachel Flowers.  DeStefano produced and directed “Los Zafiros-Music From The Edge of Time” an award winning film about the Beatles of 1960’s Cuba.  He also produced, directed, and edited the acclaimed public television documentary “Talmage Farlow”, a portrait of the great American jazz guitarist.

His current narrative feature project as producer/writer/director is “Shipment Day”, a filmed adaptation of his prize-winning play. He is writer/producer on “The Diarist”, a 5-Part Limited Series that tells the true story of Boston eccentric Arthur Crew Inman and his 17 million word “Inman Diary”, published by Harvard University Press.  DeStefano is also writer/producer of the fact-based urban thriller “House Boy”, set in London and South India and adapted from his novel.  More at www.lorenzodestefano.com.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

The Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant is the most recent addition to the Roy W. Dean Grants for independent filmmakers.  From it’s inception in 1992, the Roy W. Dean Grants have awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to unique films that make a contribution to society.  

In addition to the Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant, the other grants are awarded times each year to films budgeted under $500,000 that are unique and make a contribution to society.  It has been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers that help to get their projects started or finished.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Past winners of the grant include the Emmy winning Mia: A Dancer’s Journey,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, Peabody Award nominee Belly of the Beast, and acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity.

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 offer film fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers.  This allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has helped independent filmmakers raise over $30 million through it’s fiscal sponsorship program.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts and the new online class “How to Fund Your Film”.

For More Information and interview requests, please contact:

Richard Kaufman

richard@fromtheheartproductions.com

www.fromtheheartproductions.com

 

“The Fog Catcher” Wins Britt Penrod Award for Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant

Award Goes to Film That is Unique and That Makes an Exceptional Contribution to Society

From the Heart Productions has announced writer/director Avi Kabir and his film “TheBritt Penrod Award Fog Catcher” as the recipient of the Britt Penrod Award for the Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant.  Made possible by a generous donation by the award namesake, the $500 prize goes to a project submitted to each Roy W. Dean Grant that is unique and that makes an exceptional contribution to society.  The award will help support Avi in getting his film completed.

“For many years I have been reading about the scarcity of water and the very real consequences (socially and geopolitically),” commented Britt Penrod on the winning film. “I felt this was an important topic to bring to the fore – one that requires action from all of us.  In addition, I thought Avi Kabir’s visual storytelling was absolutely wonderful.” 

The short film revolves around Jagah (14), from a rural drought-hit village in the state of Maharashtra (India), who 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 younger sister Jugnu (9) by finding water for the plant where their mother’s ashes have been laid.

About the Filmmaker

Britt Penrod AwardAvi Kabir is currently an MFA candidate at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, pursuing a degree in directing and writing. Avi studied psychology, history and political science before completing a post-graduate degree in Mass Communication. He then went on to work in the villages of India, producing educational and training documentaries.

These films were made with marginalized women farmers and workers, and continue to be used today to address taboo issues such as sexual health and women’s rights regarding pre-natal care, sustainable agriculture and income accounting.

Avi has also written and directed short films in New Delhi and New York. He is the recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Short Film Production Award for his script “The Fog Catcher” (2019). When Avi is not filming, he can be found by his piano or in a music studio, scoring to picture or producing electronic music

About the Britt Penrod Award

The Britt Penrod Award was made possible by a donation from longtime friend of From the Heart Productions and the Roy W. Dean Grants, Britt Penrod.  The $500 award will be presented to a finalist for the upcoming 2021 Roy W. Dean Grants whose film is unique and makes an exceptional contribution to society.  Results of the award have no bearing on the eventual winner of any of the Roy W. Dean Grants.

Britt is president of Giant Entertainment & Management Inc. (G.E.M.) is a Los Angeles based Film & Television Studio design and development company with in depth experience in the United States, Europe and Asia.

G.E.M. delivers knowledgeable business foundations to Studio development projects that include; Market Analysis, Site Planning, Operating Financial Evaluation, Construction, MEP & Value Engineering, Start-up of Operations and ongoing Management Services for stage-based entertainment properties.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Now in its 30th year, the Roy W. Dean Grant has awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to independent films. The grant is awarded to films budgeted under $500,000 that are unique and that make a contribution to society.  It has been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers that help to get their projects started or finished.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Past winners of the grant include the Emmy winning Mia: A Dancer’s Journey,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, and the acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity which is now in distribution showing in theaters around the US and world.

