Six projects have been awarded a total of $300,000 from The San Francisco Film Society and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaking Grants. The twice-annual grants are given to narrative feature projects with social justice themes that will have a significant professional or economic impact on the Bay Area's local community of filmmakers. Grants given between 2009 and 2013 will total $2.5 million. (Two-time grantwinner "Beasts of the Southern Wild" from director Behn Zeitlin, is pictured above; the film was a big winner at Sundance and is heading to Cannes.)
The six projects were chosen by a panel of Blye Faust, producer; Finn Taylor, writer/director; Jennifer Rainin, president, Kenneth Rainin Foundation; Margi English, SFFS director of development; and Michele Turnure-Salleo, SFFS director of Filmmaker360 (from which the winners will also receive support). Recipients of the Spring 2012 SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grants are listed below:
"Fruitvale," $100,000 for production
Fruitvale is the true story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family and strangers on the last day of 2008.
"Untitled Sara Jane Moore Project," $33,000 for development
A fascinating look into the mind and actions of Sara Jane Moore, a former socialite and suburban mother turned San Francisco radical. Drawn into the city's social upheaval of the early 1970s, Moore became a double agent, working for both the government and several leftist revolutionary groups, until she was publicly exposed as an FBI informant. Suddenly outcast, isolated and fearing for her life, Moore attempted the ultimate act of revenge and self-preservation.
Lance Edmands, Kyle Martin
"Bluebird," $44,000 for postproduction
In the frozen woods of an isolated Maine logging town, one woman's tragic mistake shatters the balance of the community, resulting in profound and unexpected consequences. Told through fragmented and intersecting story lines, Bluebird examines the struggles of regret and redemption at the frontier of modern America.
Carlton Evans, Matthew Lessner
"Ross," $40,000 for development
A hardworking young man's staid, well-established life is upended after he posts an offhand comment to his Facebook profile, drawing the attention of numerous secretive government agencies and setting off a bizarre chain of events.
Mohammad Gorjestani, Malcolm Pullinger
"Somehow These Days Will Be Missed," $33,000 for screenwriting
After years of being denied permission, the Etemadi family has finally been granted their visas to leave Iran. Mehdi, his wife Mina and their two kids are excited to start a new life in bustling Silicon Valley. But when they arrive, life is far from what they imagined. With their money quickly running out, Mehdi reluctantly turns to the dark world of illicit drugs, which ultimately proves to be his greatest awakening. For more information visit mkshftcllc.tv.
Ray Tintori, Josh Penn
"Untitled Cabal Project," $50,000 for screenwriting
Young revolutionaries in love take on the world and each other in a kaleidoscopically complicated universe that's coming apart at the seams. For more information visit court13.com/films/ray-tintori.