Attention Bay Area Filmmakers: The Fleishhacker Foundation Wants To Fund Your Project

If there's one promising outcome of the Silicon Valley goldrush, it's that it seems to be coinciding with a Bay Area filmmaking golden age.

The area is replete with festivals and foundations with money to burn, with the Berkeley FILM Foundation and the SF Film Sociey leading the charge. But as always, there are other, albeit smaller, foundations operating in their shadows. One is the Fleishhacker Foundation.

The San Francisco-based foundation, founded in in 1947 by Mortimer Fleishhacker, a banker and businessman active in many nonprofit and educational institutions in the San Francisco Bay Area, primarily focuses on arts and education. Today, the third and fourth generations of descendants of the founder, Mortimer Fleishhacker, Sr., are the principal trustees, and their financial corpus is approximately $18 million.

The majority of the foundation's arts grantmaking takes place through its Small Arts Grants program. Organizations residing and offering programming in the greater San Francisco Bay Area with annual budgets between $100,000 and $750,000 are eligible.

Grants between $1,000 and $10,000 are made to support a range of artistic efforts within the disciplines of dance, film and media arts, interdisciplinary arts, music, theater, and visual arts. Organizations may not apply more than once a year. Deadlines for grant proposals are January 15 for spring decisions, and July 15 for fall decisions.

Then there's the foundation's grants for filmmakers. While the foundation awards these grants under its Small Arts Grants umbrella, additional details apply. For example:

  • Applications are only accepted for the post-production phase of the project (i.e. a full rough cut is complete and a sample of the current work is available).
  • Filmmakers should have raised and spent at least 50% of their project budget before applying.
  • Filmmakers are funded at any point in their careers, but grants are not awarded to film students. Only residents from San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Sonoma, San Mateo, and Santa Clara are considered.
  • Most grants are in the range of $2,000 to $5,000.
  • The annual budget requirement for Small Arts Grant organizational applicants (between $100,000 and $750,000) does not apply to filmmakers' fiscal sponsors.

To apply for the foundation's Small Arts Grants, click here. And to stay constantly abreast of the Bay Area's seemingly unending philanthropic gravy train, bookmark our Bay Area-specific vertical here.