Critically acclaimed actress Tanna Frederick, who is a Mason City native and the Founder of Project Cornlight (www.ProjectCornlight.org), adds another accolade to her resume this weekend as she is honored at the inaugural Julien Dubuque International Film Festival (www.JulienFilmFest.com). Frederick will receive the 2012 CineCause Award at the CineCause Gala on Friday, April 20, at the historic Hotel Julien in downtown Dubuque. Presenting the award is CineCause CEO Jon Fitzgerald. CineCause is a filter to quality film programming, connecting news, celebrities and socially relevant films with related causes (www.CineCause.com).
Fitzgerald says, “Tanna is the perfect choice for this year’s Award. She is an amazing actress and writer, making countless contributions to the art of cinema. More importantly, she has proven herself a philanthropic leader, having founded Project Save Our Surf, which has raised tens of thousands of dollars for ocean conservation; then, launching Iowa’s Project Cornlight, which is already poised to bring feature length film projects to Iowa in 2012. The inaugural Julien Dubuque International Film Festival in Iowa is the perfect venue to honor her work.”
Frederick has made a real difference to Iowa. She graduated with Honors from the University of Iowa and also will be honored there in June with the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award – Young Alumni. In addition to being the catalyst for her legacy, Project Cornlight, she is an award-winning actress, director, environmentalist and founder of the Iowa Independent Film Festival in Mason City (www.iowaindie.org).
Frederick’s Project Cornlight’s mission is to expand the film and performing arts industries in Iowa; to foster Iowa filmmakers, actors and writers; to give Iowans the opportunity to work with and learn from Hollywood professionals, and to stimulate the economy and tourism by growing artistically strong and commercially viable feature films from the Heartland. Project Cornlight will develop professional creative arts projects which utilize Iowa resources for locations, talent, crew, screenings, performances and presentations. These actions will create Iowa jobs and stimulate economic activity as Project Cornlight encourages new opportunities for Iowa’s creative workers. Project Cornlight is Co-Directed by Kimberly and John Busbee, two well known Iowa film industry professionals who also are working respectively as Casting Director/ Producer and Locations Manager/Production Supervisor for THE FARM, the first of the Project Cornlight film initiative to help revitalize the film industry in Iowa.
Directed by Ron Vignone (Say I Do, The Back Nine) and written by Frederick’s childhood mentor and friend, Richard Schinnow, THE FARM is about a single mother who returns to her Iowa childhood home when her grandfather becomes ill, and must deal with her abandoned daughter and her past. In addition to Tanna Frederick who will play the leading role of Kathy, THE FARM will have other Hollywood actors with Iowa connections including Tom Bower (Die Hard 2, Crazy Heart, The Killer Inside Me), Joel West (The Smokers, Heroes, CSI: Miami) and Rylie Behr (I Heart Shakey, Nanuq, Impulse), and also will utilize many Iowa-based talent and crew members.