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 offer film fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers.  This allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has helped independent filmmakers raise over $30 million through it’s fiscal sponsorship program.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts and the new online class “How to Fund Your Film”.

For More Information and interview requests, please contact:

Richard Kaufman

richard@fromtheheartproductions.com

www.fromtheheartproductions.com

Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant Finalists Announced

22 Films Selected for to Compete for Grant Valued at $15K

Established in January 2021, 22 finalists were selected for the inaugural Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant.   The grant, which is offered by the non-profit From The Heart Productions , is awarded to a fiction short film that is unique and the makes a contribution to society.  The winner will receive $3,500 cash and thousands more in donated production services from film industry professionals and companies.

Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant Finalists

“We founded the Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant in response to the explosion we saw of all the excellent short films being produced.” said Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. “The submissions we received are bursting with originality from talented filmmakers all over the world anxious to show what they can create.  We thank them for allowing us to be exposed to their work.”

Projects were submitted by filmmakers around the world.  Grant applications were received from not only the United States, but from filmmakers in England, Italy, Philippines, Israel, and China. 

The Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant joins the other 3 Roy W. Dean Film Grants offered by From the Heart Productions.  As with the other grants, all applicants to the short film grant are offered a free consultation on their project. They can discuss their proposals, search for funding, distribution, or whatever they feel is needed to move their film forward.  

Winner of the grant is expected to be announced in September.

The Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant Finalists Are:

Title Submitting Filmmaker 
Stairway to the Stars Lorenzo DeStefano
Fat Lip Donovan  Tolledo
90 BPM Elizabeth Conway
Last Run Blaine Gray
Lies and Imitations Evan Murray
Small Miracles Toni Crey
Dream Big Georgina French
Reverberation Day Yasmine Alice
The Fog Catcher Avi Kabir
Proxy Lauren Hines Gill
Elephant Chinwe Okorie
How Not To Be A Junkie Andrea Metz
Mandy’s Voice Roxanna Lewis
A Treatise on Catfishery Maxime Beauchamp
Fragmented Jiming Lindal
I Was Always Coming Back Christian Jones
Claudia Erin Ramirez
Zenaida San-San Onglatco
The Perfect Lamb Omar Al Dakheel
Yesterday I was the Moon Yihan Lin
Bienvenidos A Los Angeles Lolia Etomi
Charlie’s Freedom Georgina French

 

Each finalist is given the opportunity to post information on their contending film on the From the Heart Productions website.  Filmmakers can include an image from the film, filmmaker info, and loglines.  If they have available, filmmakers can include a link to their film’s website, Facebook page, or relevant social media connection. 

In addition to the  $3,500 in cash provided by From the Heart Productions the winner will also receive $3,000.00 in music and audio services from well-known composer David Raiklen , $6,000.00 in animation from Emmy award winner Charlie Canfield , $1,400 value (4 hours of sound mix session) from Silver Sound, $600.00 for your Free Closed Captioning by NetCaptioning, and more from film industry companies and individuals.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Now celebrating its 30th year, the Roy W. Dean Grant has awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to independent films. The grant is awarded to films budgeted under $500,000 that are unique and make a contribution to society.  It has been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers that help to get their projects started or finished.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Past winners of the grant include the Emmy winning Mia: A Dancer’s Journey,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, Peabody Award nominee Belly of the Beast, and acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity.

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 offer film fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers.  This allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has helped independent filmmakers raise over $30 million through it’s fiscal sponsorship program.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts and the new online class “How to Fund Your Film”.

 

“Scared to Debt” Wins Roy W. Dean Grant for Spring 2021

Investigative Documentary Dives into the $1.8 Trillion Student Loan Debt Crisis

Now celebrating its 30th year of helping indie filmmakers realize their dreams, the first Roy W. Dean Grant of 2021 goes to the documentary Scared to Debt.  The non-profit From the Heart Productions awards the grant 4 times a year to a unique film that make a contribution to society.  Director Mike Camoin and his team will receive $3,500 cash and thousands more in donated production services and products to help them complete the multi-chapter documentary.

“Sallie Mae Not” – First Chapter in Scared to Debt Six Part Series

“College graduates face a tremendous burden throughout life from their student loans ” commented Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. “The film does an excellent job examining the roots of the crisis and showing the damage it has done to young people.  Hopefully, it will finally spur politicians to take action to remedy the situation.”

