“I’m Still Here” Wins Britt Penrod Award

Documentary Short Inspired by Work of Non-Profit Helping the Homeless by Nurturing Their Artistic Expression

Chosen from the finalists for the Roy W. Dean Grants, the Britt Penrod Award goes to a film that makes an exceptional contribution to society.  “I’m Still Here” has been selected as one of the recipients for the award for the Summer 2022 grant.  From the Heart Productions, the top-rated non-profit that sponsors the grant, will give $500 to filmmaker Andy Volk to help him complete his project.

“This project provides a beautiful example how through compassion, a positive spirit, and an environment encouraging creativity, the Austin non-profit Arts from the Street is making a profound difference in the lives of the homeless,” commented Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions.

About “I’m Still Here”

“I’m Still Here” is a portrait of a formerly-homeless artist, capturing how the non-profit Art from the Streets helped them find community, creative expression, and self-determination while living on the street.

Andy intends that the film will be a portrait of the artist, encapsulating the many ways we view ourselves and each other. It will be the artist’s story. Their words, their feelings, their actions, captured to remind communities around the country that the homeless are still here, even if we see them or not.

About the Filmmaker

Andy Volk – Director/Editor Andy is a versatile filmmaker who grew up in Tucson, AZ and earned his B.A. in Film Studies from Seattle University. He got his start as a Programmer for Seattle International Film Festival before graduation in 2018.

He is fascinated by themes of connection: What drives it? How does it forge? How do we let go? He sought to explore this through the animated documentary, Coffee & Sugar, based on his grandparents’ story. It premiered at the Oscar-qualifying Seattle International Film Festival before playing at dozens more across the country.

A firm believer in the empowering nature of films, Andy produced Yes I Am: The Ric Weiland Story (Dir. Aaron Bear, Nar. Zachary Quinto, feat. Bill Gates) which won awards nationally and across the sea. The feature documentary tells the story of queer Microsoft co-founder, philanthropist, and LGBTQ rights activist, Ric Weiland.

Andy is now the Short Film Programmer at Austin Film Festival and is currently in development on a horror-comedy with producer Michael R. Zumaya of Muted Windows and current AFI Cinematography Student, Zach Morrison.

About the Britt Penrod Award

The award will be presented to one or more finalists to one of our four yearly Roy W. Dean Grants whose film is unique and makes an exceptional contribution to society.  The Britt Penrod Award was made possible by a donation from its namesake who is a longtime friend of 501(c)3 non-profit From the Heart Production.  Results of the award have no bearing on the eventual winner of any of the Roy W. Dean Grants.

The Britt Penrod award for the 2022 Spring Grant went to Lunchbox from filmmaker Anne Hu.  Winners for 2021 include the documentary 26 Seconds for the Roy W. Dean Film Grant for the Spring Grant, The Bridge Ministry which won for the Summer Grant, and Separation which won for the Fall Grant. The Fog Catcher won for the Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant.

About Britt Penrod

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 31st 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 new Emmy Winners Belly of the Beast and The Love Bugs,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, as well as 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 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 How to Fund Your Film.

 

For More Information and interview requests, please contact:

Richard Kaufman

richard@fromtheheartproductions.com

www.fromtheheartproductions.com

“Desert Angel” Wins Britt Penrod Award

Documentary on Man Dedicating His Life to Rescuing Immigrants Making Treacherous Desert Crossing from Mexico to the United States

Awarded to a finalist for the Roy W. Dean Grant that makes an exceptional contributionBritt Penrod Award to society, “Desert Angel” has captured a Britt Penrod Award for the Summer 2022 grant.  From the Heart Productions, the top-rated non-profit that sponsors the grant, will give $500 producer Séverine Tibi and to help her bring the film to a wide audience.

“It’s the story of how one person can, and takes it upon themself, to change the world around them in the face of great adversity,” commented Britt Penrod in selecting this film, “I’m left asking, if he can do that, what can I do?”

