Roy W. Dean Grant FAQ


What kind of projects are considered for the grant?

The grant funds films that are unique and contribute to society that, without the grant’s help, might otherwise never get made.   Projects can be short films, feature films, documentary, or even web or television series.

 “I live in Detroit, Michigan, can I enter the grant?”

Yes, you can enter the grant and live anywhere. However, some of the donations may be offered by vendors located in a particular region.  For example, the Roy W. Dean Spring Grant has donors primarily located on the East Coast.

Can I enter the grant if I live outside of the United States?

Yes, you can live anywhere in the world and enter any of our grants. But, you may not be able to use all the benefits of the specific grant you have won unless you are filming in the US.  For example, the Roy W. Dean Spring Grant has donors based in and around New York for camera equipment rental.  You may not be able to use these donations if you are filming in another country.

Am I allowed to apply to more than one grant at the same time? (i.e. Roy W. Dean Spring Grant and Student Film Grant)

Yes, you can apply for more than one grant at the same time. 

My film is completed. Can I apply for the grant for Marketing and Distribution Funds? 

No. Films that have already completed post-production are not eligible for our grants. 

My film is in Development / Pre-Production / Post-Production. Can I apply for a Grant? 

Yes. You can apply for our grants from any stage of productions from Development through Post-Production. 

Are short films eligible for the Roy W. Dean Grant?


Are animated films eligible for the Roy W. Dean Grant?


Can I apply for the Short Film Grant with a Documentary Short? 

No. The Short Film Grant is specifically for narrative or animated short films. 

When will the finalists/winners for each grant be announced? 

Generally, finalists are announced 90 days from grant application deadline and winner in another month.

Are there any budget limitations for the projects considered for the grant?

To be eligible for the grant, the project submitted must be budgeted for under $500,000.

Can you apply for the grant if your project is in post production?

Yes.  You can also enter a project that is in proposal stage, in pre-production, in production as well.  

When are the grant applications due?

We currently offer five grants.   The Spring grant deadline is March 31st. The Short Film Grant deadline is April 30th.  The Summer grant deadline is June 30th.  The Fall grant deadline is October 31st. The Carole Dorothy Joyce Student Film Grant deadline is Nov 30th.  

How much is the award for the Grants? 

Awards vary depending on the grant, but generally each grant has a cash award of $3,000 – $3,500 and also includes an award of professional services and discounts.  You can find specific information about each grant’s awards at

What type of sample work do you require?

A sample of work that best supports your submission to the grant. We want a trailer of the current film and a copy of any completed film.  We need to see what you have made and what your vision is for your proposed or current film.

What is the difference between a synopsis and outline? 

We ask for an outline for documentaries, and a synopsis (or outline) for narratives.

An outline generally has bullet points of the key beats of the story and different scenes. The synopsis is the basic premise of the script written out in paragraph form. 

What do I need to include in the Proposal?

Please include an overview of the project (synopsis or outline). Discuss how this project is unique and how it benefits society. Discuss your relationship to the material. You’ll need to include the following in separate files:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Marketing/Distribution/Social Media Plan
  3. Crew Information
  4. Budget (or Estimate)

Do you need the entire budget or just a top sheet? 

Please include your full budget if it’s available. It’s fine to submit a top sheet if that is all you have available. Please know that budgets are an important part of our criteria for judging your application, and we only consider projects that have detailed, accurate budgets. Applications with budgets that are clearly estimated are unlikely to be selected.  

I can’t afford the grant application fee. Can you waive the fee? 

We do offer fee waivers for those with legitimate financial need. Please email your request for financial aid and an explanation of your circumstances to We will send you information for applying with a fee waiver if accepted. 

How will I know you received my grant application?

We will send you an email confirmation.

Why is there a $48 application fee ($38 for students)? 

From The Heart Productions, which oversees the Roy W. Dean Grant, is a 501(c)3 non-profit.  The operating costs for the grant, such as application processing, are paid for from donations like the application fee.   Also, these donations go back to filmmakers as part of the grant.  Each year, we do our best to use these donations to increase the cash value of the grant.

So, if From The Heart is a non-profit, does that mean my application fee is tax deductible?


If I decide not to include the application fee, will my film be considered for the grant?


What happens to all the grants after you receive them?

The judging process begins.

When do you announce the finalists?

Finalists will be announce approximately 90 days after the close of the grant.  Finalists will be given the opportunity to post information about their film on our website.  

When do you announce the grant winner?

The winner of each grant will be announced approximately 120 days from the close of the grant. 

When do I get my free consultation?

You are entitled to a free 15 minute conference when you apply for this grant. 

We recommend you wait until after the judges have had a chance to review your application and have made a decision, generally 90 days after the application deadline. We can offer a consultation before a decision has been made if needed. 

How do I schedule my free consultation?

Visit to book your consultation.

Select “Grant Consultation” for the specific grant you applied for as the appointment type.

What will be discussed?

We can discuss anything you want. We can discuss improving your proposal, crowdfunding, funding parties, or other ways to fund your film.  Whatever you need to help you.

I can’t schedule my appointment on Booksy. Is there another way to schedule? 

If you are having trouble scheduling your appointment on Booksy, please email Carole Joyce, the Director of the Roy W. Dean Grants, directly at to schedule your appointment directly.

How many finalists do you choose for each grant?

20 finalists are selected for each grant.  The finalists are notified and are encouraged to post their selection on special section on our website to honor and promote them. We also encourage finalists to post their achievement on social media. 

It’s not just to promote the grant.  We’ve found that letting others know that they’ve been selected as a finalist adds prestige to their project.  It can help in fundraising and bring awareness to it. 

We also have a group of films that we call Hot Films in the Making.  They are excellent films even though they did not make the finals this time.  They also are given the opportunity to post information about their film project on our website. 

How long does it take you to select the winner?

Our goal is to have the winner chosen in less than 4 months from the grant deadline for submission.

When can the winner begin to use the donations in the grant?

Once you win, we email all the donors. This opens the door for you. Next, we send donors a letter and email you the contact person.  You can then contact them directly.

Can I request a specific amount of money for the Grant?

No. Grant awards are for a set amount. You can find specific information about each grant’s awards at

If I win the grant, what is required as acknowledgment for From the Heart Productions?

From the Heart Productions requests a rolling “Thank You” credit to all of the donors on the grant.  Your application, if chosen as a winner, may be published or used to educate other filmmakers by FTHP.

Can I apply for other grants if I win the Roy W. Dean Grant?

Yes.  A big benefit of winning the grant is that it makes your film more attractive to other grantors.   The Roy W. Dean Grant has been around for over 20 years and its winners have gone on to make excellent films that have won awards.  Other grantors know this. 

Winning the Roy W. Dean Grant is key reason that so many of the winners have received other grants.

If I don’t win the grant, can I reapply?

We encourage it.  As part of the grant process, you will get a consultation from Carole Dean with advice on how to improve your project and your submission.  She will mention suggestions judges have made on your project.  Make the changes, submit again, and your chances for the grant improve.  Judges like to see that you listened and improved your project.

Do you need me to send in a sample of the work that is being submitted to the grant?

Yes, we want a trailer of the film you propose if it is a documentary.  For a feature or short, we don’t need a trailer.

What is the best way to contact you if I have questions about the grant?

You can email us at or call 805-984-0098

Where can I find grants to apply from other organizations?

You can find a list of grants from other organizations on our website at