San Francisco Film Society's Grants & Fiscal Sponsorships

The San Francisco Film Society (See San Francisco Film Society: Grants for Film) is the backbone of the longest-running film festival in the Americas, the San Francisco International Film Festival. But they also offer an array of support to individual filmmakers, screenwriters, and producers through their Filmmaker360 program, including help with project development, residencies, and a number of different grants. Their grant program alone has contributed over $1.8 million since 2009 in support of what they consider "innovative and exceptional" filmmaking.

The San Francisco Film Society's grantmaking falls into four categories:

  • SFFS Documentary Film Fund: Post-production support for documentaries distinguished by compelling stories, intriguing characters, and an innovative visual approach." Grants range from $20,000 to $50,000.
  • SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grant: Grant given in partnership with the Kenneth Rainin Foundation in support of "feature narrative films that through plot, character, theme or setting explore human and civil rights, antidiscrimination, gender and sexual identity and other social issues." Grants range from $16,000 to $100,000.
  • SFFS/Hearst Screenwriting Grant: $15,000 grant to a mid-career screenwriter who has been practising at least five years with at least one feature screenplay.
  • Djerassi/SFFS Screenwriting Fellowship: One-month residency for emerging and established screenwriters at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.

In addition to the grants SFFS makes, they also offer a fiscal sponsorship program which allows filmmakers a partnership in order to bypass some of the sticky red tape sometimes associated with fundraising on their own. As fiscal sponsor, all funds pass through SFFS, which they track and keep a record of, ensuring that everything is in compliance with required state and federal laws. They then pass the funds on to the filmmaker minus an administrative fee. This alleviates the burden on filmmakers from going through the process of gaining tax exempt staus for individual projects.

The San Francisco Film Society (See IPs Bay Area Grants Guide)also offers other services like the A2E: Artist to Entrepreneur program to promote entrepreneurial skills in filmmakers, and their Off the Page scriptwriting workshop. You can email SFFS here for more info on their grant programs and contact Athena Kalkopoulou for more info on other project development opportunities.