About “Desert Angel”

For 25 years, Rafael Larraenza has risked his life along the US-Mexico border to rescue immigrants lost in the desert. But as the years catch up with him, he worries his next search-and-rescue mission could be his last.

Intimate and poetic, it’s a character study of a man driven to save others and willing to risk anything to do so.

While traversing the no man’s land during filming, there were times that Vincent felt a presence. Not a haunting but a connectedness, as if he was where he belonged.

About the Filmmakers

Britt Penrod AwardSéverine Tibi – Producer Séverine is a LA-based producer whose mission is to find, nurture and promote emerging and unique filmmakers with distinctive voices. In 2017, she co-founded the production company Sevana Films, with Anaïs Calmels in Cannes. Since then, they have produced documentary and fiction films on four continents and with international teams, which have screened at festivals across the globe. Their feature documentary, ‘Fenua Aihere: The Heart of Tahiti’, was broadcast on France Télévisions and is currently available to watch on all Air Tahiti Nui flights.

Sevana Films is now at different stage of production on several projects, including Lara Zeidan’s debut feature in Lebanon, which won the French Film Institute’s Development Award at the Desert Angel by Vincent DeLuca Crossroads Co-Production Forum, the Rotterdam Lab Award at Beirut Cinema Platform and the Special Mention Award at the Red Sea Souk.

Séverine regularly attends events and festivals as a consultant, through talent development programs and to discover the next generation of storytellers. Most recently, she was a film mentor at SXSW, a Zurich Film Festival Academy participant and a jury member at the Annapolis Film Festival.

She has also been invited to join the Sundance Institute’s Producers Summit in July 2022.

Britt Penrod AwardVincent DeLuca – Director Vincent is an award-winning filmmaker who, over the past 15 years, has made documentaries on a variety of human rights topics. Having grown up in a Mexican-American neighborhood in Southern California, DeLuca witnessed what it’s like to live without papers and was moved by the constant uncertainty and anxiety immigrants live with to provide for their families.

In 1999, DeLuca moved to Guerrero, Mexico to better understand the immigrant experience. His time in rural Mexico inspired him to study law and Latin American politics at Duke University. DeLuca also worked with migrant farm workers through the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, practiced law at the Legal Aid Society of San Diego and was the Director of International and Comparative Law at Columbia Law School.

DeLuca completed his PhD at the University of Amsterdam’s School for Cultural Analysis focusing on the history and philosophy of human rights filmmaking, examining Latin American Third Cinema, the African American filmmakers of the LA Rebellion and, modern works by filmmakers like Merawi Gerima and Mati Diop. In addition to his filmmaking, DeLuca is committed to educating new filmmakers and is a professor of Film Production at Loyola Marymount University.

About the Britt Penrod Award

The award will be presented to one or more finalists to one of our four yearly Roy W. Dean Grants whose film is unique and makes an exceptional contribution to society.  The Britt Penrod Award was made possible by a donation from its namesake who is a longtime friend of 501(c)3 non-profit From the Heart Production.  Results of the award have no bearing on the eventual winner of any of the Roy W. Dean Grants.

The Britt Penrod award for the 2022 Spring Grant went to Lunchbox from filmmaker Anne Hu.  Winners for 2021 include the documentary 26 Seconds for the Roy W. Dean Film Grant for the Spring Grant, The Bridge Ministry which won for the Summer Grant, and Separation which won for the Fall Grant. The Fog Catcher won for the Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant.

About Britt Penrod

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 31st 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 new Emmy Winners Belly of the Beast and The Love Bugs,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, as well as 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 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 How to Fund Your Film.

