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$300,000 Awarded to Nine Narrative Feature Projects in All Stages of Production
4/25/2014
The San Francisco Film Society (SFFS), in partnership with the Kenneth Rainin Foundation (KRF), announced today the projects that will receive a total of $300,000 in funding in the latest round of SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grants. Nine filmmaking teams were granted funding to help with their next stage of production, from screenwriting to postproduction. The Film Society’s flagship SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grants are awarded twice annually to filmmakers for narrative feature films that will have significant economic or professional impact on the Bay Area filmmaking community. More than $2.5 million has been awarded since the launch of the Film Society’s grant program in 2009. For more information visit sffs.org/filmmaker360.

The SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grant program has funded a total of 46 projects since its inception, including such success stories as Kat Candler’s Hellion and Ira Sachs’ Love is Strange, both of which premiered to strong reviews at Sundance 2014; Short Term 12, Destin Cretton’s sophomore feature which won both the Narrative Grand Jury Award and Audience Award at South by Southwest 2013; Ryan Coogler’s debut feature Fruitvale Station, which won the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature, the Un Certain Regard Avenir Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award in the narrative category at Sundance 2013; and Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin’s debut phenomenon which won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize and Cannes’ Camera d’Or in 2012 and earned four Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture).

The panelists who reviewed the finalists’ submissions are Mark Ankner, film finance agent at William Morris Endeavor; SFFS Executive Director Noah Cowan; Julie Parker Benello, cofounder of Gamechanger Films; Jennifer Rainin, president of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation; and Michele Turnure-Salleo, director of Filmmaker360.
 
“The breadth of the storytelling featured in these projects is remarkable, as is the diversity of environments in which these amazing character-driven stories take place,” the jury noted in a statement. “We are excited to strengthen the Film Society’s community across the globe, and at the same time, fortify the relationships with the filmmakers with whom SFFS has collaborated previously through past grants or its Artist in Residence and Off the Page programs.”

“The visionary relationship between San Francisco Film Society and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, led by Michele Turnure-Salleo and Jennifer Rainin, has once again made possible the support of films that will be among the most important produced anywhere in the world in the coming years,” said SFFS Executive Director Noah Cowan. “I am enormously proud to have joined an organization doing so much for filmmakers and films that matter.”

SPRING 2014 SFFS / KRF FILMMAKING GRANT WINNERS

Ad Inexplorata – Mark Elijah Rosenberg, writer/director; Jason Berman, P. Jennifer Dana, Thomas B. Fore, Matt Parker, Josh Penn and Mark Roberts, producers – $50,000 for postproduction
Captain Stanaforth is a NASA pilot alone on a one-way mission toward the unknown.

Black Metal – Kat Candler, writer/director – $17,000 for screenwriting
After a career spent mining his music from the shadows, the lead singer of a metal band and his family experience a chain reaction of turmoil following the murderous actions of a teenage fan. For more information visit candlerproductions.com.

Clash – Mohamed Diab, writer/director – $35,000 for screenwriting
In the wake of the recent removal of the former Egyptian president from office, Hayman—a jaded, claustrophobic revolutionary—is stuck in an overcrowded truck with clashing brotherhood and military supporters. Engulfed in hatred and violence, he must learn to connect with his love for Egypt in order to survive.

Five Nights in Maine – Maris Curran, writer/director/producer; Carly Hugo and Matt Parker, producers – $60,000 for production
A young African American man, reeling from the tragic loss of his wife, travels to rural Maine to seek answers from his estranged mother-in-law, who is herself confronting guilt and grief over her daughter’s death.

The Fixer – Ian Olds, cowriter/director; Paul Felten, cowriter; Caroline von Kuhn and Lily Whitsitt, producers – $18,000 for preproduction
An Afghan journalist is exiled from his war-torn country to a small bohemian community in Northern California. When he attempts to turn his menial job on the local police blotter into "Afghan-style" coverage of local crime, he gets drawn into the underworld of this small town—a shadow Northern California where sex is casual, true friendship is hard to come by, and an unfamiliar form of violence bubbles up all around him. For more information visit fixerthefilm.com.

Oscillate Wildly – Travis Matthews, cowriter/director; Keith Wilson, cowriter/producer – $25,000 for packaging
When his disability check arrives much reduced, a hot-headed young gay man with cerebral palsy is forced to confront the disability he has let define his whole being. For more information visit travisdmathews.com.

Our Lady of the Snow – Tom Gilroy, writer/director – $35,000 for screenwriting
When the Bishop decides to sell a gothic convent isolated in the snowy woods, the elderly nuns living there begin to have ecstatic visions, which he dismisses as faked. But as the visions spread to the convent’s teenaged atheist cook, inexplicable supernatural events follow, with no one sure of their cause.

Patti Cake$ – Geremy Jasper, writer/director/composer; Dan Janvey, producer – $25,000 for packaging
Patricia Baccio, aka Patti Cake$, is a big girl with a big mouth and big dreams of rap superstardom. Stuck in Lodi, New Jersey, Patti battles an army of haters as she strives to break the mold and take over the rap game. For more information visit welcometolegs.com.

Snow the Jones – Alistair Banks Griffin, writer/director/producer; Jeremy Kipp Walker and Kevin Turen, producers – $35,000 for production
When teenage vagabond Lexi joins a traveling door-to-door sales crew, she discovers a world much darker than the one from which she was trying to escape. For more information visit twogatesofsleep.com.

SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grants are made possible by the vision and generosity of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. In addition to the cash grant, recipients will receive various benefits through Filmmaker360, the San Francisco Film Society’s comprehensive and dynamic filmmaker services program. These benefits, customized to every individual production, can include one-on-one project consultations and project feedback, additional fundraising assistance, resource and service recommendations, and networking opportunities, among many others. For more information visit sffs.org/Filmmaker360/Grants.

San Francisco Film Society
Building on a legacy of more than 50 years of bringing the best in world cinema to the Bay Area, the San Francisco Film Society is a national leader in exhibition, education and filmmaker services. SFFS is headed by Executive Director Noah Cowan, with programmatic leadership by Director of Programming Rachel Rosen, Director of Education Joanne Parsont and Director of Filmmaker360 Michele Turnure-Salleo.
 
The Film Society presents more than 100 days of exhibition each year, reaching a total audience of more than 100,000 people. Its acclaimed education program introduces international, independent and documentary cinema and media literacy to more than 10,000 teachers and students. Through Filmmaker360, the Film Society’s filmmaker services program, essential creative and business services, and funding totaling millions of dollars are provided to deserving filmmakers at all stages of their careers.
 
The Film Society seeks to elevate all aspects of film culture, offering a wide range of activities that engage emotions, inspire action, change perceptions and advance knowledge. A 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, it is largely donor and member supported. Membership provides access to discounts, grants and residencies, private events and a wealth of other benefits.
 
For more information visit sffs.org.

Kenneth Rainin Foundation is a private family foundation that is dedicated to enhancing quality of life by promoting equitable access to a baseline of literacy, championing and sustaining the arts, and supporting research that will lead to relief for those with chronic disease. The Foundation focuses its efforts on the San Francisco Bay Area and specific medical issues. It utilizes its networks, resources, and commitment to socially responsible practices to support innovation, collaboration and connection in the service of inspiring world-changing work. For more information visit krfoundation.org.

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