Congratulations to this year’s winners!


About The Big Tell:

The Big Tell is a regional filmmaking program offering grants for the production of 5-minute mini-documentaries that feature stories from California’s great Central Valley.

The Central Valley Community Foundation will award ten grants of $5,000 each for the creation of short films about the amazing people, places, and activities that make the Central Valley so remarkable and unique.

Grants will be used for the production of new, non-fiction mini-documentaries featuring stories of culture, history, innovation, resilience, and pride in the Central Valley.

Last year, over 600 people came our to enjoy our very first showcase at the Historic Warnors Theatre. Below our last year’s winners of The Big Tell Showcase:

Road to Hope

Grantee: Hashim Hassan

59 Days of Code

Grantee: Rebecca Miller

On the Bank of El Canal

Grantees: Martha Yesenia Juarez


Grantee: Haley White

Literacy Empowers

Grantee: Karen Dusek & Rebecca Adams

The Promise

Grantee: Jose Muñoz

Library for London

Grantee: Johnny Soto

The Blessing and the Curse

Grantee: David Kennedy

The Central Valley Community Foundation (CVCF) distributes annual grants combining both donor-restricted legacies and CVCF’s own discretionary funds. Competitive grants provide an opportunity for local agencies to seek funding to support new programming, expand audience outreach, develop new materials and engage the next generation of artists, donors, leaders, and supporters.

Our 2017 Arts and Culture grant cycle focused on storytelling through film, which led us to create The Big Tell: a film contest featuring undiscovered stories from California’s great Central Valley.

Ten grants of $5,000 were awarded to local filmmakers to produce mini documentaries about life in the Central Valley; stories that shine a light on the incredible people and places that make our region so extraordinary. These are authentic, nonfiction mini docs tell stories of triumph, redemption, grit, hardship, inspiration, perseverance, family, friendship, innovation, community, resilience, pride, humor, fear, and/or hope.

We also offered a series of workshops and panel discussions for area filmmakers. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram for photos of The Big Tell Showcase and YouTube to see the 10 amazing mini docs that were showcased.

We are so grateful to Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC) for their partnership on The Big Tell. All local and aspiring filmmakers can become members of CMAC for access to training and tools including production studio, private editing suites, meeting rooms, classroom space, and a computer lab, along with a variety of portable production gear. Please visit to learn more about available resources.