SFFS Announces Finalists for Spring 2014 Filmmaking Grants

By @BJ_Boo
SFFS Announces Finalists for Spring 2014 Filmmaking Grants

The San Francisco Film Society (SFFS) and Kenneth Rainin Foundation (KRF) have selected 15 finalists for the latest round of SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grants; more than $300,000 will be awarded to one or more narrative feature film projects at any stage of production. SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grants are awarded twice annually to narrative films that will have significant economic or professional impact on the Bay Area filmmaking community. More than $2 million has been awarded since the launch of the Film Society’s flagship grant program in 2009. Winners of the spring 2014 SFFS / KRF Grants will be announced in late April.

Previous grant winners include Destin Cretton’s Short Term 12, Bay Area native Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station (which just took home the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature), and Benh Zeitlin’s breakout Beasts of the Southern Wild.

“This is always an exciting time of year, when we get an early look at so many impressive projects at every stage of production,” said Michele Turnure-Salleo, director of Filmmaker360. “The talent on display here is inspiring, and it’s great to see so many new faces in the mix among the filmmakers we’ve worked with before. I’m particularly struck by the breadth of range in the subjects of these finalist projects, and it is immensely satisfying to see the increasingly international reach of our flagship grant program.”

SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grants are made possible by the vision and generosity of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. In addition to the cash grant, recipients will receive various benefits through Filmmaker360, the San Francisco Film Society’s comprehensive and dynamic filmmaker services program. These benefits, customized to every individual production, can include one-on-one project consultations and project feedback, additional fundraising assistance, resource and service recommendations, and networking opportunities, among many others


Ad Inexplorata
Mark Elijah Rosenberg, director; Josh Penn, producer — postproduction
Captain Stanaforth is a NASA pilot alone on a one-way mission toward the unknown.

Afronauts (Pictured at top)
Frances Bodomo, writer/director — screenwriting
In March 1965, the U.S. and the USSR rush to get the first man on the moon. Thousands of miles away, the Zambia Space Academy hopes to enter the race with their “spacegirl” Matha Mwamba. Based on true events.

Terrie Samundra, writer/director; Xandra Castleton, producer — packaging
With the release of the first home video camcorder, a teenage Sikh boy and a squatter punk girl become unlikely friends and filmmaking collaborators. It’s complicated, but so is London, which is at the brink of race riots and a punk youth uprising in the summer of 1976.

Black Metal
Kat Candler, writer/director — 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.

Jessica dela Merced, writer/director — screenwriting
In struggling Detroit, a lonely middle-school girl befriends a daring group of boys who adventure through the ruins of the once majestic city. With their help, she devises a plan to track down and capture the arsonists responsible for a recent string of fires, including the one that claimed the life of her father.

Mohamed Diab, writer/director — screenwriting
In the wake of the recent Egyptian military coup, 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 reconcile his love for Egypt in order to survive.

Five Nights in Maine
Maris Curran, writer/director/producer; Carly Hugo, producer — 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 — 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 burbles up all around him.

Clay Jeter, writer/director; Jason Berman, producer — production
One of the last survivors on a post-cataclysmic Earth, the idealistic daughter of a famous scientist races to find a cure for her poisoned world before the final Exodus shuttle abandons the planet forever.

Mobile Homes
Vladimir de Fontenay, cowriter/director; Danielle Lessovitz, cowriter — screenwriting
A young runaway must decide between defending the life she knows with the man she loves and protecting her young son from them both.

Oscillate Wildly
Travis Matthews, cowriter/director; Keith Wilson, cowriter/producer — 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.

The Other Kids
Chris Brown, director/producer — postproduction
The Other Kids takes a raw, intimate look into the struggles of six small-town teenagers as they push through their final days of high school.

Our Lady of the Snow
Tom Gilroy, writer/director — 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 — 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.

Snow the Jones
Alistair Banks Griffin, writer/director/producer — 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.

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