John Kelly Fund

The Fresno Filmworks Board of Directors founded the John Kelly Memorial Fund in 2010 to honor the life and work of local filmmaker John Kelly, who passed away in 2009. As Filmworks celebrates our 2014 Fresno Film Festival at the historic Tower Theatre, we also look back on five years of the John Kelly Award for Excellence in Cinematography. Established in recognition of Mr. Kelly’s passion for film and practice of mentoring developing filmmakers, this award has become a cornerstone of our festival’s short film programming.

At this year’s festival — our 10th anniversary event, on April 25-27, 2014 — we present 14 short films from all over the world, connecting rising filmmakers to an audience passionate for cinema. In the spirit of Mr. Kelly, we are pleased to present movies noted for their excellence. “Butterfly Dreams,” directed by Venkat Krishnan, won the Best Foreign Film award at the Magnolia Independent Film Festival. “Dance of the Books,” written and directed by Lorena Fernández Carrillo, won the Best Animated Film award at the Wild Rose Independent Film Festival, as well as the Special Jury Prize from the California Film Awards.

Mr. Kelly was respected for mentoring and promoting local filmmakers. Our 2014 festival programs feature three shorts from two filmmakers with Central Valley roots: Hanford native David Dibble’s “Adonis,” and Fresno native Joell Hallowell’s “Around the Corner” and “Somehow.”

Support of the John Kelly Memorial Fund allows Filmworks to recognize the artistic efforts of shorts filmmakers such as these. Through the fund, we award three prizes:
• John Kelly Award for Excellence in Cinematography (juried)
• Best Short Film award (juried)
• Audience Favorite Short Film award

Past winners of the juried John Kelly Award for Excellence in Cinematography include:
• 2013, Matt Latham, who works in freelance film production in Austin, Texas. Film: It Felt Good to Have This Pain.
• 2012, Kevin Margo, who supervises visual effects and computer graphics for Blur Studio in Venice. Film: Grounded.
• 2011, Tiffany Taira, who works as the director of photography and lead editor for the video production team at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville. Film: Play By Play.
• 2010, Yash Bhatt, who works in freelance film production in Hollywood. Film: Running Away with Blackie.

To make a tax-deductible donation, please send a check payable to Fresno Filmworks, with “John Kelly Memorial Fund” written in the memo area, to:

Fresno Filmworks
Attention: John Kelly Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 4555
Fresno, CA 93744

Contact board member Jefferson Beavers for details on John Kelly Memorial Fund donations.

Our 2019-20 season: Sept. 13; Oct. 11; Nov. 8-10 (Fresno Film Festival); Jan. 10; Feb. 7-8 (Oscar shorts); March 13; April 10; May 15.