Jane Cusumano passed away on June 1, 2001, just
four weeks after achieving her lifelong goal
of directing her first feature film (WHAT
The day before she died, as she lay in her hospital
bed, she expressed regret to her husband, Jim
that although her passion for film was as intense
as ever, she would not be around to direct more
films. In view of this imminent reality, Jim
asked Jane about her final wish for WHAT
"Of course, I want it to have a broad theatrical
release," she responded. "And I hope
that many people have an opportunity to see
it and enjoy it. But more than that, I hope
that my film and my journey over the last year
just one filmmaker to be true to his/her passion.
Be tenacious, have faith and make the movie
you want---no matter what," she implored.
Inspired by Jane's last
wish, and drawing on guidance from friends
in the film industry, Jim created Jane's Finish-Your-Film
Fund, an annual scholarship, that awards $5,000
to a promising filmmaker with outstanding
creative capacities and a demonstrated passion
and commitment to making "their"
Finish-Your-Film Fund Award Recipients for
During the last
years of her life, Jane was a resident of
Ojai, California, a community she found compassionate
to the spiritual quiet and providing the inspirational
setting she needed to write and direct the
kind of films she sought to make. Therefore,
it was natural for Jim to seek the advice
of their friends from the Ojai Film Society.
The result is a scholarship committee managed
jointly with the Ojai Film Society. An overview
of the award process is as follows:
- To be eligible a prospective candidate
must have demonstrated commitment by initiating
a film project and be in post-production
when applying for this scholarship.
- To make the administrative process fair
and manageable, the scholarship committee
accepts one candidate from each of the 15
film schools listed below.
- Candidates are chosen by the faculty of
the respective film schools and recommended
to the scholarship committee.
- Each candidate must complete a brief application
and submit a VHS copy of his or her film.
- All applications must be received by October
committee will announce the winner in November
during the Ojai Film Festival.
For more information
or to request an application please contact
to the Foundation