The San Francisco International Film Festival, SFFILM, has announced a new development resource for indie filmmakers in the U.S. The SFFILM/Westridge Grants are aimed at indie narrative feature films and will award four to five grants of $20,000 to $25,000 each spring and fall. The first application period is now open through February 2018.

The grant was created to support the screenwriting and development phases of U.S. based films that focus on what the SFFILM describes as “significant social issues and questions of our time.” Winners will be announced in May 2018.

Along with cash grants, recipients will also receive various benefits through SFFILM’s development program, along with support and feedback. Grantees will also get a chance to spend a week in the Bay Area attending a programmed retreat geared towards honing the craft and making connections in the industry.

“We can’t wait to get started finding next year’s breakthrough talent and giving them the help they need to build the proper foundations for their films,” said Caroline von Kuhn, a program director at SFFilm. Past recipients of SFFilm grants include Fruitvale StationBeasts of the Southern WildShort Term 12, and Patti Cake$.

According to the site, this grant is open to filmmakers who meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant must explore current social issues through plot, character, theme, and/or setting.
  • Project must NOT be a documentary.
  • Project must be aligned with the SFFILM mission and represent an imaginative contribution to film.
  • Must not be fully funded and/or have secured distribution.
  • Applicants with projects in the screenwriting phase must be the writer or writer/director on their project. If there is a co-writer, director who is not a writer, or producer attached to the project, they must be the co-applicant(s).
  • Applicants with projects in the development phase must be the producer(s) of the project. The writer or writer/director must be the co-applicant(s).
  • Applicant and co-applicant must become SFFILM members at the Filmmaker Pro level or above prior to SFFILM distributing funds to the project.
  • Applicant must be willing to spend one week in San Francisco attending the SFFILM / Westridge programmed retreat. Round-trip travel and accommodations will be covered.

Email any questions to: [email protected].

Apply for an SFFilm / Westridge Grant here.      

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