 

For More Information and interview requests, please contact:

Richard Kaufman

richard@fromtheheartproductions.com

www.fromtheheartproductions.com

 

For More Information and interview requests, please contact:

Richard Kaufman

richard@fromtheheartproductions.com

www.fromtheheartproductions.com

“Save the Wild Coast (Warship Off the Wild Coast)” Wins Britt Penrod Award

Documentary Brings Attention to Indigenous People Fighting a Multinational Corporation to Preserve Their Environment

From the Heart Productions, the top-rated non-profit dedicated to helping indie filmmakers get their films funded, has selected “Save the Wild Coast (Warship Off the Wild Coast)” as a winner of the Britt Penrod Award.  This award goes to a project that was submitted to the Summer 2022 Roy W. Dean Film Grant, was named a finalist, and that makes an exceptional contribution to society.  Director & Consultant Producer Quinton Fredericks and Executive Producer Gary Janks will receive a $500 cash prize that will help them continue their work on this project. 

Britt Penrod Award

The battle to save the planet are being fought on many fronts,” said Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. “We thank Quinton and Gary for working to bring this amazing story to the public.”    

About “Save the Wild Coast (Warship Off the Wild Coast)”

For centuries, the amaMpondo have bravely resisted invaders, protecting their natural world along the South African Wild Coast, to maintain a culture of conservation, where nature is sacred.

This fight culminated in a David vs Goliath court case against oil giant Shell, where the indigenous community is succeeding in preserving their ocean connection and marine life from invasive deep-sea blasting by Shell, while seizing the world’s attention.

About the Filmmakers

Gary Janks – Executive Producer Gary is a retired teacher, with a career spanning 35 years. For the last 7 years, he has worked as a producer/director. Credits include “Chasing Mandelaʼs Rainbow” (2019) which was honored with 37 international film festival selections, 7 awards/nominations, including Best Documentary, Cinema At The Edge, L.A. USA, & TV broadcasts, UR (Sweden), Deutsche Welle – international single run in 4 languages (Germany),ShortsTV (USA) and e.tv (South Africa)

Quinton Fredericks – Director/Consulting Producer Quinton is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer, director, producer and writer. In 2007, he won a SAFTA for the best Educational Documentary Series covering 58 episodes of 24 minutes each for SABC. With a career in the film and television production industry spanning more than 20 years, he was extensively understanding of the policy and legislative environment as it pertains to the film and television sector having chaired the Working Group on Black economic Empowerment and Transformation under the auspices of then Cape Film Commission.

As a registered skills development facilitator, he pioneered some of the most comprehensive and innovative skills development programs for emerging and underprivileged filmmakers and producers.

About the Britt Penrod Award

The award will be presented to one or more finalists to one of our four yearly Roy W. Dean Grants whose film is unique and makes an exceptional contribution to society.  The Britt Penrod Award was made possible by a donation from its namesake who is a longtime friend of 501(c)3 non-profit From the Heart Production.  Results of the award have no bearing on the eventual winner of any of the Roy W. Dean Grants.

The Britt Penrod award for the 2022 Spring Grant went to Lunchbox from filmmaker Anne Hu.  Winners for 2021 include the documentary 26 Seconds for the Roy W. Dean Film Grant for the Spring Grant, The Bridge Ministry which won for the Summer Grant, and Separation which won for the Fall Grant. The Fog Catcher won for the Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant.

About Britt Penrod

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 31st 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 new Emmy Winners Belly of the Beast and The Love Bugs,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, as well as 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 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 How to Fund Your Film.

 

For More Information and interview requests, please contact:

Richard Kaufman

richard@fromtheheartproductions.com

www.fromtheheartproductions.com

 

For More Information and interview requests, please contact:

Richard Kaufman

richard@fromtheheartproductions.com

www.fromtheheartproductions.com

Fiction Short “Lunchbox” Wins First Britt Penrod Award of 2022

Timely Story That Examines Anti-Asian Racism Receives Award for a Film That is Unique and That Makes an Exceptional Contribution to Society

From the Heart Productions , the top-rated non-profit dedicated to helping indie filmmakers get their films funded, has named Director/Writer/Editor and Actor Anne Hu as winner of the Britt Penrod Award for her short film “Lunchbox”.   This award goes to a project that was submitted to the Roy W. Dean Film Grant for Spring and selected as a finalist.  Anne will receive a $500 prize that will help support her effort in completing this film.

