Member News & Events

New Documentary Film THE MONEY STONE will uncover the hidden and dangerous world of Ghana's child gold miners

Posted: 09/17/2014 by Paula Ely

or register to post comments.

Paula Ely, producer

New documentary film “THE MONEY STONE” will uncover the hidden and dangerous world of Ghana’s child gold miners

(Brooklyn, NY) – Independent documentary film director Stuart Harmon has taken on the subject of Ghana’s child gold miners for his first feature-length film. “The Money Stone” tells the stories of Justice and Maxwell, two teenage boys risking life and limb in the deadly and illegal artisanal gold mining pits in order to support their families. The film is in the rough cut stage of completion, and the producers have recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund the final costs of post-production. An early 2015 release is expected.

Every day in Ghana, thousands of children abandon school to work in dangerous mining pits, facing poisoning from the mercury used in the refining process or even death from pit cave-ins. Through the stories of Justice and Maxwell, “The Money Stone” delves into the dangerous world of small-scale mining, a vast and controversial local industry that provides the livelihood of millions across the globe. Dramatic verité footage brings the viewer on an incredible journey through the mines in Ghana, exploring some of the most pressing issues facing international development today through the eyes of two bright and enthusiastic teens. Nearly one-quarter of the world’s gold output is estimated to originate from small-scale mining, yet few know at what cost this precious metal is obtained.

Harmon began this film while working on his master’s thesis at NYU’s school of journalism, and has returned to Ghana several times along with his producing partner, Paula Ely. "These children long for a future filled with hope through education, yet their economic situation has forced them down a dangerous road. The stories of Maxwell and Justice reveal the immense challenges communities face in breaking the cycle of poverty.”

The Kickstarter campaign ends October 19, 2014. Details on the campaign can be found at

Harmon’s previous work includes television programs for Animal Planet, A&E, MTV, and CNN, among others. His work has garnered two Telly Awards. Ms. Ely’s credits include the award winning documentary “Vanishing Cultures: Bushmen of the Kalahari.”

“The Money Stone” is the recipient of the Roy W. Dean Los Angeles Film Grant, a New York State Council for the Arts grant, and a Brooklyn Arts Council Grant.

Roy W.Dean Fall Grant:Application deadline-Sept 30th, 2014.

Posted: 09/17/2014 by Vidyut Latay

or register to post comments.

Applications are now being accepted for the Roy W. Dean Fall Grant. The grant gives filmmakers a chance to get their films going or completed with an award of $2,500 in cash and $30,000 in film products and services. Films can be documentaries, short films, and features and must be unique and contribute to society. Deadline for submission is September 30th, 2014

Even if you apply and don’t win the grant, you win something valuable. Each applicant for the grant receives a consultation on their project from Carole Dean, head of the non-profit grant sponsor From The Heart Productions and author of “The Art of Film Funding” now in its second edition.

For more information on the grant, you can go to

or email

New Teaser Trailer for Officer Involved

Posted: 09/08/2014 by P.W. Shaver

or register to post comments.

Just released our second teaser trailer for the film. We're still very much in production, but wanted to share some new material. 2 more interviews this week alone.

Tags: trailers  
10 yr Anniversary screening of Sideways at the Crest with ALexander Payne

Posted: 09/08/2014 by Ian Todd Santer

or register to post comments.

Hi there.. I wanted to promote an event i'm putting on tomorrow night at the Crest Theater in Westwood. We are celebrating the 10 year Anniversary of Sideways with a special screening and then post q&a with director Alexander Payne, the original novelist Rex Pickett and various other cast and crew. Show starts at 8pm and IDA members can get in for a $5.00 donation at the door! (310)-470-1508
1262 WestWood Blvd. LA 90024

thanks Ian

Tags: Feature Films  
Intentional Filmmaking class Discount Code for IDA members--Deadline extended!!

Posted: 09/03/2014 by Vidyut Latay

or register to post comments.

