Roy W. Dean Grant Jury Prize


The Jury Prize is for courageous filmmaking by filmmakers with great heart who, through their devotion and dedication, are staying the course creating a unique film that contributes to society.

These are exceptional stories that need to be told.  We honor these intrepid filmmakers with this prize to help them continue their quest to expose their brilliant art form and enlighten and entertain us.

In addition to the honor of winning the award, the recipient will also receive a $500 cash prize.

The prize will be awarded 3 times each year in conjunction with the Roy W. Dean Film Grant.  There are 3 grants each year.  One for Spring, Summer, and for Fall.

"Not With Standing" - First Roy W. Dean Grant Jury Prize Winner

“Not With Standing” – First Roy W. Dean Grant Jury Prize Winner

Determining the winner will be done by select board members of From The Heart Productions and select staff members who have been involved in the grant.


To be eligible for the Jury Prize, a filmmaker must:

  • Apply for the Roy W. Dean Grant
  • Have submitted a project that meets the criteria to be eligible for the grant (i.e. be unique and make a contribution to society). For more information, go to Roy W. Dean Grant Guidelines
  • Have worked on their project for 3 years or more.
  • Have submitted the project to the Roy W. Dean Grant at least 3 times without having won the grant. (A current submission counts toward the prize).

The Jury Prize is awarded at the discretion of From The Heart Productions and The Roy W. Dean Grant.  It is possible that in any grant period that no filmmaker or project may qualify for the Jury Prize.  If that occurs, no prize will be awarded at that time.


It started with a request from a frustrated, determined, talented, independent filmmaker with an important project.

Filmmaker Nick Aquilino

Filmmaker Nick Aquilino

He had submitted his documentary to the Roy W. Dean Grant, but did not make list of finalists.  He had worked long on his project doing his best to keep it going and viable.  He asked if he could possibly get one grant, one award for his film, he could attract other grantors and other funders.

From that request, the Roy W. Dean Grant Jury Prize was created.   In the words of From The Heart’s President Carole Dean, the award “honors independent filmmakers who keep going against all opposition, who have undying faith in themselves and their films.”


The first award goes to the filmmaker who made the request and sparked the award.  Nick Aquilino is the producer and director of “Not With Standing”.   It is documentary that tells the story of two men who changed the treatment of AIDS by a simple act of disobedience by chaining themselves to the door of the Federal Building in San Francisco.  They started a protest lasting 10 years.

Important Links

Roy W. Dean Grant Application

Roy W. Dean Grant Guidelines

Roy W. Dean Grants – Available Grants

Roy W. Dean Grant Donors

For more information or if you have any questions, please email