Britt Penrod Award

Still from the Making of “Lunchbox”

“Anne has done a brilliant job handling multiple jobs to bring this very personal and touching film to completion,” said Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. 

Currently in post-production, “Lunchbox” is a dramatic, three-part, coming-of-age short film about regret, healing, and honoring the people we love.  When a Taiwanese American woman prepares lunches from her childhood, she struggles to forgive herself for pushing away her immigrant mother. 

Based on a true story, this retelling examines the personal cost of fitting in as well as the recovery from cultural and familial loss.

About the Filmmaker

Britt Penrod AwardAnne Hu – Director, Writer, Editor, Lead Actor (Adult Shirley & Teen Shirley) Anne is a Taiwanese American, award-winning director, writer, editor, and actress. Her directing focus is in narrative film, TV, and commercials.

As seen in The Hollywood Reporter, Hu made the 2020 Alice List for Emerging Female Filmmakers Who Have Not Yet Directed a Feature.  She was selected to participate in Netflix’s Original Series Directors Development Program from 2020 to 2022.  She shadowed director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) on Netflix’s The Society.  Hu is also a fellow of the 2019 Space on Ryder Farm FilmLab.

She has directed, written, and starred in award-winning short films.  Her short CAKE was accepted into 38 festivals, earned 9 awards, and was featured in The Washington Post. As an actor, she has trained at T. Schreiber Studio, The Barrow Group, and The Freeman Studio. In CAKE, she and the cast were nominated for Best Ensemble.

Hu hopes to provide catharsis for audiences and inspire them to regard marginalized voices with their whole humanity.

About the Britt Penrod Award

The award will be presented to a finalist for Roy W. Dean Grant whose film is unique and makes an exceptional contribution to society.  The Britt Penrod Award was made possible by a donation from longtime friend of 501(c)3 non-profit From the Heart Productions and the Roy W. Dean Grants, Britt Penrod.  Results of the award have no bearing on the eventual winner of any of the Roy W. Dean Grants.

Winners for 2021 include the documentary 26 Seconds for the Roy W. Dean Film Grant for the Spring Grant, The Bridge Ministry which won for the Summer Grant, and Separation which won for the Fall Grant. The Fog Catcher won for the Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant.

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 new Emmy Winners Belly of the Beast and The Love Bugs,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, as well as 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

Final 2021 Britt Penrod Award Won by Fiction Feature “Separation”

Kurdish Filmmaker Receives Award for a Film That is Unique and That Makes an Exceptional Contribution to Society

From the Heart Productions , the top-rated non-profit dedicated to helping indie filmmakers get their films funded, has selected Producer/Director/Writer Hasan Demirtas as winner of Britt Penrod Award for his feature “Separation”.

The award goes to a project was submitted to the Roy W. Dean Film Grant for Fall of 2021 and selected as a finalist.  Hassan will receive a $750 prize that will help support his effort in completing this film.

Britt Penrod Award

“This is a great filmmaker who is tremendously dedicated to finishing this touching story,” said Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. 

“Separation,” tells the story of Grandfather Hamit who lives in Eastern Turkey in a village in the Kurdish region.  Grandfather Hamit is a venerable person for the villagers because of his knowledge about health treatments. Hamit’s wife died years ago, but he still daily visits her grave. Grandfather Hamit’s son Mehmet and his family, live with Hamit.

The political situation goes bad in Eastern Turkey because a group of Kurdish people rebel against the Turkish government. The government’s rules get worse and the Kurdish language and culture is banned. The government gives two choices to villagers.  Join the Turkish army or leave their villages.

For Hamit, that would mean leaving his wife’s grave that he has visited every day for 5 years.

