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San Francisco Film Society Awards Four Local Residency FIlmmaking Grants

San Francisco Film Society Awards Four Local Residency FIlmmaking Grants

Four new filmmakers are getting some much-needed free production office space via the San Francisco Film Society. FilmHouse Residencies, part of the Film Society’s Filmmaker360 program, which is backed by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, start in February 2014. This innovative program helps narrative features such as “Fruitvale Station” to get made by giving office space for six- or twelve-month residencies to independent filmmakers who are already engaged in film production. 

These four filmmakers join three other teams already in residence. FilmHouse residents also benefit from a series of lectures and presentations from industry pros as well as resident-led workshops and work-in-progress screenings and access to SFFS networking events; and numerous other community-building programs and events. 

The panelists who reviewed submissions were Kenneth Rainin Foundation board member Rivkah Beth Medow; filmmaker Marc Smolowitz; SFFS Corporate Development Manager Amanda Todd; Director of Filmmaker360 Michele Turnure-Salleo; and Trinity West, FilmHouse Coordinator. 

The next application period opens in spring 2014 for the next term of FilmHouse Residencies beginning in in the fall. More info here. 

The four projects are listed below: 

Elena Greenlee — Birds of Paradise, screenwriting, 6-month residency

Elena Greenlee was born and raised in Brooklyn and her influences reflect the diversity of her hometown. Greenlee’s 2010 short Mariachi screened at festivals across the country. Her MFA thesis short Nasceu Maria won a Spike Lee Fellowship Award, Clive Davis Award, Fotokem Award and Fuji Film Award at NYU’s Graduate Film Program, from which she holds an MFA. In 2012 Greenlee became a Film Independent Producing Fellow for her first feature production Manos Sucias, winner of two SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grants, as well as the Canon Camera Award. In 2013 she was awarded a finalist fund from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

About Birds of Paradise: Louise is a talented neuroscientist running from the burn of her first failure to retreat in a jungle “utopia.” Unable to stop her inquiring mind from digging deeper, Louise uncovers a criminal underworld and becomes a catalyst for trouble in paradise.

Liam Hughes — The Lake, development, 6-month residency

Liam Hughes is an actor and filmmaker from San Anselmo, CA. After starting out in Bay Area theatre, he traveled to London to earn an MA in Screen Acting at the Drama Centre, where he also developed a passion for writing and directing. Hughes cowrote and self-produced his directorial debut, Greed, which screened at the Cannes Short Film Corner and the Mill Valley Film Festival. His first feature length script, titled Let Me Go, won a place in the prestigious Writing Drama for Film and TV script lab at the London Screenwriters’ Festival in 2012. 

About The Lake: A precipice. A massive lake a mile below. A choice: Jump. Or die. In a parallel world, a violent young man must confront the demons of his past and embrace his true identity — or face losing his pregnant girlfriend when he wakes up in the real world.

Matthew Riutta — Man Up Above, development, 6-month residency

Matthew Riutta has worked for more than 12 years as a writer, location manager, producer and director in the film and television industries. He was a fellow at the Squaw Valley Screenwriters Workshop in 2006. Riutta has received the California On-Location Award for Location Team Of The Year for his work on Memoirs Of A Geisha, Moneyball, and Fruitvale Station. He has directed the shorts Dress Up (which screened at the Indianapolis LGBT film festival), Kids Club, and I Don’t, and was associate producer on All About Evil, which premiered at the 2010 San Francisco International Film Festival

Man Up Above is about a black gay club promoter who witnesses the suicide of a young gay man. His life starts to unravel — until he meets the victim’s straight father.

Laura Wagner — Plumb Unstoppable, preproduction, 6-month residency

Laura Wagner founded Bay Bridge Productions, which produces independent films, theatre projects, videos and social media strategies for films, artists and theatrical productions. She produced the critically acclaimed feature film It Felt Like Love, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Wagner produced the feature film Memorial Day by Josh Fox (Gasland), which premiered at the CineVegas Film Festival; was Associate Producer of the PBS documentary John Leguizamo: Tales from a Ghetto Klown; and was Associate Producer of Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey, the award-winning and critically acclaimed Imax film that has played in theaters and museums around the globe.

About Plumb Unstoppable: In a small American town obsessed with competitive running, 21-year-old star athlete Plumb Marigold rebels against her parents, coaches, agents and teammates just weeks before the upcoming Olympic Trials.

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