Director Jen Senko Wins Roy W. Dean Film Grant

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Winning Documentary Examines How Extreme Views Espoused in Media Have Altered Country and Her Father

The Roy W. Dean Grant funds unique films that contribute to society

From The Heart Productions, the film funding non-profit that oversees the Roy W. Dean Film Grant, has awarded the 2014 Spring Film Grant to filmmaker Jen Senko for her documentary “The Brainwashing of My Dad”. Jen will receive nearly $30,000 in film services and cash to help her complete her project.

In “The Brainwashing of My Dad”, director Senko searches to understand what caused the transformation of her father from a non-political, life-long Democrat to an angry, Right-Wing fanatic. Through interviews with media luminaries, cognitive linguists, and other experts (such as Noam Chomsky, Steve Rendall, Jeff Cohen, Eric Boehlert, George Lakoff and others) she unravels a plan to shift the country to the Right over the last 30 years, largely through media manipulation. She believes this has lead to fewer voices, less diversity of opinion, massive intentional misinformation, and a greater division of our country.

“This documentary will shine a light on how it happened (and is still happening),” explains director Senko, “and lead to questions about who owns the airwaves, what rights we have as listeners/watchers and what responsibility does our government have to keep the airwaves truly fair, objective and accountable to the truth.”

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. Over 250 entries were received for this year’s Spring Grant competition including projects from Canada, England, and South Africa. Entries included short, narrative, and documentary films.

“In this day and age with so many talented filmmakers out there, winning this is especially meaningful,” Jen commented on winning. “Far beyond the money and wonderful prizes however, is just the pride I feel considering who this award is coming from.”

In addition to $2,500 cash given by From The Heart Productions, the winner receives goods, services, and discounts on same including hard drives from G-Technology, tape stock from Comtel/Edgewise Media, sound mixing session from Silver Sound, lighting from Unilux, color grading from Nice Shoes, post services from Deluxe, legal services from Robert Seigel, a full scholarship to The Writer’s Boot Camp, sound mixing from Duart, color correction from Glue Edit, and more from many heart-felt donors. A full list of donors can be found at

About the Roy W. Dean Grant

Now in its 23rd year, the Roy W. Dean Grant is awarded 3 times each year. There is a Spring, Summer, and Fall grant competition. Films submitted to the grant can be short films, documentaries or features from early stages of pre-production to those needing help in post.

The grant has been integral in making sure that talented artists with great stories get their films produced. Recent past winners of the grant that have been completed include the award winning “Heist: Who Stole the American Dream” and “The Winding Stream: An Oral History of the Carter and Cash Family” which is now showing in film festivals around North America.

About From The Heart Productions

From The Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects made. Besides providing funding through the grant, they are also a fiscal sponsor which allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible. From The Heart has raised over $1.3 million for crowdfunding films as a partner with Indiegogo. President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of “The Art of Film Funding” which is now in its second edition.

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Richard Kaufman

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Richard Kaufman
since: 06/2013
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The Roy W. Dean Writing and Film Grants
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