What CFAN Members Say About The Caucus

“The Caucus Foundation Grant has meant the last financial push to help a young emerging filmmaker like myself to put the professional finishing touches on my student film. As I look at the list ofalumni who have received The Caucus Grant in the past, I am filled with confidence knowing that a long standing institution like The Caucus believes in my work and I am now ready to tackle my next challenge.”
– Johnny Ma, Columbia University

“The Caucus Foundation Grant is nothing short of a godsend. If it wasn’t for the generosity shown by The Foundation, our film would most likely still be in the editing room. It allowed the filmmaker’s to realize their original vision in the process; something that’s doesn’t happen often.”
– Michael Fitzgerald, Chapman University

“Filmmaking is a very immediate practice. Energy and concentration are devoted to the task at hand, usually the actual production of the film. When the post-production process begins, fiscal and human resources have been drained past what is comfortable. Having an esteemed organization such as The Caucus Foundation recognize the potential in our film give us the confidence and the means to realize our full vision and tell a fully formed story fromconception to editing.”
– Brett Myer, American Film Institute

“The Caucus Grant was a miracle for my film. I shot the movie in India, but before it had been completed, I ran out of money. Luckily, I won a Caucus Foundation Grant, as it allowed me to finish my film at the quality I felt it deserved. JAYA is now launching my career, and The Caucus Foundation has made this all possible. I cannot thank them enough for their generous support! ”
– Puja Maewal, UCLA

“With The Caucus Foundation’s generous grant, we are able to take ‘Shoot the Saxophone Player’ beyond the scope of what we had ever thought possible. We would have never been within earshot of these possibilities without The Caucus Foundation’s help. I am forever grateful for this opportunity, and I look forward to the day when I can assist The Caucus Foundation in helping another young filmmaker’s dreams come true.”
– Michael Tounian, USC

“The Caucus Foundation’s support enabled me to photograph my movie among the forests and rivers of the Deep South, all on 35mm film. This generosity empowered me totell a beautiful, mystical story. I’m truly grateful for this support as I create unique and fresh work as an emerging director.”
– Micah Robert Barber, University of Texas

“It’s truly an honor to have an organization like The Caucus Foundation believe in a story and film enough to help make it tangibly happen with their generous financial support. To me, it tells me that someone believes in this story and has faith in a film that it will impact the viewer. As a filmmaker, I couldn’t ask for more than that.”
– Jerell Rosales, UCLA

“My mission to create social change using the power of story would have been short-lived without The Caucus Foundation Grant. As a struggling MFA student and first-time filmmaker, receiving the acknowledgement and support from this prestigious organization was not only exciting, but hugely validating. This is a story worth telling, and an issue worth investing in. The Foundation not only gave me the funds to bring my project to life, but the momentum to continue to be an advocate for my subjects, and exhibit and distribute their personal stories where they will do the most good.”
– Jordan Salvatoriello, Emerson College

“The Caucus Foundation grant means so much to me because not only is it much needed financial support, its confirmation that my work is of value and that I am on the right track. Thanks so much to The Caucus Foundation for its focus on diversity. Your support helps me keep focused on my goal of making media that matters.”
– Rebecca Louisell, USC

“I received countless forms of support through friends, family, mentors and teachers. The Caucus Foundation Grant represented a symbol of strength and trust. It sent a strong message conveying that my work, approach and artistic vision was one that needed to be heard.”
– Matthew Hashiguchi, Emerson College

“The Caucus Foundation grant meant being able to complete my thesis film at the highest caliber. We would not have been able to do the color-correction, sound design and sound mix at a professional level were it not for the generous support of The Caucus Foundation. I cannot thank The Caucus Foundation enough for helping us complete FIRST MATCH and get it out into the world”
– Olivia Newman, Columbia University

“Receiving the grant was not only a powerful affirmation for us that we did have a film with merit and potential, but it also enabled us to make the good investments in that essential phase called ‘post-production,’ where many student films suffer from lack of funds. The Caucus Foundation grant has given our film a wonderful kick of momentum, which will help carry it out into the world to be seen.”
– Casey Johnson, AFI

“The Caucus Foundation has truly provided me with a sense of community, empowerment, and belief in myself as a filmmaker and artist. They have not only helped me finish my film, but they have provided the resources to help me continue to learn about the industry and network with peers. To be associated with The Caucus has been one of the greatest opportunities as I pursue a challenging yet exciting career.”
– Cristina Malavenda, USC

“The entertainment industry as a whole is focused on marketability and profit, but The Caucus Foundation values film as an art form not as a money-maker. They support meaningful stories and unconventional works of art that many would overlook. Their funds not only allowed me to finish my project, but gave me faith in the film community and its fight for independent film.”
– Jenna Lyng, Emerson College

“What does The Caucus Foundation Grant mean to me? Life-saving is the first phrase that comes to mind. The Caucus Foundation looked at one of my early cuts and on the spot contributed generously towards the finishing costs of my film. I believe that it is a story worth telling, and I would not be telling it without the aid of a Caucus Foundation Grant.”
– David J. Kelly, UCLA

“The Caucus Foundation was extremely helpful and supportive of our project when we were trying to find the finishing funds necessary to complete the film and submit to festivals. Because of The Caucus Foundation we were able to show our film to a wider audience around the world with wonderful film festival exposure. I am so happy, grateful, and proud to be a part of The Caucus family and network of filmmakers.”
– Lauren Wolkstein, Columbia College

