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SF Film Society Introduces New Fellowship for Female Filmmakers

SF Film Society Introduces New Fellowship for Female Filmmakers

If you’re a regular reader of Women and Hollywood’s interviews, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed that a significant number of female filmmakers have shared that securing funding for their second projects proved challenging, even if their first films were financial and critical successes. Fortunately, the San Francisco Film Society is stepping in to help remedy the problem by launching the SFFS Women Filmmaker Fellowship, which will offer a number of services — including funds, programs and events, and mentorship services — to offer support to female writers/directors working on their second or third narrative feature. 

Thompson on Hollywood reports: “Backed by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and facilitated by SFFS’ Filmmaker360, this fellowship will provide direct assistance to an underserved group of storytellers and help build sustainable careers for women filmmakers everywhere. Also, the fellowship will give priority to projects in the under-represented genres of sci-fi, comedy, action, thriller, and horror.”

“This is about supporting our most important emerging female filmmakers in telling the stories that they want to tell, on their terms,” explains Jennifer Rainin, CEO of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. “With this initiative, we’re working to reduce financial barriers, break down stereotypes, and build connections to increase opportunities for talented women and help their careers thrive. I am proud to contribute to the global effort to level the playing field and support strong female voices in the independent narrative feature sphere, and by providing the seed funding for this new SFFS initiative, we hope to create greater balance in the years to come.”

If you’re hoping to apply and are wondering if you’re eligible: You must be working on your second or third English-language narrative feature with a budget of $3 million or lower. Also, you must have had a previous film premiere at a major international festival. 

The press release from the SFFS reveals that the “first Women Filmmaker Fellows, to be handpicked by Filmmaker360 staff, will be announced in April. An application period for subsequent Fellowships will open in winter 2016.”

Program support includes:

–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. 

–Weekly one-on-one consultation services provided by Filmmaker360 staff, with feedback on screenplays, verbal pitch strategies and written materials such as synopsis and treatment. 

–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 established industry professionals. 

[via Thompson on Hollywood]

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