A feature documentary shown in six chapters currently in post-production and seeking finishing funds, Scared to Debt reveals the student loan crisis to have grown wider and deeper over the years placing in excess of 45 million Americans who collectively owe $1.8 Trillion in debt.  All of whom are under unprecedented financial hardship and chronic economic stress. 

Most Americans wonder why college costs have outpaced the rate of inflation. Many still believe student debt is a case of the “Bad Borrower.” Scared to Debt reveals how the federal government, financial institutions, and universities are responsible and carry most of this blame.

In Scared to Debt, you’ll meet key insiders and hear credible voices expose an inept, corrupt Department of Education, leading to anguish experienced by student and parent borrowers across all demographics. Anyone aspiring to or working for higher education will benefit from the solutions shared in the film to restore America’s confidence in the opportunities afforded by higher education.

Sallie Mae Not, Chapter One is completed and premiered virtually at the Whistleblower Summit + Film Festival on July 26, 2021.

In addition to the $3,500 cash prize, Michael Camoin will receive $1,600 value sound mix session from Silver Sound, 40% deduction on color, editing, and sound & all production services from ProMedia NYC, 30% discount in equipment rental from AbelCine Tech, Inc. NYC,  and more from many other heartfelt film industry donors.

About the Filmmaker

Mike Camoin is best known for his documentary series on Adirondack culture: Inside the Blue Line, How to Make an Adirondack Packbasket which has screened in northeastern U.S. and Canadian television markets.  From the Mountaintop: The History of Adirondack Fire Towers is now in development will complete the trilogy.  On a cinematic mission, Camoin is releasing Sallie Mae Not: Chapter One in the documentary, Scared To Debt

Mike founded the 501(c)3 non-profit Capital  Cinema Cultural Exchange, Inc. which hosts the annual Northeast Filmmakers Lab in upstate New York.  Camoin works closely with consultants and board members to establish strategic plans.  He is also host of the new series Check the Gate:  One On One with the Northeast Filmmakers Lab.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

From it’s inception in 1992, the Roy W. Dean Grant has awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to independent films. The grant is awarded to films budgeted under $500,000 that are unique and make a contribution to society.  It has been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers that help to get their projects started or finished.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Past winners of the grant include the Emmy winning Mia: A Dancer’s Journey,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, Peabody Award nominee Belly of the Beast, and acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity.

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 offer film fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers.  This allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has helped independent filmmakers raise over $30 million through it’s fiscal sponsorship program.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts and the new online class “How to Fund Your Film”.

For More Information and interview requests, please contact:

Richard Kaufman

richard@fromtheheartproductions.com

www.fromtheheartproductions.com

Roy W. Dean Grant Winner Helen Hall Awarded Puzzle Theory Grant

Filmmaker Will Have 3 Years Use of Innovative PR and Marketing Platform for her Documentary on Nikola Tesla

From the Heart Productions has awarded Helen Hall 3 years of use of Puzzle Theory which will assist her in building a marketing and PR campaign for her Roy W. Dean Grant winning film “Pictures of Infinity”.   Valued at $5,000, the Puzzle Theory Grant is made possible by a donation from Puzzle Theory and its creator Ina Sofia Kalo.   The award will not only help Helen create buzz for her in progress documentary on Nicola Tesla, it will provide an example to show other independent filmmakers how Puzzle Theory will revolutionize their marketing.

Puzzle Theory Grant“I am so grateful to receive this grant from Puzzle Theory, and excited to begin working with such an innovative and inspiring platform!” said director Helen Hall upon learning of her being chosen for the award. 

“Puzzle Theory is everything I could have hoped for, and have been missing, until now – a way to document films as they are being made, and a place to create a ‘behind the scenes’ story about the making of the film.  I have been doing this on different social media platforms, but in pieces.  This platform brings all those pieces together in one place, and there are still many more dimensions to explore. 

“Thank you Ina Sofia Kalo and Carole Dean, for this generous gift, and I look forward to sharing all that I learn from this experience.”

About Puzzle Theory

Developed by Ina over two years, Puzzle Theory is an exciting tool for independent filmmakers.  With it, Ina has created a way for filmmakers to attach to their audience while making their film. 

“You or your production company can register a film at any stage of production,” Ina explained on a recent The Art of Film Funding Podcast. “It can be any genre. Our categories are fiction, documentary, TV series or animation. You build your own page. It will have your unique URL and you can post the link anywhere.

