CAUCUS FOUNDATION FEATURES...PRESIDENT CHUCK FRIES
by David Weddle

We are quite proud of The Caucus Foundation, now in its 12th year, having granted one million dollars in grants, awards, internships and in-kind services to 124 students. All the students have shown exceptional qualities as they pursue their careers. We have relationships with over 40 universities and colleges. We devote considerable resources to diversifying the next generation of creative professionals in the Entertainment Industry.

It is with great pleasure we introduce the following grant winners from our Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 Grant Program:
  • Micah Robert Barber, University of Texas, "Into the South"
  • Rebecca Louisell, USC, "Genderfreak"
  • Alethea Avramis, UCLA, "The Foreigner"
  • Joel Novoa, AFI, "Machsom"
  • Jerell Rosales, UCLA, "Born to Dance This Way"
  • Jordan Salvatoriello, Emerson College, "Graceland Girls"
Qualifying for finishing funds for a thesis film, undergraduate or graduate is no easy feat. In addition to providing the final TV Production or film script, a Budget Plan including current expenditures and costs to complete, shooting and post schedules, crew list and a rough cut are required. Proof of Financial Need is a necessity as well as the student's Statement of Intention and a faculty member's support. We invite all students of accredited universities, colleges and conservatories to apply for our next round of grants, submissions due by December 1, 2012. Visit our website at caucusfoundation.org and follow the GRANT link.

Summer internships, local to the Los Angeles area, include production, development and post production arenas for worthy students from accredited schools providing the necessary requirements. Check with you school's TV Production/Film department March 2013 to get the details. Internships for Summer 2012 are Alejandro Hernandez and Kathia Sanchez-Aldana from UCLA and Sara Shahry from CSUN. Our host companies are tops in their field and offer comprehensive training. Hosts for Summer 2012 are HTV/illuminate, FishBowl Worldwide Media and Vin Di Bona Productions.

All student grantees upon completion of their thesis TV Production/Film become alumni of CFAN -- Caucus Foundation Alumni Network offering a variety of programs -- Script Development which includes mentoring from Caucus members on their next script, Director Shadowing, networking Mixers and Dinners for 5 where CFAN members dine with a notable writer, producer or director, gaining familiarity, awareness and understanding of what it takes to get established in the Entertainment Industry.

The Caucus Foundation offers a mentoring program whereby grantees are matched with a Caucus member who may offer steady telephone contact, review scripts and production plans, review budgets and finances, be consulted for the editing, sound and music functions, offer recommendations on marketing, film, festivals and agent/producer submissions and offer general support in all areas of the entertainment industry regarding future education and/or employment.

Each year The Caucus Foundation presents Gold Circle Awards to two of the year's most outstanding film. All six nominees will be introduced at year's Caucus Awards Dinner held in December. In addition to the Award Plaque and a monetary award from The Caucus Foundation, in-kind services of $20,000-$60,000 have also been presented and we hope to garner those again this year. Gold Circle winners at last year's Awards Dinner were Casey C. Johnson, AFI for "Unmanned" and Matthew Hashiguchi, Emerson College for "The Lower 9".

In its inaugural bestowment this Fall, we are introducing a new grant, strictly for television and/or internet -- awarding the producer, writer, director AND school for its television pilot, episode(s) (comedy, drama, reality) and webisodes produced by the school. Details will be posted to The Caucus Foundation website later this year.

The Caucus Foundation's main objective is still the conferring of student film grants, and if anyone is interested in providing a Named Fund, please contact me at foundation@caucusfoundation.org and we will arrange something in your name.