We've extended the discount by 8 days!!!
Now you've got until the end of Sept 10. Just enter the code IDA, when you purchase the class.

If you've faced challenges getting funding for your film, you should really consider enrolling and getting the solutions and support you need.

Here's a reminder of just some of what is included in each class.

10 group meetings (twice a month for lessons and discussions).
5 personal one-on-one hour consultations (one each month) with me. Consultations are usually $145 an hour. So, that's a $725 value included in the price of the class.
Your own 6 month funding goals. Each filmmaker lists what they want to achieve and we create an action list that I know can help them raise money for their film.
Help on fixing your trailer so it brings in money.
Work on getting your pitch perfected.

Classes start September 15th.

Fees are tax deductible.

Last Intentional Filmmaking Class of 2014.

See Complete Details Here:

If you have any questions, please email me at or call 805-984-0098.

Best Wishes for Your Success,

Carole Dean
From The Heart Productions

Tags: Education  
Trailer and Music Video

Posted: 08/29/2014 by David de Hilster

or register to post comments.

We have launched our trailer and music video for our Documentary. It is a bit unusual to have a music video associated with a documentary film, especially one that deals with science, but in the end it seems to make sense.

Here are the links:

TRAILER: Einstein Wrong - The Miracle Year

MUSIC VIDEO: Einstein Wrong - The Miracle Year

David de Hilster
Boca Raton, FL

Tags: trailers  
Intentional Filmmaking class Discount Code for IDA members

Posted: 08/26/2014 by Vidyut Latay

or register to post comments.

At From The Heart Productions, we know how frustrating it is for filmmakers to get funding. They are imaginative artists who can create fantastic stories, but lack the knowledge and confidence to navigate the world of film finance. Some lose faith in their projects and themselves in the process. Many give up.

Intentional Filmmaking Class

That is why we created the Intentional Filmmaking Class. They are unique 5 month courses that combine film funding mentoring using goals and intentional techniques to manifest money for their projects. It gives filmmakers the tools and confidence they need to get their films funded.

We work to remove any blocks you may have about money. We listen to audios and discuss how powerful the mind is and how to use it for creating and funding your film.

Now, in its 3rd year, it has guided producers, writers, and directors on not only on how to find money, but it’s taught them how to get it for their films.

Discount for IDA members

The regular price of the class $665, but IDA members can enroll for just $495 by Sept 1st. Early enrollment discount by that date is $555, but IDA members can save an extra $60 off by entering this code IDA when you purchase the class.

There is a Trailblazer Class for documentary filmmakers taught by Carole Dean, the author of “The Art of Film Funding”. For the Mastermind Class for feature filmmakers, she is joined by Tom Malloy, the author of “Bankroll II, A New Approach to Financing Feature Films”.

Here’s what’s included in the class.

· 5 one-on-one consultations (one each month) with Carole Dean (A $725 Value if purchased separately)

· 10 class meetings (two each month) for education and we share ideas and successes.

· 6 month goal planning with action list targeted to raise money for your project.

· Documentary filmmakers will get help writing their proposals with emphasis on what is needed to win grants and get donations.

· Fine tuning your trailer to bring in money. We’ve seen thousands over the years that have been submitted to the Roy W. Dean Grant. We know what works and what doesn’t.

· Perfecting your pitch. You may tell a great story, but will it attract investors? We will make sure it will.

· We have a 10 page outline for you on funding, marketing, and distributing your film. We give you the template and help you complete it. This becomes a major item to close donors.

· How to run a successful crowdfunding campaign. From The Heart has is partnered with Indiegogo and raised over $1 million to date for over 200 films. We give you additional classes for crowdfunding and reveal the myths that you need to overcome to raise money.

· We teach funding parties, how to do it and be successful.

· How to set up one- on- one meetings.

· How to make an “ask” for money.

