David Freese, President 
Amy Z. Freese, Vice President 
Amanda Freese DeFazio, Communications Director 
Pasquale DeFazio 
E. Sherman Hayman 
Shannon Kane-Meddock 
Rob Kates 
Allen Tepper 
Renee Tepper

The Derek Freese Film Foundation is pleased to support many outstanding projects. Since 1997, we have been providing funding to budding filmmakers who want to make movies and other talented filmmakers who need assistance to finish their films. Please check out our projects and support our filmmakers as they follow their passion and make their mark. 


We are pleased to work with Temple University's Department of Film and Media Arts on a continuing basis. Each year, two $1,500 prizes are awarded to seniors for exceptional films, and their work is showcased at the Diamond Screen Film Festival. 

Through Temple University's annual Derek Freese Youth Media Film Festival, we support young filmmakers ages 12 to 18 in the Mid-Atlantic region. The festival is an opportunity for them to share their work on the big screen and to compete for awards in various categories. 

The Human Trial, a documentary that follows three scientists in a race to cure Type 1 diabetes – one of the fastest growing diseases of our time – gives you a front-row seat to a potential history-making clinical trial. We feel such a strong connection to this project and hope the documentary and cause gets a lot of support and attention. 

The Submarine Kid, is a feature-length narrative film about a United States Marine who returns home from war to a mundane reality that leads him to a mysterious woman on her own determined journey. Together, they enter into a magical but destructive relationship that ultimately exposes their essential truths.


The Derek Freese Film Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization, was established in 1997 to keep alive the spirit of a young man who dreamed of becoming a filmmaker.

Derek was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, when he was 13-years-old. He lived life to the fullest and passionately pursued his dream of becoming a filmmaker. His outgoing spirit and loyal nature made him an amazing son, brother, and friend.

Derek graduated from the Film and Media Arts Department at Temple University in 1995 and spent the summer working to save money so he could make his Hollywood dream a reality.

After Derek's sudden death at age 22 – just two days after arriving in California – the family quickly realized the impact he made on so many people. Contributions came in for The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, but people wanted to do even more to keep his memory alive. A generous contribution from dear family friends Allen and Renee Tepper kick-started what would become The Derek Freese Film Foundation. 

The Foundation is a way for Derek's parents Amy and David, and his sister Amanda, to honor his memory and bring his spirit to the world of film, something so important to Derek and his family. It would be wonderful to make the mark that Derek intended, through the Derek Freese Documentary Fund and other meaningful projects.



© 2019 Derek Freese Film Foundation 

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