Home Charity The Caucus For Producers, Writers & Directors Foundation Receives $100,000 Grant from...

The Caucus For Producers, Writers & Directors Foundation Receives $100,000 Grant from the Annenberg Foundation

The Caucus For Producers, Writers & Directors FoundationReceives $100,000 Grant from the Annenber...

Beverly Hills, CA — The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors Foundation and Board Member Herman Rush, along with Lee Miller, President, and Co-Founders Chuck Fries and Jerry Isenburg proudly announces receiving a $ 100,000 Grant from the Annenberg Foundation.


The purpose of the grant is to assist worthy students enrolled in an accredited school in completing their student thesis film, television program, video or interactive projects. The award provides completion money for the student.

The Caucus Foundation, cofounded by Chuck Fries and Jerry Isenberg in 2000, is a charitable organization that provides men and women of diverse racial and national backgrounds with a range of services, including awarding grants that defray the costs of completing their student (undergraduate and graduate) thesis films, securing in-kind contributions for their future projects, offering an intensive mentoring service by industry professionals who are also Caucus Foundation members, and providing industry-related internships for student filmmakers. Through the end of 2016, the Caucus Foundation has awarded grants and in-kind services totaling over $1.6 million.


The Caucus Foundation recognizes its responsibility to take appropriate action to promote diversity behind the camera in our industry. The Caucus Foundation looks to the accredited film, television and new media programs at universities and colleges as the future source of talented directors, writers and producers.

Among The Caucus Foundation members are Chuck Fries, Tanya Hart, Bob Papazian, Lee Miller, Dennis Doty, Vin Di Bona, Syd Vinnedge, Jake Rademacher, Gary Grossman and Michelle Nasraway.

This past December at the 2016 annual Caucus Awards, The Caucus Foundation’s Gold Circle Awards were presented to two student filmmakers. Ellie Foumbi of Columbia University took the First Place Gold Circle Award of a $60,000 Panavision camera package and a $2,500 cash award from The Caucus Foundation for her film “Nocturne in Black.” Julio Vincent Gambuto from USC was awarded the Second Place Gold Circle Award Prize of $20,000 illuminate Studios post production package and a $1,000 cash prize from The Caucus Foundation for “The Julie Stories.” The Caucus Foundation Television and New Media Award were presented to producer Michael Stanziale and writer/director Daniel Klein for “The Kama Sutra Club” of the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Chapman College.”

“The Caucus’ new motto is ‘leading the evolution.’ And that’s what The Caucus Foundation has been doing for 17 years. The Caucus has always been innovators and helped those that just needed the opportunity to open the doors to their dreams in the entertainment industry.


“We are proud to do so, and thankful to the Annenberg Foundation for its support,” stated Lee Miller, President of The Caucus Foundation. Herman Rush added “the current Board of Directors joins me in expressing our deep appreciation to Wallis Annenberg for her support and generosity in recognizing The Caucus Foundation’s work with this grant.”

About Annenberg Foundation


The Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation that provides funding and support to nonprofit organizations in the United States and globally. Since 1989, it has generously funded programs in education and youth development; arts, culture and humanities; civic and community life; health and human services; and animal services and the environment. In addition, the Foundation and its Board of Directors are directly involved in the community with innovative projects that further its mission of advancing a better tomorrow through visionary leadership today. Among them are Annenberg Alchemy, Annenberg Learner, Annenberg Space for Photography, explore, GRoW @ Annenberg and the Metabolic Studio. The Foundation encourages the development of effective ways to communicate by sharing ideas and knowledge.

About The Caucus for Producer, Writers & Directors


The Caucus is leading the evolution of television by providing a creative forum for Writers and Directors to explore the issues of the ever-changing landscape of content and exhibition. The Caucus is proud of its rich history and esteemed membership of television innovators. For over 40 years, The Caucus has provided an opportunity for the best and the brightest talent to network and voice the ‘creative conscience’ of the Television Industry. Today, we continue to stand for better and meaningful content across all platforms. As Writers and Directors we support a working environment that fosters, through our various programs, the best content that we can create for our audiences.

In addition to its professional membership, The Caucus is proud of its non-profit work through The Caucus Foundation. Established in 2000 to help launch the careers of future entertainment professionals in film, television and emerging media; The Foundation provides completion grants to student thesis productions from accredited universities and colleges. To date The Caucus Foundation Grant Program has given over $1.6 million dollars in cash and in kind awards.

Current members of The Caucus also include: JJ Abrams, Kevin Bright, James Burrows, Suzanne de Passe, Vin Di Bona, Dennis Doty, Chuck Fries, Tom Hanks, Tanya Hart, Charles Floyd Johnson, Lee Miller, Bob Papazian, Norman Powell, and others leading producers, writers and directors. For additional information on The Caucus visit:

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and Entertainment Critic at, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board and tour coordinator of the Television Critics Association’s press tours. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and DAP Health, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.