The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors and its Foundation held its 23rd Annual Awards Dinner on January 15, 2006 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Among the guests present were student filmmakers from The Caucus Foundation’s Student Grant Program Fall 2004 and Spring 2005. Attending were Samantha Davidson Green, UCLA; Diane Lisa Johnson, USC; Hannah Beth King, Columbia University; Jerry Chan, USC; Sandra Chwialkowska, Yale; Gregers Herring, AFI; Lila Place, Stanford, and Adam Schlachter, AFI. The students were introduced by the Foundation’s Vice President, Bonny Dore.

Chuck Fries, President of The Caucus Foundation, introduced Board member John Berzner of American Video Group who has contributed to the establishment of the Gold Circle Award program for outstanding films. Berzner cited his colleague Fred Goldy who had passed away having been an important mentor to many young producers. Fries also thanked Berzner for his help in re-editing and formatting all the trailers which were shown during the evening.

Fries then presented The Caucus Foundation’s second annual Gold Circle Award for an Outstanding Student Film to Adam Schlachter of the American Film Institute for his student thesis film. “My Backyard Was A Mountain” is the story of Adan, an affectionate little boy who has one day to find a new home for his pet goat, Chivo, before his family relocates to NYC. While searching for a new owner for Chivo, Adan discovers the promise of first love with his childhood friend, Denise, whom he will also have to leave behind.

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