· How to create successful letter writing campaigns

· Finding your market, connecting to your audience and entertaining them while producing the film.

You will have a strong foundation for funding after 5 months of training. You will know who your market is and how to reach them. You will feel confident that you can raise the money for your film. You will have an excellent proposal, trailer, pitch and be confident about how special you are and your film.

If you would like to know more about the class or to join our class, please visit

You can also call Carole Dean at 805-984-0098

Tags: Education  
Hey Now Records Indie Music featured Behind the Sun -for Nancy Bechtol indie feature documentary film

Posted: 08/25/2014 by Nancy Bechtol

or register to post comments.

"Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist"©2014 an indie feature documentary film by Nancy Bechtol, currently in release.
listing on IMDb
Hey Now Records Indie Music featured Behind the Sun -for Nancy Bechtol indie feature documentary film

“The music of Behind The Sun, a duo consisting of Andy Alton and David Mansfield, will be featured in a 99 minute movie documenting the legal struggle of Chris Drew, Patron Saint of Street Artists. Chris Drew was arrested on a bogus eavesdropping charge, but fought until the day he died to clear his name. Needing that one last element for her movie, filmmaker Nancy Bechtol got in touch with us to see if she could use songs from Behind The Sun’s debut release “Paper Airplane” to help give the Chris Drew story the musical backdrop that would help convey one of the most inspirational stories you’ll ever hear.”

- David Mansfield
this is the album they gave to the film courtesy and available at link above

From Billions to None - Documentary About the Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon - Airing on Public Television

Posted: 08/24/2014 by David Mrazek

or register to post comments.

A new documentary From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction, reveals the compelling story of the unlikely extinction of the passenger pigeon and explores the pigeon’s striking relevance to conservation issues today. On September 1, 1914, Martha, the last passenger pigeon in captivity, died in the Cincinnati Zoo, marking the end of the species, and the centenary of the extinction event. The film, directed by IDA member David Mrazek, garnered its first film festival award, the Broadcast Award, at the upcoming American Conservation Film Festival in Sheperdstown, WV.(Oct. 30th thru Nov. 2nd)

“The amazing story of how we eliminated this once abundant bird, coinciding with a centennial anniversary of its extinction, provides a once-in-a-lifetime “teachable moment” that can really raise awareness about species at risk and living more sustainably today.” says author and co-producer Joel Greenberg, A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction, (Bloomsbury USA, 2014), who is featured in the documentary. “Year 2014 is a real opportunity for conservationists, for all us.”

From Billions to None recreates the breathtaking natural phenomenon of massive flocks of passenger pigeons with cutting edge CGI animation. One highlight is an animated sequence that recreates a passenger pigeon flock estimated by a then unknown John James Audubon to be at least one billion birds. In addition, remote control quadcopters equipped with GoPro cameras captured astonishing aerials.

To mark the centennial of the bird’s extinction, From Billions to None is a key part of Project Passenger Pigeon, a group of over 190 cooperating institutions that is mounting multi-media outreach initiatives throughout 2014, including the creation of a high school curriculum, down-loadable museum exhibits, and numerous activities across the United States and Canada. The documentary is being distributed to public television stations via NETA for Fall 2014 airings. Check local listings. Mrazek is currently looking for domestic and international distribution.

For more information go to: and

New Liberia Documentary sheds light on troubled country

Posted: 08/16/2014 by John Grimshaw

or register to post comments.

New Democracy Productions has completed the short documentary "Liberia: Emerging from the Shadows?" which was shot in September, 2013. This film provides a glimpse into the daily struggles and triumphs of the Liberian people, following decades of civil war, a complete breakdown of basic services, infrastructure and political turmoil.

NDP is providing this film to view on our website and partnering with Direct Relief, who is currently providing medical and humanitarian supplies to Liberia during this current Ebola crisis. Please see the link for more information on the film and details about Direct Relief's efforts in West Africa. Liberia: Emerging from the Shadows?