About the Filmmaker

Britt Penrod AwardHasan Demirtas received his BA from Marmara University in Istanbul. His short films won awards from film festivals and participated in international Film Festivals including the Cannes Film Festival and Oscar Academy Award Qualifying Film Festival, 42nd Atlanta Film Festival, Atlanta, USA. 

Demirtas graduated from Northwestern University with a Documentary Media MFA.  His first documentary You Name It participated in many Film Festivals including Treasure Coast Film Festival in the USA, the International TV Broadcasters and Independent Producers Festival SIMFEST in Romania, and Thessaloniki Documentary Festival Marketing.  You Name It received Best Documentary Feature film from Collected Voices Film Festival in the USA.

About the Britt Penrod Award

The award is presented to a finalist for the 2021 Roy W. Dean Grants.  It goes to a film is unique and makes an exceptional contribution to society.  The Britt Penrod Award was made possible by a donation from longtime friend of 501(c)3 non-profit From the Heart Productions and the Roy W. Dean Grants, Britt Penrod.  Results of the award have no bearing on the eventual winner of any of the Roy W. Dean Grants.

Winners for 2021 include the documentary 26 Seconds,  the short film The Fog Catcher, and The Bridge Ministry.

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 new Emmy Winners Belly of the Beast and The Love Bugs,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, as well as 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 Bridge Ministry” Captures Third Britt Penrod Award for 2021

Award Goes to Film Submitted to a Roy W. Dean Film Grant That is Unique and That Makes an Exceptional Contribution to Society

Top-rated non-profit From the Heart Productions has announced producer/director Christopher Farina has been named as winner of Britt Penrod Award for his documentary-in-progress “The Bridge Ministry”.  Submitted to the Roy W. Dean Film Grant for Summer, the $500 prize goes to a project applying for the grant that is unique and that makes an exceptional contribution to society.  The award will help support Chris continue move toward his goal in getting his film completed.

Britt Penrod Award

“A heart-felt decision.  Humanizing individuals otherwise painted with a broad brush, absent mercy, would seem especially poignant these days,” commented Britt Penrod on the winning film. “I would very much like to see the doc get made and widely distributed.” 

For over 20 years the Bridge Ministry has been transforming the lives of men dealing with life-threatening addiction issues by providing them with a residency in a camp where they are both taught productive job skills and are also provided with psychological and spiritual mentoring to alter their paths heading to incarceration. This film will present a portrait of this class to inspire and advocate for replicating this experience in communities across the country and beyond.

Interwoven throughout this film will be the inspiring story of the life of William Washington, founder of the Bridge Ministry. Having suffered serious trauma as a child, this led to him becoming a homeless teenager on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia as both a user and seller of deadly drugs. He was incarcerated more than once, and while eventually facing a long-term prison sentence, he was given a chance by Judge Jay Swett to enter a program which positively altered his life.

Uplifted by this experience, he dedicated his own life to helping others who faced the same troubled path that he had been on. This led to his creation of the Bridge Ministry along with the support of others including Judge Swett.

About the Filmmaker

Britt Penrod AwardChris Farina has produced various award-winning independent documentary films. One of his most successful films was World Peace and other 4th-Grade Achievements, which premiered at SXSW in 2010 and has played at film festivals around the world and received wide exposure on U.S. public television, as well as on international television through distribution by American Public Television (APT) between 2012-2014.

His most recently completed film, Seats at the Table, about a University of Virginia class which connects college students with residents of a juvenile prison through the study of Russian literature, has also been presented by APT for a two-year run which began on June 1, 2020. Both of those films were also finalists for NHK’s Educational Media Japan Prize.

About the Britt Penrod Award

The Britt Penrod Award was made possible by a donation from longtime friend of 501(c)3 non-profit 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.

Winners this year have included the documentary 26 Seconds for the Roy W. Dean Film Grant for Spring and the short film The Fog Catcher which won for the Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant

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 new Emmy Winners Belly of the Beast and The Love Bugs,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, as well as 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