“You have different modules that give information about you, you but basically you start curating your film using storyline. You combine original pictures and video or production shots and video with hand selected content from your existing social media accounts and pages.

“Using our proprietary technology, you can tag and extract any information from current content of your existing social media. We give you the tools to hand select only the most special pieces that you want to include with the making of your storyline.”

At this point Puzzle Theory is by invite only.  The company is curating their own platform with a lot of attention to detail, and though some films may contain some nudity and violence, the staff has to make sure that such content is not inappropriate.  She has a brilliant website and best of all she has a question-and-answer session monthly.  You can find that on her site and get to hear her personally. 

About “Pictures of Infinity”

Recipient of the Roy W. Dean Grant for Spring of 2013, “Pictures of Infinity” is a feature documentary about Nikola Tesla’s discovery the Earth produces an unlimited reservoir of natural electricity and the system he invented to harness it to provide an infinite, nontoxic and renewable resource for the shared benefit of all humankind.

More than 100 years ago the great scientist, engineer and visionary Nikola Tesla predicted the current environmental crisis and knew we would need a radical solution. He devoted the last part of his life to providing one, with his discovery that the earth produces an unlimited reservoir of natural electricity and his invention that harnesses it, based on an entirely new understanding of physics. Tesla’s ideas were so advanced for that time, and challenging to mainstream science, that all funding for his projects was withdrawn, his name seemed to disappear from the history books, and since then all of this visionary work has remained veiled in mystery.

What Nikola Tesla discovered is a natural form of electricity produced by the spinning earth, within stars, in the cosmic vacuum of space, and Tesla found a way to produce it with his invention known as a ‘Tesla coil’. The film follows the events in Tesla’s life, and reproduces the groundbreaking experiments that led to the discovery he called his ‘greatest achievement’. Independent scientists and engineers provide solid scientific evidence to confirm it. In the process Pictures of Infinity reveals the soul and spirit of a true scientist and humanitarian whose passionate quest for knowledge was always at the service of humanity.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Now in its 30th year, the Roy W. Dean Grant has awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to independent films. The grant is awarded to films budgeted under $500,000 that are unique and that make a contribution to society.  It has been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers that help to get their projects started or finished.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Past winners of the grant include the Emmy winning Mia: A Dancer’s Journey,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, and the acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity which is now in distribution showing in theaters around the US and world.

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 offer film fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers.  This allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has helped independent filmmakers raise over $10 million through its fiscal sponsorship program.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts 

“26 Seconds” Wins Britt Penrod Award

Documentary Reveals that One Child Every 26 Seconds is Trafficked Globally

From the Heart Productions announces that “26 Seconds” has been named the winner of the inaugural Britt Penrod Award.  Made possible by a generous grant by the award’s namesake, it is bestowed on an entrant for the Roy W. Dean Film Grant that is unique and that makes an exceptional contribution to society.   Director Kelly Galindo will receive $500 from the award to allow her to continue work on her documentary exposing child sex trafficking around the world.

Britt Penrod Award“Our Roy W. Dean Film Grants have for 30 years gone to films that are unique and that make a contribution to society.  ‘26 Seconds’ exemplifies that theme and goes beyond by making a monumental contribution to society in its documenting the underage sex slave industry from the United States to Asia and Africa.” said Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions.

“26 Seconds” is a two-stage film project that reveals the global epidemic of child sex trafficking. The first stage is a two-hour feature documentary that is currently in post-production. The second stage is a dramatic documentary miniseries. Through a captivating journey across the world, Galindo reveals the ubiquity of the problem and the gravity of the damage sustained by this evil, destructive trade.

In intimate interviews, the audience gets a raw, often shocking glimpse into the lives of children and women in various cultures and regions. The interviews include vivid details of how each victim was captured or lured into the sex trade, the horrors of their captivity, and the commitment of each individual, non-profit organization, crisis intervention team, and law enforcement in the fight to eradicate global sex trafficking.

Director Kelly Galindo’s vision is to spread awareness and create a call to action by educating audiences and giving a voice to those who have been silenced. Human trafficking is the fastest-growing illegal industry in the world. There are more slaves today than any time in history.

For the past four years, she has produced and directed 26 Seconds​; her mission of exposing these atrocities has taken her around the world. Kelly highlights the nonprofit organizations that have actively stepped forward to do something about it.

