AFS Grants to Support North Texas Filmmakers, EECU Scholarship Recipients

North Texas nonprofits and educational institutions receive financial backing from foundations and businesses to further their work.



Austin Film Society and Oak Cliff Film Festival have announced that the society will administer a new cash grant of $30,000 for filmmakers who live in Dallas-Fort Worth as part of the AFS Grant program. 

The fund was established by the Fort Worth-based film collective Sailor Bear, in association with Tim Headington’s Tango Entertainment, and it will provide three grants of $10,000 for three up-and-coming North Texas filmmakers. 

Sailor Bear is run by filmmakers David Lowery, the director of “A Ghost Story,” “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” and Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon;” Toby Halbrooks, the writer of “Pete’s Dragon,” and “A Ghost Story;” and James M. Johnston,  producer of “A Ghost Story,” “Listen Up Philip,” and “Never Goin’ Back.”

The Oak Cliff Film Festival is a nonprofit film festival that is headquartered at Texas Theatre, the historic film venue in Oak Cliff. 

“I grew up in Dallas and learned how to make movies here.”

David Lowery

“I grew up in Dallas and learned how to make movies here,” Lowery said in a release. “We’ve been very lucky in our careers; now it’s time to give back to the community that supported us, and to make sure a new generation of local filmmakers have the opportunity to develop their craft here in North Texas.” 

Sailor Bear and the Oak Cliff Film Festival also will be supporting the art of film criticism through an additional film critic’s award, which will be given to one aspiring film critic from North Texas, the release said. Details on that will be announced in June at the Oak Cliff Film Festival. 

The North Texas Pioneer Film Grant will become part of the AFS Grant program during the 2018 grant cycle, with grant applications due in early June. Money available to filmmakers in Texas through the AFS Grant for the 2018 cycle will total $135,000. North Texas filmmakers are eligible for funds from the main grant fund, too.

EECU awarded scholarships to eight North Texas high school seniors. Representing EECU were back row left EECU President and CEO Lonnie Nicholson and front row right EECU board member Frank Molinar. Student EECU scholarship winners from left: Alena Williams, Hannah Lei, Bryan Shortt, Sonia Diaz, and Trevor Hall [Photo courtesy of EECU]


EECU Credit Union has announced the awarding of $40,000 in college scholarships to eight graduating high school students in North Texas, continuing a program that began more than 30 years ago.

The scholarships honor former board member Glenn Mandeville, a lifelong educator, EECU said in a release. During that 30-year span, EECU has provided more than $500,000 in scholarships.

The recipients of the $5,000 scholarships are:

  • Kara Derrick, Joshua High School, Joshua, plans to study business
  • Sonia Diaz, Young Women’s Leadership Academy, Fort Worth, planning to study civil engineering
  • Mana Galvan, Trinity Christian Academy, Hudson Oaks, plans to study education
  • Trevor Hall, Oakridge School, Arlington, plans to study biology
  • Hannah Lei, Arlington High School, Arlington, plans to study computer engineering
  • Colton Morrow, Fossil Ridge High School, Fort Worth, plans to study education
  • Bryan Shortt, Richland High School, North Richland Hills, plans to study biology/premedicine
  • Alena Williams, Fossil Ridge High School, Fort Worth, plans to study education


Texas Christian University has received more than $2 million in financial commitments to create a new Center for Real Estate at the campus in Fort Worth.

D CEO reported the center will provide experiential education and networking opportunites for the university’s students. It also will offer executive educaiton and will be the site of presentations from national real estate leaders.

REBusiness Online said the Neeley School of Business at TCU should have the center ready for the spring 2020 semester.


And speaking of TCU, officials of the university recently went to high schools in Arlington, Dallas, DeSoto, and Fort Worth to announce the names of this year’s TCU Community Scholars for the Class of 2022.

The scholarship program focuses on 13 Dallas-Fort Worth inner-city high schools that have predominantly minority enrollments.

NBC 5 reported that 50 students from Dunbar, North Side, O.D. Wyatt, Polytechnic, South Hills, Trimble Tech high schools and YMLA in the Fort Worth ISD; Sam Houston High School in the Arlington ISD; Barack Obama Leadership Academy, Carter, and Lincoln high schools in the Dallas ISD; and DeSoto High School in the DeSoto ISD were all chosen for the program, which was established in 2000 as a way to increase diversity on campus. 

TCU spokeswoman Holly Ellman told NBC 5 that it was the largest class ever for the program.


Per Scholas, a national nonprofit that advocates positive, proven social changes in communites, has been announced as one of nine National Grant Partners for Best Buy this year to help the retailer’s initiative to inspire underserved youth to pursue technology careers.

The nonprofit said it will work with staff at Best Buy Teen Tech Centers in Dallas and Washington D.C. to facilitate a series of engagements for local graduating high school seniors and juniors interested in IT careers.

The project’s goal is to help young adults identify educational and career pathways, while ensuring a strong, sustainable pipeline to Per Scholas’ rigorous, hands-on IT training.

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