Finish-Your-Film Fund: Background
Writer/Director, Jane Cusumano
passed away on June 1, 2001, just four weeks after achieving
her lifelong goal of directing her first feature film (WHAT
MATTERS MOST). 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 MATTERS MOST. "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 will INSPIRE 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
Finish-Your-Film Fund Award Recipients for 2001
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
- 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
- All applications must be received
by October 1.
The scholarship committee will announce
the winner each November during the Ojai Film Festival
Angeles - Women
Founded in 1973, Women In
Film, Los Angeles strives to empower, promote, nurture
and mentor women in the entertainment, communication
and media industries to achieve their highest potential
through a network of valuable contacts, educational
programs and events.
Angeles - the
The Screen Actors Guild
is a dynamic, representative democracy, run by members,
and for members. It is the performer's voice in the
future of the profession and the industry.
Chicago - IFP
Now in its 23rd year, the
annual IFP Market showcases over 300 narrative and
documentary features, scripts, shorts and works-in-progress
for the film industry's domestic and international
buyers, distributors, development executives, and
DC - Women
in Film & Video, DC
Women in Film & Video
(WIFV) of Washington, DC is a nonprofit organization
dedicated to advancing professional development and
achievement for women working in all areas of film,
video, multimedia, and related disciplines.
Francisco - San
Francisco Independent Film Festival
SF Indie's primary goal
is to create a venue for the artist and audience of
truly independent film. We give artists and individuals
a place to meet, talk about the medium, to collaborate
and to celebrate it.
Established in 1984, Women
in Film, Dallas provides information to its members
on the creative, business and technical aspects of
New York - Women
in Film & Television
A nonprofit membership organization
dedicated to helping women reach the highest levels
of achievement in film, television and other moving-image
media industries, and to promoting equity for women
in these industries.