Dell Supports Independent Film Community Through Tech and Other Resources

Who doesn’t love movies? The personalities of the characters, the complexities of a story line and the magic of the special effects, all taking place in front of your eyes on the big or small screen. At Dell, we support movie making of all kinds, from major blockbusters to independent films, and enabling filmmakers to bring great stories to life.

sign outside Dell event that says celebrate texas film

We’re particularly passionate about supporting the independent film community, especially those in our own backyard in Austin.

“Independent filmmaking is tough, but raising money for indie filmmaking is even tougher,” Austin Chronicle writer Richard Whittaker points out.

So to help them tell the stories that would not be told otherwise, we’ve partnered with the Austin Film Society (AFS), a non-profit that empowers our community to make, watch and love film and creative media, to introduce the first-ever AFS Powered by Dell Grant. The AFS grant program was founded based on the lack of funding available for emerging artists in Texas. The Powered by Dell Grant awards funding and technology to independent filmmakers in Austin.

In addition to funding, two of the Powered by Dell Grant recipients will receive a portfolio of Dell Precision workstations, Dell UltraSharp monitors and Adobe Creative Cloud suites, which will provide them the power and performance of technology used by some of today’s leading filmmakers and movie studios. In fact, four out of the five latest Academy Awards in visual effects were developed on our Precision platform.

Image from "Rosedale" an in-progress feature documentary by Ben and Bo Powell

On September 1, AFS announced the recipients of the AFS Powered by Dell Grant which include:

  • Ben and Bo Powell for the in-progress feature documentary, “Rosedale.” (pictured above) Ben Powell is a producer, director and editor whose debut documentary feature, “Barge,” premiered at SXSW and won the Grand Jury Prize at the Dallas International Film Festival. “Rosedale” is a feature documentary about the people of Rosedale, Mississippi, a tough old river town in the Mississippi Delta considered ‘the South’s South,’ where the scars of slavery and segregation run deep.
  • Director Paul Gordon for the narrative feature in development, “Wolves.” The dramatic comedy “Wolves” brings together Ashley, a young idealistic woman, with a couple of performance artist, chefs that are homeless. Paul Gordon recently wrote, directed, edited and played lead actor in “The Happy Poet,” which screened at festivals around the world, including Venice Film Festival, South by Southwest (SxSW), and Tokyo International Film Festival, and won both audience and jury awards.
  • An additional AFS Powered by Dell cash grant has been awarded to Deborah Esquenazi for her feature documentary, “Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four,” which has already received support from the Sundance Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures and had a presence at SxSW. The film profiles the persecution and abuse of four Latina lesbian women, wrongfully convicted of a crime.

The AFS Grant is a continuation of Dell’s ongoing support for the independent filmmakers at Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Napa Valley Film Festival and many more. We look forward to empowering this community of talented artists and filmmakers in Austin, and providing them with the great technology of Dell Precision Workstations. Stay tuned for more about the recipients and their projects.

And to learn more about how creative projects come to life with the help of the Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation and Adobe Premier Pro, watch this video:

Image Credits: Dell (top) and Ben and Bo Powell (middle)

About the Author: Rahul Tikoo

Rahul Tikoo is the Senior Vice President for Client Product Business Unit. He is responsible for portfolio strategy, product management and overall business performance for all of Dell’s Commercial and Consumer PCs. In this role, he leads a team that is passionate about building the best products in the world and running the operational processes that ensure that Dell can continue to innovate, develop, and manage a product portfolio that delights customers. Rahul joined Dell in January 2013 to lead Precision Engineering and Architecture teams, bringing several industry leading & award-winning workstation products to market. After that he became Vice President and General Manager for Precision Workstations in the Product Group, delivering high performance computing solutions to creative professionals across a variety of industries. Rahul then led the Mobility team which included business strategy, product planning and marketing of Latitude and Education mobility notebooks. Before joining Dell, Rahul held a variety of leadership roles at Advanced Micro Devices Inc., a leading semiconductor company, leading Server Platform Development, Global Customer Support & Corporate Quality among many others. Rahul holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University and is currently based out of Austin, Texas.