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SFFS Documentary Film Fund launches with annual 300.000$ grants

 

The San Francisco Film Society today announced the new SFFS Documentary Film Fund, which over the next three years will disburse a series of annual grants totaling $300,000 to support feature-length documentaries in postproduction. Expected to grow in the coming years as further underwriting is secured, the Fund is inaugurated thanks to a generous gift from valued Film Society patrons Sharon and Larry Malcolmson. The first grant cycle application period opens June 17; the first winners will be announced September 30.

 

The SFFS Documentary Film Fund is created to support singular nonfiction film work that is distinguished by compelling stories, intriguing characters and an innovative visual approach. Each year from 2011 to 2013, a total of $100,000 will be disbursed to further new work by documentary filmmakers nationwide.

 

Together with the Film Society's other suite of grants -- notably the $3 million SFFS/Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaking Grant -- this exemplary initiative for documentary film reaffirms the Film Society's position as a national leader in support of independent documentary and narrative cinematic work. In 2011, the Film Society will disburse grants and prizes totaling nearly $900,000. In 2012, this number will rise to at least $1,125,000.

 

"We are inspired by the world-changing potential of documentary work," said Sharon Malcolmson. "Larry and I are thrilled to partner with the San Francisco Film Society to fund filmmakers who are telling powerful stories in inventive ways."

 

"The Film Society is profoundly proud and grateful to establish its new Documentary Film Fund thanks to the enlightened patronage of Sharon and Larry Malcolmson, and we hope to add to their extraordinary gift in the coming years," said Graham Leggat, SFFS executive director. "In the meantime we are looking forward, with the opening of the first grant cycle in June, to having an immediate impact on documentary film culture nationwide."

 

DFF grants will be awarded in the fall of each year. Exact amounts of individual grants and the number of grants made will be determined on an annual basis. As with all Film Society grants, in addition to the cash awards, recipients will receive various benefits through the Film Society's comprehensive and dynamic filmmaker services programs, headed by staff member Michele Turnure-Salleo.

 

These benefits include consultation on production, exhibition, distribution and marketing strategies; networking opportunities; access to SFFS Fiscal Sponsorship, including full materials and budget reviews; feature articles on SF360.org, the Film Society's daily online magazine; and work-in-progress screenings and discussion at SFFS Film Arts Forums.

 

The SFFS Documentary Film Fund is the newest initiative of the Film Society's Filmmaker Services. This production assistance program is designed to foster the creativity and further the careers of independent filmmakers nationwide. It includes project development consultation, membership discounts and benefits, fiscal sponsorship, grants, residencies and information resources.

 

Other annual Film Society cash grants and prizes include the SFFS/Hearst Screenwriting Grant, SFFS/Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaking Grant and the annual Golden Gate Awards, presented each year at the San Francisco International Film Festival to international and Bay Area filmmakers of documentary features and animated, narrative, documentary, experimental and youth-produced short films.

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