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Emerging Producers Take Note: the San Francisco Film Society Wants to Help You

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 21, 2014 at 7:19PM

The San Francisco Film Society is launching a new suite of filmmaker support services designed to support and assist talented emerging producers. The SFFS Producers Initiative will assist indie producers currently working on narrative feature projects via financial support, programs, mentorship, industry connections and access to a growing network of fellow filmmakers.
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San Francisco Film Society

The San Francisco Film Society is launching a new suite of filmmaker support services designed to support and assist talented emerging producers.

The SFFS Producers Initiative will assist indie producers currently working on narrative feature projects via financial support, programs, mentorship, industry connections and access to a growing network of fellow filmmakers. The initiative is designed to grow organically over the years, backed by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. There's two ways to get support: the SFFS / KRF Producer Fellowship and the SFFS / KRF Producer Travel Fund, which will be available starting in September. 

The first round of SFFS / KRF Producer Fellowships will take place September 1, 2014–March 1, 2015 and the Film Society has selected three U.S.-based independent producers as its inaugural Producer Fellows. SFFS / KRF Producer Fellows will receive:

A $25,000–$40,000 cash grant, which must be used for living expenses. Individual amounts depend on place of residence and estimated travel costs to participate in Bay Area fellowship components.

Placement in FilmHouse Residency program and access to all FilmHouse programs and activities.
One-on-one consultation with film industry experts from the Bay Area and beyond regarding casting, 
financing, budgeting, legal issues, distribution and other relevant topics. 
Presentations and networking opportunities with Bay Area narrative filmmakers. 
Expenses covered for one 3-day networking trip with a Filmmaker360 staff member from San Francisco to Los Angeles, for meetings with with established industry professionals. 

Expenses covered for one 5-day networking trip with Filmmaker360 staff to Sundance Film Festival, for meetings with established industry professionals. 

Bay Area filmmaker Jonathan Duffy most recently produced Kat Candler’s 2014 Sundance Film Festival selection "Hellion" starring Aaron Paul and Juliette Lewis. A recipient of a SFFS / Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaking Grant, Duffy also produced Sundance 2013 award-winner "Pit Stop" with writer/director Yen Tan. In 2013, Duffy participated in the A2E Direct Distribution Lab hosted by SFFS at the San Francisco International Film Festival. 

Márcia Nunes has finished producing her first feature, "Manos Sucias," winner of the Best New Narrative Director and second place Audience Award at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, which was financed by two SFFS / Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaking Grants. She was Associate Producer on "Reaching for the Moon," directed by Bruno Barreto and starring Miranda Otto, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2013; and was Production Coordinator for the Oscar-nominated documentary "Restrepo." She currently manages Google’s Video on Demand store for Latin America.

Laura Wagner, founder of Bay Bridge Productions, produced 2014 release "It Felt Like Love," which screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and International Film Festival Rotterdam. Wagner also produced "Memorial Day" by Josh Fox; she was Associate Producer of the PBS documentary "John Leguizamo: Tales from a Ghetto Klown"; and she was Associate Producer of IMAX film "Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey." Wagner currently has a residency with the San Francisco Film Society’s FilmHouse program and is a member of New York Women in Film and TV and Bay Area Women in Film and Media. 

The second round of SFFS Producer Fellowships, running from fall 2015 to spring 2016, will be open to apply for independent producers worldwide. 

The SFFS / KRF Producer Travel Fund provides small cash grants to independent producers to help them to travel to global film fests screening their SFFS-supported projects. Open exclusively to past winners of SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grants, the Producer Travel Fund will allow producers to travel on the international festival circuit along with their writer-directors.

The SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grant is accepting applications for the Fall 2014 round of awards. More than $300,000 will be given to Bay Area narrative feature projects in any stage of production. The final deadline for applications is August 4; more application information here.

This article is related to: San Francisco Film Society, Filmmaker Toolkit


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.