The San Francisco Film Society and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation have unveiled the nine feature film projects that will receive a total of $300,000 in funding from their joint grant program. Several of these burgeoning filmmakers, from Travis Mathews to Ian Olds, already have considerable traction in the indie film scene.
The SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grants, the Film Society's flagship funding initiative, are awarded twice a year to narrative features in all stages of production, with the potential to impact the Bay Area film community.
The program has carried a number of significant films to success, including Ira Sachs' 2014 fest hit "Love Is Strange," last year's critics' darlings "Short Term 12" and "Fruitvale Station," and 2013 Best Picture nominee "Beasts of the Southern Wild." SFFS/KRF previously funded writer/director Kat Candler's SXSW fave "Hellion," and they've now awarded her followup project.
SF Film Society executive director Noah Cowan was among the panelists who chose the top nine submissions. The projects are:
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.
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 Mathews, 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.