Derek Freese Documentary FoundationDerek Freese was a budding film director who moved to Hollywood two days before passing away in 1995.  His family and friends have since created The Derek Freese Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization which grants up to $35,000 in finishing funds to "feature-length documentary films that have both a strong narrative and a connection to Greater Philadelphia." The first-ever Derek Freese grant will be awarded this fall. Application details and more information about this young filmmaker after the jump.

Derek was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when he was 13. In pursuit of his dream of filmmaking, he graduated from the Film and Media Arts Department at Temple University in 1995. After Derek's "sudden" death, his family found a way to keep his dreams of filmmaking alive: The Derek Freese Documentary Fund. The application is refreshingly simple for a documentary grant. They require a 2-page digital form, a treatment, an upload of your project's work to date (15 minutes or less) and a fee of $0. That's right, no fee on this grant application. Exhilarating, eh?

Want to know more? Ask Tony Danza:

Applications are due on June 7, 2013, and decisions will be made public by Fall 2013. Your treatment (emailed with your application) should include the following:

  • Synopsis/Treatment providing a narrative summary, including project topic, subject profiles, and essential story lines, and clearly communicating a vision and theme for your finished film.
  • Resume and Bios highlighting previous credits and relevant experience for the primary applicant and key individuals working on the film.
  • Projected timeline for the film providing a brief description of the project's status and timeline for completion.
  • Distribution/Marketing Strategy outlining intended plan for distribution and outreach to target audience.
  • Budget detailing a comprehensive breakdown of all documentary-related expenses from development through distribution. This line item budget should include the amount requested, listing the production-related expenses that the award would be used to cover, and how that amount would impact your film.
  • Fundraising strategy that lists secured and intended funding sources. Applicant must either have nonprofit 501(c)(3) status or be able to secure a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor for the project. A film production company or individual may submit an application without a fiscal sponsor in place. Once a project is chosen to receive DFDF, the applicant will need to submit documentation from a fiscal sponsor before the grant can be processed.

Thanks to Derek for being an inspiration, and to the Freese family and countless contributors for your generosity.