The 26 Seconds team is currently editing the feature documentary with three-time Emmy award winner, Mark Wilcken, as lead editor. The production will be making a strong push for top-tier film festivals, along with a PR campaign for the Academy Awards. Sid Ganis, the supervising producer for 26 Seconds, was the past president of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts, and Sciences; he also served as chairman of the Academy’s International Outreach Committee up to 2017. Prior to this, Ganis has been on the board of directors at Marvel Entertainment until its sale to Disney. His film career in marketing and publicity includes working at 20th Century Fox, Lucasfilm, Columbia Pictures, Warner Brothers, and Paramount Pictures.

Recognition for 26 Seconds

Kelly Galindo, award-winning director, writer, and producer of 26 Seconds, has won the prestigious Award of Merit Best Shorts Competition for Women Filmmakers; The Award of Merit for Liberation-Social Justice-&-Protest; Award of Merit for Women Filmmakers for the Accolade Global Film Competition; Outstanding Excellence of Social Issues for Docs Without Borders Film Festival; Award of Merit for Best Documentary Short for Women Filmmakers for the IndieFEST Film Awards; Best Short Cause-for-Change for AIFA Fest; Best Director for the International Independent Film Awards; Special Mention for Impact Doc Awards; and Special Mention for Global Shorts, One-Reeler Short Film Festival Competition and winner of Excellence for WRPN Women’s International Film Festival.

The 26 Seconds documentary short has also been officially selected for That Film Festival – Cannes, Dances with Films Festival, See It-End It Film and Arts Festival and Film-Com Packaging Financing & Distribution Market. Galindo’s vision is to spread awareness and create a call to action by educating audiences and giving a voice to those who have been silenced. Human trafficking is the fastest-growing illegal industry in the world. There are more slaves today than any time in history. Best Shorts Competition, the Accolade Global Film Competition,

The Impact Doc Awards, IndieFEST Film Awards and Docs Without Boarders Film Festival recognizes film, television, and new media professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change. Entries are judged by highly qualified professionals in the film and television industry.

In winning these film festivals, 26 Seconds joins the ranks of other high-profile winners of these internationally respected awards. Entries are received from around the world from powerhouse companies to remarkable new talent, who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity. And those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change and help set the standard as power catalysts for global change.

Best Shorts Competition Award winners have included Disney Interactive for “Vinylmation: A Love Story” and Oscar-winning production “Mr. Hublot” from Laurent Witz from Luxembourg.

Accolade Global Film Competition winners have included the Oscar winning production of The Lady in Number Six by Malcolm Clarke, the very talented Dave Bossert of Disney for his short documentary, The Tunes Behind The Toons, Hollywood industry veteran Ron Howard for When You Find Me and Highwire Films Australia for their popular ABC TV series twentysomething.

The Impact Doc Award winners include many Oscar-winning directors including Louie Psihiyos for his 2016 Best of Show–Racing Extinction, Oscar-winner Yael Melamede for (Dis)Honesty–The Truth About Lies, and Emmy-award winner Gerald Rafshoon for Endless, Corridors, narrated by Oscar winner Jeremy Irons.

The IndieFEST Film Award winners have included internationally respected Liam Neeson as the narrator of Love Thy Nature, A Path Appears Documentary featuring George Clooney and Blake Lively, Radical Grace executive produced by Susan Sarandon, a searing expose Davids and Goliath by Peabody winner Leon Lee, and Touched with Fire starring Katie Holmes.

About the Filmmaker

Britt Penrod AwardKelly Galindo is an American actress, director, and producer. Her work has spanned decades in television, theater, and film. She is currently in post-production for her first directorial feature documentary 26 Seconds, which is based on the horrific sex trade.

In addition, Kelly balances her directing and acting careers while passing her craft onto future generations of students as a professor at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts of Chapman University.

She has also taught at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television and at Orange County School of the Arts. Kelly is also a proud lifetime member of the Actors Studio.

About the Britt Penrod Award

The Britt Penrod Award was made possible by a donation from longtime friend of From the Heart Productions and the Roy W. Dean Grants, Britt Penrod.  The $500 award will be presented to a finalist for the upcoming 2021 Roy W. Dean Grants whose film is unique and makes an exceptional contribution to society.  Results of the award have no bearing on the eventual winner of any of the Roy W. Dean Grants.

Britt is president of Giant Entertainment & Management Inc. (G.E.M.) is a Los Angeles based Film & Television Studio design and development company with in depth experience in the United States, Europe and Asia.

