Past Recipients Student Testimonials  

Jerry Chan was born in San Francisco and raised in Sacramento, California. On the weekends, he and his parents would travel back to the Bay Area to visit relatives. As part of this weekly ritual, they often took in a double-feature at one of the Chinatown theaters. These were some of Jerry's fondest childhood memories, and it was within these movie halls that he first developed his passion for film.

In high school, Jerry directed a video documentary about his experiences volunteering at a day care center for disadvantaged children. The documentary garnered the attention of one of his teachers and led to a job directing a short video for the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento's SUCCEED (Sacramento Urban Catholic Children Equal Education Development) program to help raise funds for inner city schools. Jerry was drawn to the medium's ability to entertain, inform, and impact emotion through story. He knew from that moment on that he wanted to pursue filmmaking professionally, but he also knew he had to first ground himself in a solid education. During his senior year, he applied and was accepted to Princeton University.

Princeton did not offer a program in film, so Jerry majored in computer science, taking courses in film theory whenever the opportunity presented itself Another opportunity arose during Jerry's sophomore year when Academy Award-winning documentarian and IMAX film director Ben Shedd offered a class on visual design for large-format computer displays. The course applied a filmmaker's sensibility and craft to a new creative canvas: an 8'x12' computer display, the world's largest computer display at the time. Jerry continued his unconventional education in film via computer science under the mentorship of Ben Shedd for three years. In 1999, Jerry won a scholarship to attend the Giant Screen Theater Association's annual conference, where he had the opportunity to meet and converse with the top giant screen filmmakers in the industry.

Upon graduation, Jerry enrolled at USC's School of Cinema-Television. While at USC, Jerry has written, shot, edited, and directed numerous short films. He has also served as producer on two thesis films: Infamy and The Tao of Pong. He has been honored with the Harold Lloyd Production Scholarship and the John Frankenheimer Directing Scholarship. Currently, Jerry is in post-production on his thesis film, Fast Money, which received a generous film grant from Kodak and stars Archie Kao (CSI Crime Scene Investigation).

Jerry is honored and humbled by the Caucus Foundation's decision to award him a student production grant. While the old Chinatown movie houses of his childhood have long since closed down, the little boy who wanted to make movies feels proud and blessed to be living his dream.

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