2022 Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant Awarded to “Love Taps”

Dramatic Short Fiction Film from MFA candidate at NYU Tisch School of the Arts Wins $3,000 Cash and Thousands More in Donated Production Services

From the Heart Productions, the 30-year-old non-profit dedicated to helping indieRoy W. Dean Short Film Grant filmmakers fund their films, is proud to announce that the 2022 Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant goes to “Love Taps” from director Derrick Woodyard.  The grant is awarded to a live action or animated short fiction film.  It must unique and that makes a contribution to society.  

An NYU Tisch School of the Arts MFA candidate, Derrick will receive $3,000 and thousands more in production services to continue help him continue his work on the project.  

“We are very thrilled to have Derrick be our first student filmmaker to win a Roy W. Dean Grant,” remarked Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. “The quality of his work we’ve seen is exceptional.  We expect to see many great films from him in the future.”

In addition to the $3,000 cash prize, the winner will receive $3,000.00 in music and audio services from well-known composer David Raiklen, $6,000.00 in animation from Emmy award winner Charlie Canfield, $1,400 value (4 hours of sound mix session) from Silver Sound, and more from many heartfelt donors that love and support indie filmmakers.

About “Love Taps”

Love Taps is a dramatic short film that follows the experience of a young boy who decides to conceal his father’s affair with another man in order to get his family back together.

This is Derrick Woodyard’s film project in the NYU Graduate Film Program and continues his exploration of family themed narratives from a child’s perspective. The project is the recipient of Spike Lee’s 2021 Thesis Production fund and will also be executive produced by Lee.  

About the Filmmaker

Roy W. Dean Short Film GrantWriter/Director/Cinematographer Derrick Woodyard currently is an MFA candidate at NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a focus in Directing and Writing. His commitment to finding truth in his narratives leads him to explore the nuances of his characters through their desires, inner conflicts, and personal relationships. This search for truth is influenced by his lived experiences from which he takes inspiration. His films have investigated stories of internal moral struggles, trials of multiracial familial bonds, and the traumas of parental absence all from the lens of Black characters.

His latest project, “Love Taps” will be executive produced by veteran Director and Academy Award winner Spike Lee for which Lee has granted funding towards. This follows his last short film, “Wali & Zuri” which played at a number of film festivals around the country, for which he also received close advisement from Lee during pre- and post-production.

Derrick is a selected participant in the Facebook SEEN Black Filmmakers Program in partnership with the Blackhouse organization. He is also a recipient of the Peter D. Gould Scholarship, the Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Scholarship, and is the 2020 recipient of the Martin Scorsese Young Filmmakers Scholarship and is the 2020 BAFTA NY HBO Scholar.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

The Roy W. Dean Grant for Short Films is the most recent addition to the Roy W. Dean Grants for independent filmmakers.  The first Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant was awarded in 2021 to Lorenzo DeStefano and his film “Stairway to the Stars.

The grants are awarded to unique films that make a contribution to society.  From it’s inception in 1992, the Roy W. Dean Grants have awarded over $2,000,000 in cash and donated film services.  Three other Roy W. Dean Grants are awarded times each year to films budgeted under $500,000.

The grants have been an important lifeline for independent filmmakers that need 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, Peabody Award nominee Belly of the Beast, 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.  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

“Invisible Children of LA” Wins Roy W. Dean Film Grant for Spring 2022

Documentary Feature Explores How Homeless Children Cope and Survive in Their Daily Lives

From the Heart Productions, the top-rated non-profit dedicated to helping indie filmmakers get their films funded and completed, has announced the first Roy W. Dean Film Grant of 2022 goes to Invisible Children of LA.  Presented four times each year, the grant goes to a film that is unique and that makes a contribution to society.  Maryana Palmer, the film’s director and producer, will receive cash and production services to continue work on the project.

Roy W. Dean Film Grant Winner for Spring 2022

“With her film, Maryana has shown a light on a sadly neglected segment of the homeless, the children.” commented Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. “With this poignant and hearfelt documentary bringing attention to their plight, hopefully more resources can be focused on them to improve their lives.”

About the Film

Invisible Children of LA is a documentary featuring three homeless children  and their families in Los Angeles. It is a heartfelt, intimate, emotional film where we learn about the kids daily lives, how they cope with homelessness, how they feel about being homeless, what brings them joy and their hopes and dreams for the future.

Today there are over 5,000 homeless children on any given night in Los Angeles County. In the film, the personal stories of the children are interwoven with homeless advocates letting us know the reasons for homelessness, the systemic reasons, what needs to be done to eradicate this tragedy. LA City Councilman, Kevin de Leon is included as well as Pete White of LA CAN in skid row, and Morgan Blanchard who is a social worker for L.A. Family Housing.

As you get to know these amazing children, you will love them and recognize the importance of ending this terrible situation.  

About the Filmmaker

Roy W. Dean Film Grant Winner for Spring 2022Maryana Palmer – Producer/Director – Maryana has been a psychotherapist for thirty-eight years, specializing in working with cancer patients. She has made two educational short videos, twenty years ago. One was a six minute video on an organization that helped students in the schools feed homeless people in Venice beach. The other was a short film on collaborative poetry with 3rd graders on the Rain Forest.

