Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant Finalists – 2023
Congratulations to the films selected to be Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant Finalists.
On this page, we give each filmmaker the opportunity to tell the world about their film.
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.
Two for One
When a funeral in rural Quebec suddenly becomes a funeral for two, a young man reflects on his relationship with the deceased.
"Two for One" follows Thomas, a grandson of the deceased whose poor French and use of humor as a coping mechanism have left him estranged from his Quebecois family. Along the way, we meet an eclectic group of oddballs, the likes of which seem to only exist in large family gatherings, who push and pull Thomas to the point of exhaustion but also reflection.
I Never Learned I Love You
AYA is a young British-Japanese woman learning to navigate her life and relationships as an adult. When WILL, her first serious boyfriend suddenly tells her he loves her, she does not know how to respond. This awkward moment leads Aya to reflect on her life as a child having moved to the UK and assimilating to a new country with her Japanese mother.
In the emotionally charged live-action short film Mightyclaw, inventor Austin Carole creates the Mighty Pals toy line to help parents keep an eye on their children while they adventure outdoors. When Anna and Pete's son, Jake, disappears into the New Hampshire wilderness with his Mighty Pal, Harlow Mightyclaw, the plush toy, fitted with the latest radio and video technology of the 1990’s, becomes their lifeline. As time runs out and Harlow's battery dwindles, the family fights against the clock to find their son and reunite their family. Mightyclaw explores the power of parental love, the resilience of the human spirit, and the unbreakable bond between a child and their cherished companion.
“Sweet Dreams” is a short film written, directed and produced by Gary Alvarez. It’s a grounded sci-fi story set in the near future when most people can no longer dream and follows a pregnant woman as she considers selling her unborn child's dreams to make ends meet after her partner goes missing. The film explores issues of gender and class exploitation, racism, immigration and human trafficking through the struggle of one woman's fight for survival and the protection of her family.
"Jules" explores sixteen-year-old Tara's struggle to cope with her Mom’s undiagnosed bipolar disorder. After years of experiencing the ups and downs of her Mom's illness and losing herself to worry and fear, Tara is trying to figure out where to put the anger she feels and maintain her sense of self.
And Now I Lay Me Down
F*ck That Guy
A taxi driver picks up an older woman from a hospital. When the nursing home she lives in refuses to take her back, the driver must now figure out what to do next.
Dump is the second film in a trilogy on the egregious and ongoing practice of patient dumping. It is a human story that exposes this country's horrific elder abuse practices and systemic ageism. Dump seeks to create a bridge between the art of film and social consciousness. Through the story of two strangers, we explore the moral questions we all face as we navigate our communal responsibilities to one another.
La Petite Mort
The Good Girl
BREATHE is a quiet reflection on love, home, connection, and belonging. It tells a story of a Chinese woman, in her late 20s, searching for a new apartment in New York City after a breakup. While navigating her own personal journey in the city landscape and peeking into the interiority of other people’s lives, she crosses paths with individuals who are also going through similar emotional experiences. Hangcheng Xu, the writer-director of BREATHE, is currently a film MFA candidate at Columbia University. As a female Chinese filmmaker based in New York, she is driven to create films that delve into interpersonal relationships across time, places, and cultures.
when we three meet / creation fables
Today's urgent challenges pit the rights of the individual versus the common good and consumerism versus conservation of the environment, while a media flood of both true and false information overwhelms us. These two films propose to mitigate that informational onslaught by examining daunting global challenges through fanciful aesthetic play. "when we three meet" explores community and individuality, as three witches unite in dancing, diverge into fraught duets and lonely solos, and finally unite again. In "creation fables" a beautiful world emerges from ruins then is consumed by environmental disaster in the form of a whimsical devil fish, yet this circular narrative's ending offers hope.
To the Moon
A kid from a troubled family tries to escape reality by fulfilling three magical tasks in his grandmother's fairy tale.
“To the Moon” is inspired by true events. The script has gotten 22 nominations, winning 11 annual screenplay competitions so far. Our primary objective is to raise awareness and advocate for the prevention of child abuse.