Roy W. Dean Grant Finalists Chosen for 2023 Fall Grant

25 Films Still in Running for Grant Offering Funding and Production Services

From the Heart Productions, a leading 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to empowering independent filmmakers, is thrilled to announce the selection of finalists for its Fall 2023 Roy W. Dean Grant. The prestigious grant, aimed at supporting unique films that make a contribution to society, has identified a group of talented filmmakers poised to make a significant impact. The winning filmmaker will be awarded $3,000 in cash and will also receive invaluable support in the form of donated production services, equipping them with the resources.

Roy W. Dean Grant

Roy W. Dean Grant Finalist: ” Mochitsuki”

Carole Joyce, Director of the Roy W. Dean Grants, remarked, “The submissions we received demonstrate an astonishing level of creativity, commitment, and enthusiasm. The task of choosing a single project as the recipient is daunting yet exhilarating.”

Along with the cash prize awarded by From the Heart Productions are donations from film industry professionals and companies.  These include $15,000.00 in original music written by well-known composer David Raiklen, $6,000.00 in animation from Emmy award winner Charlie Canfield, and $500 in grip, lighting or expendables from Filmtools

The grant is open to documentaries, narrative features, short films, and web series. The winner is expected to be announced in early March 2024.

Finalists for the Roy W. Dean Film Grant for Fall 2023 are:


Title Type Filmmaker
“The Peace Piano” Documentary Feature Rupert Clague
“Carousel” Fiction Feature Jason Nancarrow
“Blood Antiquities” Documentary Feature Bella Monticelli
“The History of Women” Documentary Feature Deborah Romare
“From a Darkened Room” Documentary Feature Lorenzo DeStefano
“Losing Eric Garner” Documentary Feature Patricia Wilson
“Walk In the Light” Documentary Short Princella Smith
“Sugar Daddy” Documentary Feature Michael Cooke
“Outcry: Alchemists of Rage” Documentary Short Clare Major
“Balanced” TV, Web, or New Media Series Siddhali Shree Sadhvi
“26 Seconds – ISIS Sex Slaves” Documentary Feature Kelly Galindo
“JFC – Wine Smuggler” Documentary Feature Charles Miller
“Holding Up The Sky” Documentary Short Bob Nesson
“Mad Island” Fiction Short Nick Peet
“Carry My Voice” Fiction Feature Hasan Demirtas
“The Art of Aviation” TV, Web, or New Media Series Jodi  Goren-Rode
“Saba” Fiction Short Liron Topaz
“Alien Numbers” Documentary Short Inna Ivanovskaya
“Untitled Ukrainian Writers Film” Documentary Feature Amanda Bailly
“Fentanyl High” Documentary Feature Kyle Santoro
“Chewed Gum” Documentary Feature Alana Maiello
“Frederick Douglass Boulevard” TV, Web, or New Media Series Washington Kirk
“Forecast: The Last Plundering of the Planet” Documentary Feature Myles Kramer
“Pearl Rising” Fiction Short Linda Dahlem Espinoza


Each finalist is given the opportunity to post information on their contending film on the website of From the Heart Productions.  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.  

Click here to learn more about the projects that have posted their information. 

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Since its 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 is unique and that make a contribution to society. 

Offering four grants for filmmakers each year, The Roy W. Dean Grant has been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers helping them 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 2021 Emmy winners Belly of the Beast and The Love Bugs ,  as well as Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, 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. In addition to personal guidance, free classes on fundraising and filmmaking, the program allows donations made to films to be tax deductible.  From The Heart has helped independent filmmakers raise over $30 million through their 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 Learn Producing: The Ultimate Course for Indie Film Production.

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