Invisible Children of LA is Maryana’s first professional film.  The short version has won ten international awards. She has always been a peace and justice activist and homelessness has always been her major concern.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

From it’s 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 are unique and 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. 

Winners of the grant include recent Emmy Winners Belly of the Beast and The Love Bugs, the award winning narrative feature Cadejo Blanco,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, the 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

“Generation Nerd Girl” Wins Roy W. Dean Film Grant

Character-Driven Feature Documentary Explores Why Record Number of Young Women are Entering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and Its Impact

Awarded to a film that is unique and makes a contribution to society, the final Roy W. Dean Film Grant of 2021 goes to the documentary Generation Nerd Girl.  Presented four times each year by From the Heart Productions, the top-rated non-profit dedicatedGeneration Nerd Girl to helping indie filmmakers get their films funded and completed, the Roy W. Dean Film Grant provides the winner with cash and production services.  Producer/Director Karen Johnson and Producer/Writer Bobette Buster will use the grant to help them continue production on their project.

“Karen and Bobette have been researching this film for years.  They are passionate and determined to empower women with information on how to get into these fields.” commented Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. “This is just what women need, encouragement and guidance to break through in these high paying jobs.”

In addition to the $3,000 in cash provided by From the Heart Productions the winner will also receive $15,000.00 in original music written by well-known composer David Raiklen, $6,000.00 in animation from Emmy award winner Charlie Canfield, $700 one week DSLR camera package rental from Birns & Sawyer , and more from heart-felt film industry companies and individuals.

About the Film

Generation Nerd Girl is a character-driven feature documentary exploring the exciting generational change taking place for women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) through the lens of one of its bold leaders – Dr. Karen Panetta, Dean of Graduate Education for the School of Engineering at Tufts University and a 2011 Winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in STEM Mentoring.

The film looks at the history of women in STEM, Dean Panetta’s exceptional vision and mentoring, handling many career challenges in her 20+ years of work to change the opportunities for her mentees, along with other factors contributing to this generational change.

Though recent data from LinkedIn’s millions of platform members shows women are now entering STEM careers in record numbers, Dr. Panetta is focused on the deeper systemic changes that still need to take place to generate lasting change.  She has been a bridge to the change, having taught and mentored hundreds of young women from all over the world, encouraging them to pursue and persist in undergraduate and graduate STEM studies and careers.  

The importance of this shift towards STEM careers can’t be overstated for the difference it makes in the lives of these women and our greater world. Women in STEM have earnings 105 percentage points higher than women in non-STEM.  Many key industries are still nowhere near parity in opportunities for women and BIPOC men.  It could take far more generations, if focus is not kept on systemic changes and keep the momentum and awareness going forward now.

A diverse STEM workforce promotes new innovations and solutions that might never come forth, but for the unique lived experiences of women and other underrepresented groups. Dean Panetta is most proud of the outstanding accomplishments of her many mentees working in a wide range of STEM careers, as well as forging new roles as entrepreneurs, environmental evangelists, and technology futurists. 

Generation Nerd Girl will show the challenges and perseverance it took for Dean Panetta to break through endemic sexism and will explore the teaching and mentoring insights she specifically developed to help open the path to STEM success for young women and girls.  In the process, she also extended the same techniques and opportunities to BIPOC men who have experienced many of the same challenges as women in STEM.  Interviews and archival material will introduce some of Dean Panetta’s mentees and highlight the impact of their career choices on their lives and the lives of others.

Producer/Director Karen Johnson has been drawn to the subject of women in STEM for many years after wondering why she never considered becoming a scientist or engineer as a young girl in spite of demonstrating a natural aptitude. What she discovered is that years of research indicates girls have historically lacked both role models to promote awareness of STEM opportunities and the encouragement to pursue them.

Even though great breakthroughs have been made, the STEM professions, and especially engineering, remain white male dominated. A greater bench of cultural support and broader understanding of how to encourage and mentor young women must be maintained to keep up the progress.

About the Filmmakers

Generation Nerd GirlKaren Johnson’s mission as a Producer for 20+ years has been to elevate women’s stories and women storytellers, specifically challenging the stereotypes of women and girls via the entertainment media. Generation Nerd Girl will be her directing debut.

With Co-Producer Bobette Buster and Director Midge Costin, they created the feature documentary Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound, which premiered at Cannes and Tribeca Film Festivals and is in distribution around the world.

Karen produced two films that have been awarded the Roy W. Dean Film Grant.  She produced director Heather Lenz’s 2018 Sundance documentary feature Kusama: Infinity about the avant-garde Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, distributed domestically by Magnolia Pictures and worldwide by Dogwoof, Ltd. She also produced director Amanda Micheli’s multi-award-winning documentary feature Double Dare about Hollywood stuntwomen, an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival, distributed worldwide by NBC/Universal.