G.E.M. delivers knowledgeable business foundations to Studio development projects that include; Market Analysis, Site Planning, Operating Financial Evaluation, Construction, MEP & Value Engineering, Start-up of Operations and ongoing Management Services for stage-based entertainment properties.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Now in its 30th year, the Roy W. Dean Grant has awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to independent films. The grant is awarded to films budgeted under $500,000 that are unique and that make a contribution to society.  It has been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers that help to get their projects started or finished.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Past winners of the grant include the Emmy winning Mia: A Dancer’s Journey,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, and the acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity which is now in distribution showing in theaters around the US and world.

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 offer film fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers.  This allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has helped independent filmmakers raise over $10 million through its fiscal sponsorship program.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts

 

Roy W. Dean Grant Awarded to “La Recua” and “Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Sarria”

Roy W. Dean Grant for Fall 2020 Goes to First Ever Co-Winners of Roy W. Dean Grant – Will Share $30,000 Cash and Production Services

The selection of the recipient of the final Roy W. Dean Grant of 2020 ends with a first.  It is the first time in the grant’s 29 year history that the grant is split between two films.  Awarded by From the Heart Productions to an independent film that is unique and that makes a contribution to society, the Roy W. Dean Grant for Fall 2020 goes to the documentaries “La Recua” and “Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Sarria.”

“These are two very different and excellent films created by filmmakers who both have given their heart, their soul, and the last few years of their lives to bring this incredible stories to the public,” said Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. “We honor films told with passion and are thrilled to have these films as co-winners.”

Roy W. Dean Grant Winner Fall 2020

Dario Higuera Meza – “La Recua”

In  “La Recua”, the first feaure length documentary from filmmaker Trudi Angell, an old desert-grown Vaquero, Dario Higuera Meza, wants to share his dream.

A traditional saddle maker in Baja California, Sur, Mexico, who turned 70 in 2018, Dario is a campfire philosopher; he’s a mule-riding poet; he’s a keeper of Old California traditions. He fears that the old traditions might be lost forever.

In March, he gathers a herd of mules and donkeys, builds saddles and traditional gear for his outfit, and plans an historic re-enactment of the old-time merchant pack-trains that once traveled through that rugged mountain country over 100 years ago. His 8-year-old grandson becomes his right-hand man along the two-hundred-mile fading mission trail by mule-back herding a pack train of donkeys from an oasis in the heart of the Sierra de la Giganta, all the way to La Paz.

He and his family packed a load of Goat Cheese, Dates, Sugar-cane Candy, and 10 gallons of famous Comondú Wine… just for the sake of history!  He overcame hardships of health, rattlesnakes, and hot days on dusty, forgotten trails in order to honor the memory of Lower California’s “long-haul” equine merchants – Los Arrieros – the muleteers of Baja’s donkey pack-trains.

Roy W. Dean Grant Winner Fall 2020From filmmaker Joseph R. Castel, “Nelly Queen: the Life and Times of Jose Sarria” examines Jose Sarria who,in 1961, is the first openly gay man to run for public office in the United States – and he runs in heels!

As a drag performer at a San Francisco beatnik bar, The Black Cat Café, the former World War II veteran, decides to run for City Supervisor after local officials threaten to shut down all the gay bars. Jose’s opera parodies bring in hundreds of gay clientele every weekend, and he exploits that fame to inspire the fractured community to unite. Jose’s cabaret platform serves as a podium to teach his closeted customers to not only believe in his slogan, ‘Gay is Good,’ he rallies them to support his political campaign.

Jose inspires oppressed men and women to stand up for themselves. He fights for their right to love who they choose to love. The tragedy is that his activism pushes his lover, Jimmy, away, and in the end he can’t save the one he loves the most from a self-destructive path.

In addition to the $3,000 cash prize, the filmmakers will divide $15,000 in in original music written by well-known composer David Raiklen, $6,000 in animation services from Emmy winner Charlie Canfield, $700 one week DSLR camera package rental from Birns & Sawyer,  and more from many other heartfelt film industry donors.

About the Filmmaker – “Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Sarria”

Joseph R. Castel (Director/Producer/Writer/Editor) – Joe Castel is a journalist, producer, screenwriter and playwright whose work has explored Latino history and identity for over 20 years. Castel’s producing credits include RECORDAR, a documentary about his family’s immigration from Mexico to Illinois, currently in the Art Institute of Chicago’s permanent collection. He also co-wrote and produced the play THE BLVD, critical recognition in its premiere run at West Hollywood’s Macha Theatre.

