SFFILM Makers offers funding and support to independent filmmakers through several programs that are by invitation only. SFFILM’s Artist Development team hand-picks projects that surface from various other support initiatives; there is no application process for these programs.
SFFILM Invest unites some of the most exciting voices in independent film with the Bay Area philanthropic and film funder community. Through this program, SFFILM offers Invest members connection to slates of exceptional documentary and narrative films with funding needs and year-round programming to enhance members’ understanding about both the creative process and business endeavor of filmmaking. Invest members also gain unique insight into the film distribution process through access, education, and community exposure.
SFFILM Invest builds upon the organization’s rich history of providing financial support to relevant independent films and progressive creative teams. The initiative is dedicated to the long-term sustainability of independent film and serves as a resource throughout the filmmaking journey for content creators.
SFFILM Invest launched in 2018 in partnership with Cinereach, one of the most innovative non-profit film organizations in the country. SFFILM and Cinereach co-curate slates of exceptional documentaries and fiction films that fuse creativity and innovation with social and political relevance aligned to funder tastes and interests. In its pilot year, SFFILM Invest members invested almost $2 million across two slates, and will celebrate in Park City at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival premiere of Feels Good Man, a documentary that received funding as part of the year one slate.
SFFILM Invest is by invitation only.
SFFILM Dolby Fellowship
The SFFILM Dolby Fellowship supports narrative feature films from development through post-production, under a partnership between SFFILM and the Dolby Institute.
This fellowship provides an exciting opportunity rarely afforded to independent filmmakers—to thoughtfully elevate and deepen the role of sound and image in their finished films with advanced technology from Dolby Laboratories. SFFILM Makers—SFFILM’s artist development program—and the Dolby Institute offers the selected fellows artistic and industry guidance, facilitates introductions, and provides a cash grant allowing them to begin work with a sound designer during the screenwriting stage. Fellows also gain post-production support, with comprehensive sound design, a Dolby Atmos mix, and Dolby Vision color correction and mastering support.
The inaugural Dolby Fellowship was awarded in 2018 to The Sound of Silence, directed and co-written by Michael Tyburski and produced and co-written by Ben Nabors. The film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was distributed theatrically nationwide by IFC Films that fall.
The Dolby Fellowship is by invitation only.
SFFILM Djerassi Fellowship
The SFFILM Djerassi Fellowship provides a one-month artist residency for an emerging or established screenwriter.
Located in a spectacular setting in the Santa Cruz Mountains, 40 miles south of San Francisco, the program provides artists with uninterrupted time for work, reflection and collegial interaction in a professionally supportive and inspirational environment. The SFFILM Djerassi Fellowship is supported by a gift from SFFILM Board Member Dale Djerassi.
Designed for both US-based and international screenwriters, the SFFILM Djerassi Fellowship offers living and studio accommodations and meals. Residents work and are housed in three buildings on the Djerassi ranch according to artistic discipline and creative project. Living quarters and studio space consist of a four-bedroom house and a unique, remodeled twelve-sided barn. The Middlebrook Studios, new spaces for writers, are also available. The residency does not include travel and writing supplies.
The Djerassi Fellowship is by invitation only.