“The Caucus Award was a dream come true, and The Caucus has made ALL the difference in my life! This grant allowed me to complete my NYU thesis film — which is now on IFC and on television in Japan and Europe — AND the generous and ongoing mentoring by The Caucus is helping me make the challenging and exciting transition into the professional world. I wouldn’t have had a fighting chance if it weren’t for my new family — The Caucus.”
– Eva Saks, New York University Film School

“Receiving The Caucus Foundation grant was just the beginning. With it came meetings, dinners, the Outstanding Student Film Award, an additional grant from The Caucus, and a generous donation from Panavision. I will be forever grateful to The Caucus Foundation for encouraging my efforts and helping me follow my dreams.”
– Brian David Lazarte, University of Cincinnati

“When I last spoke to you I had asked if you could give me any leads to any other possible funding. You said one of the primary reasons behind the creation of this grant was because of the lack of finishing funds available. Well, you were right. You (The Caucus Foundation) are a great resource.”
– Alberto Barboza, UCLA

“The Caucus Foundation has helped not just my career, but also the careers of the young Latino actors who starred in their first film. Now they will have a way to showcase their talent.”
– Alexandra Martinez Kondracki, NYU

“As a student filmmaker, there is a constant dearth of money and physical help. At the same time, there is a deep-set need (for most of us) to develop a personal voice and unique style. For me, The Caucus Foundation grant has recognized both parts of this equation — which is a wonderful thing. I’m so grateful to be a grant recipient this year.”
– Keshni Kashyap, UCLA

“In an industry where women directors are underrepresented, it is wonderful to have the support of such a noteworthy group of professionals.”
– Sarah Johnson, USC

“We are privileged and grateful to receive The Caucus Foundation grant. We see it as not only funds, but professional mentorship from members of The Caucus accepting us into the industry.”
– Karen Alex Pyudik, AFI

“I would very much like to thank The Caucus Foundation for making it possible for me to finish ‘Casablanca.’ As a direct result of your kind support, I am screening ‘Casablanca’ at the Sundance Film Festival. Thanks once again for making this all possible.”
– Mike Saenz, USC

“I also wanted to say thank you again for the festival invitations that have come along with the winning The Caucus grant. It is so great to have the extra exposure of being invited to these festivals, and these various events have also given me an opportunity to get to know my fellow grant winners who are a wonderful group of filmmakers. My film premiere was at a festival I was invited to through The Caucus and then my film won! This has been a wonderful way to launch my film onto the festival circuit and I wanted to let you know that I appreciate all that The Caucus Foundation has done to help my film.”
– Diane Lisa Johnson, USC

“I’d like to once again thank The Caucus Foundation for their generous grant and support. I’ve not only been able to meet other new filmmakers through The Caucus events, but I’ve also had the wonderful pleasure of meeting and learning from members of the Caucus, like John Moffitt, Gary Grossman, Randall Dark, and my mentor Roger Gimbel. The Caucus Foundation grant is truly the best grant a student filmmaker could hope to win, and I thank you for that.”
– Jerry Chan, USC

“I have made several short films in my young life, but never did I have the opportunity to finish them on a 35mm print. That is, until receiving the grant from The Caucus Foundation. This might seem like a prestige factor, the opportunity to be a part of history and embrace a dying art form. But the romantic in me prefers to call it something else – realizing a dream. Thanks for helping it come true.”
– Adam Schlachter, AFI

“Not only did The Caucus grant give me the funds to finish my thesis film exactly as I’d envisioned it, but it also gave me the opportunity to work with an industry mentor. Bob Finkel’s invaluable wisdom and guidance challenged me to reach farther than I would have on my own. To then be selected by such esteemed members of the film industry to receive the Outstanding Student Film Award is an honor I will always treasure. I feel immensely proud and privileged to have had the opportunity to be part of The Caucus program.”
– Nicole Haeusser, UCLA

“What The Caucus Grant means to me is of course an opportunity to finish my film as well as I’d envisioned it. But it also was a wonderful surprise to discover that there was actually a group of people out there who are genuinely out to help me and the other young filmmakers achieve our dreams. Everyone has been so kind, with no agenda other than to help. It is a pleasure to know that there are people in the world willing to reach out and mentor your career on the basis of seeing your efforts and ideas.”
– Ann Husaini, Columbia University

“I have been unable to complete my Thesis film for about a year until receiving The Caucus’ Completion Grant. The Foundation’s generous gift has financially catapulted me to the finishing line, and I am very grateful for it. Receiving the Grant is also a boost to my belief that the story I wanted to tell was wroth telling. It has given me the confidence and the drive to continue with my work and to strive towards better filmmaking.”
– Angela How, UCLA

“Overall, The Caucus Foundation means a support system, an institution that genuinely cares about the outcome of my film and the beginning of my career as a filmmaker. We filmmakers are entering a world where everyone wants to be someone and so few ever will “make it” and a little encouragement in the beginning of the uphill battle is really quite comforting and I cannot express how deeply appreciative I am of all the care and support The Caucus Foundation has awarded me.”
– Gillian Munro, Chapman

“The amazing contribution that The Caucus Foundation made enabling the most polished completion of my film is, however, only one way in which The Caucus Foundation Grant has been incredibly meaningful to me. I have only just begun a relationship with a Anne Hopkins from The Caucus who is a wonderful role model, inspiring me and offering guidance as I try to establish my own path from film school into the film industry. It is clear her mentorship will encourage and challenge me to the best and most honest filmmaker I can be, and it is an honor to have that support and guidance.”
– Rain Breaw, USC

“The support of The Caucus Foundation is a true honor and has been critical to the completion of my film. Simply put, The Caucus Foundation provides award recognition coupled with substantial financial support. A rare combination, indeed!”
– James Darling

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