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San Francisco Film Society and Kenneth Rainin Foundation Announce 14 Finalists for Filmmaking Grants

San Francisco Film Society and Kenneth Rainin Foundation Announce 14 Finalists for Filmmaking Grants

The San Francisco Film Society and Kenneth Rainin Foundation have selected 14 finalists for the latest round of SFFS/Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaking Grants.More than $300,000 will be awarded to one or more narrative feature films at any stage of production. List of finalists below.

The SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grants are awarded twice annually.Winners of the fall 2013 Grant will be announced in late October.

Previous Grant-winning feature films include Destin Cretton’s currently released “Short Term 12” (Cretton has another film in this round of finalists), Ryan Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station” and Benh Zeitlin’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

Note: at the request of the filmmakers, one finalist project has been omitted from this announcement.


Doctor — Musa Syeed, director/producer/writer; Nicholas
Bruckman, coproducer — screenwriting

Salim, a disgraced young doctor from India, will do anything
to rebuild his former life. But when he starts practicing medicine illegally in
New York, he’s drawn into a medical underworld where he risks losing
everything. For more information visit


Escape from Morgantown — Peter Nicks, writer/director —

A young addict arrives at a federal prison camp with a plan
to turn his life around, but is drawn into the intoxicating world of a crew of
seasoned inmates.


The Fixer — Ian Olds, writer/director; Caroline von Kuhn,
producer — packaging

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 backwoods 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 burbles up all around him.


G.E.Z.I. — Aslihan Unaldi, writer/director — postproduction

This political and psychological drama is a fictionalized
account of the dramatic night when a peaceful demonstration in Istanbul’s Gezi
Park turned into a major national uprising. The story follows three main
characters: a strong, liberal woman, her idealistic boyfriend and her
apolitical ex-lover. As intricate layers of past secrets are revealed, deeper
insight is gained into their characters and situation, which is closely
intertwined with the political events accelerating around them.


Hellion — Kat Candler, writer/director; Jonathan Duffy and
Kelly Williams, producers — postproduction

When his delinquent behavior forces his little brother to be
taken away, a motocross-obsessed teenager and his emotionally absent father
must take responsibility for their destructive behavior to bring him home.


Kicks — Justin Tipping, writer/director; Joshua Astrachan,
David Kaplan and Adele Romanski, producers — preproduction

Fifteen-year-old Brandon, from a rough part of Richmond,
California, has always been picked on. He has survived by running away from
trouble all his life. But after getting jumped over a new pair of kicks,
Brandon recruits his two best friends to join him on a mission to get his shoes
back. The odyssey they embark on is at once the night of their lives and a
gamble with life-and-death stakes.


Little Accidents — Sara Colangelo writer/director; Jason
Michael Berman, Anne Carey, Thomas B. Fore and Summer Shelton, producers —

In a small American coal town, the disappearance of a boy
draws a young miner, the lonely wife of a mine executive and a local
14-year-old together in a web of secrets.

Los Valientes / The Brave Ones — Aurora Guerrero,
writer/director; Chad Burris, producer — packaging

Felix Lopez is gay, undocumented and living in San Francisco
until his family obligations move him across the country to a small
Pennsylvania mining town to join his undocumented sister. Once there, alienated
by local and family politics, Felix finds unexpected solace in the company of
one person: his sister’s husband.


Love Land — Joshua Tate, writer/director/producer; Andrew
Richey, producer — postproduction

Love Land follows Ivy, a young woman with a severe traumatic
brain injury, as she faces her refusal to be identified as a person with an
intellectual disability. When she is placed in an institution for being a
danger to herself and others, Ivy will stop at nothing to prove to the
world—and to herself—that she is “normal” enough to transcend the
label of “special.”


Ma — Destin Cretton, writer/director — screenwriting

After being a mom for 30 years, Jan is forced to deal with
the fact that her youngest son has finally left the nest. On a road-trip down
the Oregon Coast, she begins to learn what it means to live life after motherhood.


Manos Sucias — Josef Wladyka, writer/director; Elena
Greenlee and Márcia Nunes, producers — postproduction

A desperate fisherman and a naive young man embark on a
dangerous journey trafficking drugs up the Pacific coast of Colombia. Hidden
beneath the waves, they tow a narco-torpedo filled with millions of dollars
worth of cocaine. Together they must brave the war-torn region while navigating
the growing tension between them.


Start at the End — Jonah Markowitz, writer/director —

Start at The End is a character-driven drama that explores
the similarities between the family we are born into and the one that we
create. The story begins with a tragic accident that results in a gay couple
becoming caretakers of their teenaged niece and nephew. As grief catapults all
four onto seemingly individual paths of despair and discovery, the inherent
bond of family contains these journeys into one that is shared. For more
information visit


Terrible Love — Christopher Thomas, writer/director; Luke
Helmer, producer — postproduction

When her wounded husband returns home from Iraq with violent
PTSD, a devoted wife must choose between her daughter’s safety and the
preservation of her marriage. For more information visit

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