Screenshot of the 2018 The Big Tell Film Contest winner "Ichi, Ni, San, SHE! (How to throw like a girl)" by Hans Steele.

published on June 28, 2019 - 9:25 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The Central Valley Community Foundation (CVCF) announced the winners for the third annual The Big Tell film contest.

Out of the 75 applications from local filmmakers, 10 won grants to make a mini-documentary about life in the Central Valley.

Each of the winners will be awarded $5,000 to produce a 5-minute mini-documentary and will receive one-on-one mentorship from acclaimed filmmaker Sascha Rice, who received an Emmy nomination for her 2012 film “California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown” (2012). Rice is based in Los Angeles and along with being a filmmaker, she is also an entertainment executive, public speaker, teacher and the granddaughter of former California Governor Pat Brown.



The Big Tell is a regional film contest for professional, amateur, and student filmmakers from Merced, Mariposa, Madera, Fresno, Tulare and Kings Counties. The film contest aims at promoting diversity in both the filmmakers it supports and the stories they share.

In total, the 30 contestants from 2017-2019 range in age from 23 to 67 years; 40% are female, 66% are minorities; and 40% are amateurs or students.

“The Central Valley is the future of California,” said Ashley Swearengin, president and CEO of CVCF. “It’s filled with dynamic and vibrant stories that need to be told – across the region and across the state. The films funded through The Big Tell reflect the complexity, diversity, and vibrancy of this region.”

Bank of America has been the presenting sponsor for The Big Tell since the contest’s beginning. Other sponsors include the Central Valley Foundation (CVF) and the Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC).

The ten winning films will premiere at The Big Tell Showcase, a free event at Fresno’s Tower Theater at 7:00 p.m. on October 25.

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