The partnership between The San Francisco Film Society and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation has resulted in films like Beasts of the Southern WildFruitvale Stationand A Fighting Season receiving the funding needed to be completed. If you're working on a film that explores "human and civil rights, antidiscrimination, gender and sexual identity and other social issues of our time," then you should seriously think about applying for the SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grant. For details on eligibility and how to apply, hit the jump.

The San Francisco Film Society has a long track record of supporting "cinematic work that celebrates humanity," while the Kenneth Rainin Foundation supports art that aims to change the world. Their joint effort, The SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grant, has been around since 2009 funding low-budget films that are in different phases of production.

The grant is awarded every spring and fall, and the fall round is now open. We are now nearing the early deadline to enter, so if you're interested in applying, here are the most pertinent eligibility requirements to make sure you and your film qualify:

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant must be in a key creative role for the film: screenwriter, producer or director.
  • Applicant must be an SFFS member at the Filmmaker Pro level or above or must pay the $25 (early deadline) or $45 (late deadline) fee.
  • Applicant must be at least 18 years old.
  • Applicant must be actively engaged in a narrative feature film project in one of the following phases: Screenwriting, Development, Preproduction, Production, Postproduction
  • Film must significantly feature a plot, character, theme or setting that reveals or explores human and civil rights, antidiscrimination, gender issues, sexual identity and other social justice issues of our time.
  • Total Project budget shall be $3 million or under.

For all of the requirements, you can read them here.

How to Apply

A couple of months ago, Oden Roberts, a $100k SFFS/KRF Grant winner, was kind enough to write an NFS guest post on learning the art of grant writing. So, if you're wondering how to put your best foot forward, Roberts maps it out clearly for you.

There are a couple of things you might want to do before you apply. First of all, submission fees are $25 for early entries and $45 for late entries, but the fee is waved if you have a "Filmmaker Pro" membership. Second, it might be wise to prepare your answers for the Letter of Inquiry, which is the first step in applying for the grant.

You can find the Letter of Inquiry online. Here are the types of questions you can expect to see:

  • Logline. In a couple sentences, please describe the crux of your film (75 words or less)
  • Bio (200 words or less)
  • Project synopsis (300 words or less)
  • Describe how your film, through plot, character, theme or setting, explores urgent social justice issue of our time. (150 words or less)
  • How does the film contribute to or uplift the Bay Area filmmaking community? (150 words or less)
  • Please describe your artistic vision and stylistic approach. How will your film look and feel? (150 words or less)
  • How will you measure the success of this project as it relates to audience impact and basic distribution strategy? (150 words or less)
  • Describe the anticipated impact of the requested grant on your short- and long-term professional and artistic goals. (150 words or less)
  • List the names and roles and briefly describe the qualifications of the other key (3 to 5) individuals involved in the project. These individual could include producers, directors of photography, editors, actors, or other key cast and crew. State the date they became attached to the project (300 words or less).

For more information on the application process, go here.

As for the question of the amount of funding films receive, SFFS says:

We do not have a set number of recipients in mind before making the final decision. The quality of the materials we receive will determine how many finalists will end up being funded and how much funding – if any – each receives.

To get an idea of the desired content and varying grant amounts, check out the past winners.

The early deadline to apply is August 7th and the late deadline is August 14. Both deadlines close at 4:59PMPST. 

Are you planning on applying for the SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grant? Have you ever applied/won before? Share your experience in the comments.