Grant Will Help Filmmakers Continue Production on Feature Documentary on Trailblazing Women’s Judo Champion
About the Filmmaker
Heather Lenz – Director/Producer – Heather Lenz is an award-winning filmmaker who is particularly drawn to telling true stories of trailblazers, underdogs, and people who have not walked the beaten path. Lenz is best known for KUSAMA-INFINITY, a feature length documentary about Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese artist who overcame sexism, racism, and mental illness on her path to becoming the top selling living female artist in the world.
Winner of a Roy W. Dean Grant, KUSAMA-INFINITY premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and received international distribution. Lenz was a 2018 Critics’ Choice Award nominee for best first-time director. In 2019, she was awarded The Women’s International Film and Television Showcase Foundation International Visionary Award in Documentary Film.
Lenz is a Film Independent Fellow who is currently participating in the Women in Film Documentary Mentorship Program. She earned her MFA at the University of Southern California in Film and Television Production. The first documentary short film that Lenz directed, Back to Back, was nominated for a Student Academy Award and screened in film festivals world-wide.
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 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 “Belly of the Beast” which is now in distribution showing in theaters around the US and premieres on PBS November 23rd.
About From the Heart Productions
From The Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit founded in 1993 that 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”.