 

 

Generation Nerd GirlBobette Buster is the Special Projects Adj. Professor at Tufts University, teaching “Finding Your Voice in Science Communication.” She is  the Writer/Producer of the feature documentary, Making Waves:  The Art of Cinematic Sound, with Karen Johnson and Midge Costin (Director) – 2019 premiers at Cannes, Tribeca, the BFI London Film Festival, and international festivals, earning many nominations and awards. 

She is the author of DO STORY: How to Tell Your Story So the World Listens (Do Book Co.UK, 2013; Chronicle Books (US), now in its 13th printing (translated into five languages), and DO LISTEN: Understand What’s Really Being Said, Find A New Way Forwards, Do Book Co (UK) 2018; (translated in French, 2nd printing). lecture.  Her TEDx Lecture, The Radical Act of Storytelling, has 250K+ views.  

 

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

From it’s 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 are unique and 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. 

Winners of the grant include recent Emmy Winners Belly of the Beast and The Love Bugs, the award winning narrative feature Cadejo Blanco,  2019 Sundance Film Festival selection Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, the 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

“Impossible Town” Captures Roy W. Dean Grant for Summer 2021

Documentary Receives Cash and Donated Production Services to Complete Project

From the Heart Productions, the top-rated non-profit dedicated to helping indie filmmakers get their films funded and completed, awards the 2nd Roy W. Dean Grant of 2021 to the feature-length documentary Impossible Town. Now in it’s 30th year, the Roy W. Dean Grant is awarded 4 times each year to a unique film that makes a contribution to society.   Co-Directed by Meg Griffiths and Scott Farris, the grant will provide the project with $3,500 cash and thousands more in donated production services.

Roy W. Dean Grant Winner for Summer 2021

“This film is inspiring.” commented Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions. “It has some wonderful characters and a brilliant story.”

When her father passes unexpectedly, Dr. Ayne Amjad is thrust to the helm of a decades-long struggle to aid a southern West Virginia town beset by cancer-causing chemicals. After formulating an audacious plan to relocate the town’s residents, Ayne must decide how much she is willing to sacrifice – and which of her allies she can count on – to fulfill her late father’s mandate to “help others” at all costs.

Impossible Town is the story of Ayne’s unexpected rise to state leadership and the stalwart citizen activists who subvert so many of the stereotypes that exist about places like West Virginia.

Rural Appalachia is a poorly understood region of the country with a long history of industrial exploitation and a political identity that continues to frustrate coastal pundits. Though the region’s coal industry and labor movements defined a crucial chapter in American history, modern Americans struggle to appreciate the intelligence, resilience, and diversity of Appalachian people.

Impossible Town shows us tireless social and environmental struggle through the eyes of a cast of characters that complicate common rural Appalachian stereotypes. Dr. Ayne Amjad alone is a study in interesting contradictions: a devout Republican with a strong activist bent, a daughter of immigrants who is a pillar of her largely white community, and a wealthy physician-turned-public-servant who spends her time advocating for her disenfranchised and low-income neighbors. With Ayne and the rest of the cast, nothing is as it seems.

In addition to adding to the breadth of stories about how environmental catastrophes disproportionately affect the poor, the documentary has much to say about our complex relationships with home – the connections we form with the places we’re from, and the difficulty we have in letting go of those places, even when they’re killing us. Through the ambitions of Ayne and other Minden activists, the film explores the persistent modern American fantasy that complex issues are best solved through miracle solutions rather than the decidedly grittier work of slow and patient social, political, and legal exercises.

Most poignantly, Impossible Town is an ode to the way we commune with our parents long after they’ve left this plane, their aspirations and legacies lighting our paths to unanticipated destinations, their absence leaving a painful void in our lives that never fully heals.

In addition to the  $3,500 in cash provided by From the Heart Productions the winner will also receive $1295.00 Scholarship to Writers Boot Camp, applicable to Online or live Professional Membership sessions, $429.00 OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dock hard drive from OWC , a major discount on sound mix from Jeff Alan of Alan Audio Works, and more from film industry companies and individuals

About the Filmmakers

Roy W. Dean Grant Winner for Summer 2021Meg Griffiths, Co-Founder, Universe Creative: Meg is Impossible Town’s co-director and producer. She is the co-founder of Universe Creative, a video production company focused on creating documentaries and short content for conscientious brands. Meg began her career as the Houston Chronicle’s first video journalist, and then she held a leadership role at Teach For America where she built the nonprofit’s first video studio. Later, Meg oversaw content development at Redbird, a Los Angeles-based creative agency, as their Vice President of Strategy. Meg’s work has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and she’s also been awarded EPPY, NPPA, CMA, and various film festival accolades. She holds a MA in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

Roy W. Dean Grant Winner for Summer 2021Scott Faris, Co-Founder, Universe Creative: : Scott is Impossible Town’s co-director, director of photography, and editor, as well as the co-founder of Universe Creative. Scott has roots in film, education, and advertising. He grew up in West Virginia and graduated with a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. After teaching 5th grade on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, he joined Teach For America’s award-winning marketing team as a video producer. He continued to pursue the intersection of education and video storytelling at Redbird, a marketing firm in Los Angeles. Scott’s work has been recognized by the Webbys, EPPY, CMA, and film festivals across the country.

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

From it’s 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 are unique and 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