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“I didn’t decide to be an artist, I was.”

— Jacob Kainen

Jacob Kainen Film Project

Jacob Kainen was one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, not only as an accomplished and lauded painter and printmaker, but as an academic and important curator. Often forsaking his own career to mentor and teach dozens of artists who saw major successes, it is now time to showcase Jacob’s extraordinary life and art to a wider audience and a new generation.

A short documentary film is currently in production, and will be released in November 2024. Spearheaded by the Jacob Kainen Art Trust, in association with Hemphill Artworks, and curators Jonathan F. Walz (The Columbus Museum) and Seth Feman (Frist Art Museum), the film is being produced by Jon Gann at Reel Plan, and directed by award-winning documentarian Mark Covino.

While the seed funds for the film have been raised, more money is needed to see the film through. Obtaining rights to use images, video, and part of the Smithsonian’s archives is an expensive endeavor. The production plans on filming experts, art historians, friends, family, and some of the artists Jacob mentored. With every dollar raised, we are able to film more people. All of the raw footage will be archived with the Trust for future researchers and historians.

Please consider an IRS-approved tax-deductible donation to the project through our fiscal sponsor Women in Film & Video. For your generosity, you may choose to receive the following benefits:

  • $50 – Supporter
    • Social media “thank you” post
  • $100 — Early Watch
    • Social media “thank you” post
    • Listing in film’s end credits
    • Watch online before release
  • $375 – Chat with Mark
    • All of lower-level benefits, plus…
    • Online group discussion with the film’s director
    • Access to rough cut clips
  • $750 — Curatorial Tour
    • All of lower-level benefits, plus…
    • Private tour of Jacob’s art studio in Kensington, Maryland
  • $1,500 — Associate Producer
    • All of lower-level benefits, plus…
    • IMDB credit as AP credited in film
    • Digital copy of film
  • $3,000 — Executive Producer
    • All of lower-level benefits, plus…
    • One signed late-period Kainen print (title/series TBD)
    • IMDB credit as EP credited in film
    • Name mentioned in all press materials

To make a tax-deductible donation through Women in Film & Video, simply click the button below. Or if you prefer to make a donation directly to the Jacob Kainen Art Trust, please send an email to Teresa Grana at


Mark Christopher Covino

Mark Christopher Covino is a director, producer and editor. His first feature film, “A Band Called Death,” won the Audience Award at SXSW in 2013 and was released theatrically to rave reviews around the world. It has a 94% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. His second film, the award-winning documentary, “The Crest,” was released by Gravitas Ventures in 2019. Mark also produced the Sci-Fi Adventure film, “Axcellerator (2020),” starring Sean Young (“Blade Runner”), Sam Jones (“Flash Gordon”) and Maxwell Caulfield (“Empire Records”).

Jon Gann

Jon Gann is a film producer and director, creating award-winning commercial, documentary and narrative films since 2000. His most recent award-winning productions include the feature documentary “Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection,” exploring the singer’s career and struggle with an eating disorder through her friends and never-heard recordings, and the short documentary, “Miss Alma Thomas: A Life in Color,” detailing the incredible life of the DC-based African-American abstractionist painter.