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.
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