Castel, along with his co-writer, was awarded a Corporation for Public Broadcasting development grant to HERO STREET, a feature-length screenplay that relates the true story of eight Mexican American war heroes who hail from the same street in suburban Illinois. As a writer, Castel has worked as a public relations consultant/reporter for numerous entertainment magazines and holds a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa.

About the Filmmaker – “La Recua”

Trudi Angell (Producer / Director) is an award-winning organizer of rural, sustainable tours in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Since 1986 she has organized mule-pack trips to renowned World Heritage Rock Art sites and famous road-less ranches, missions and villages in the heart of the peninsula. She was an Associate Producer in 2007 for Corazón Vaquero, a timely documentary portrait of Old California ranch lifestyle.

Thirteen years later, at age 65, this is her first full-length documentary, having worn many sombreros for the past 4 years as Producer/Director/Head of Logistics/Translator and more!  

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Now entering its 30th year, the Roy W. Dean Grant has awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to independent films. The grant is awarded to films budgeted under $500,000 that are unique and that make a contribution to society.  It has been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers that help to get their projects started or finished.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Past winners of the grant include the Emmy winning Mia: A Dancer’s Journey,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, and the acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity which is now in distribution showing in theaters around the US and world.

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 offer film fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers.  This allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has helped independent filmmakers raise over $10 million through it’s fiscal sponsorship program.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts

For More Information and interview requests, please contact:

Richard Kaufman

richard@fromtheheartproductions.com

www.fromtheheartproductions.com

“Keeper of Time” Wins First Roy W. Dean Grant for 2020

Winner to Receive $30,000 Cash and Production Services to Complete Project

From the Heart Productions has announced that the winner of their Spring 2020 Roy W. Dean Grant is the documentary “Keeper of Time”.   Awarded 3 times each year by the non-profit organization, the grant goes to a unique film that makes a contribution to society.  Director Michael Culyba and his team will receive $3,500 cash and thousands more in donated production services and products to help them complete post-production.

 

Roy W. Dean Grant Winner

 

“This is such a beautiful and thoughtful film” commented Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions which sponsors the grant. “All of us at From the Heart Productions are very excited that we are able to help this film get completed.”

“Keeper of Time” is a feature length documentary film that explores the history of horology, mechanical watchmaking and the very concept of time. With interviews from top horological experts and the finest watchmakers in the world, it delves into the world of timekeeping by examining the planets and stars above, the astonishing engineering of mechanical watches, the sophisticated atomic clocks that keep our modern world running and much more.

All the while, “Keeper of Time” contemplates the theoretical and physiological notions of time, aging, and human mortality with interviews from cutting-edge scholars in the fields of theoretical physics, quantum mechanics and philosophy.

In addition to the $3,500 cash prize, Michael Culyba will receive an G-tech ArmorATD drive from G-Technology,  40% deduction on color, editing, and sound & all production services from ProMedia NYC, 30% discount in equipment rental from AbelCine Tech, Inc. NYC,  and more from many other heartfelt film industry donors.

About the Filmmaker

Michael Culyba – Director/Producer/Editor – Michael has been editing documentary films in New York City for over seventeen years.

Some of his credits include Dixie Chicks: Shut Up & Sing (Toronto International Film Festival 2006), Gary Hustwit’s Urbanized (Toronto International Film Festival 2011), Running from Crazy (Sundance Film Festival 2013) and My Own Man, produced by Edward Norton (TriBeCa Film Festival 2014).

Most recently he edited two-time Oscar winning director Barbara Kopple’s film This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.  Keeper of Time is his directorial debut.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

From it’s inception in 1992, the Roy W. Dean Grant has awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services to independent films. The grant is awarded to films budgeted under $500,000 that are unique and make a contribution to society.  It has been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers that help to get their projects started or finished.  Without assistance from the grant, many excellent and important films may never have been made. 

Past winners of the grant include the Emmy winning Mia: A Dancer’s Journey,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, and the acclaimed documentary Kusama-Infinity which is now in distribution showing in theaters around the US and world.

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 offer film fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers.  This allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has helped independent filmmakers raise over $30 million through it’s fiscal sponsorship program.  President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition, Alternative Financing Concepts and the new online class “How to Fund Your Film”.

For More Information and interview requests, please contact:

Richard Kaufman

richard@fromtheheartproductions.com

www.fromtheheartproductions.com