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Through the SFFILM New American Fellowship, created in partnership with the Flora Family Foundation, SFFILM offers six-month fellowships to narrative or documentary filmmakers who have arrived in the United States within the past ten years as either an immigrant or a non-immigrant. The fellowship is open to both directors and producers working on at least one active project.
Each year the grant will support either one narrative or one documentary filmmaker. The 2021 application is open to Documentary filmmakers.
Winners of the SFFILM New American Fellowship will receive a $25,000 cash grant and a two-month residency at FilmHouse, SFFILM’s suite of production offices for local and visiting independent filmmakers. The residency program provides filmmakers with artistic guidance, office space, a vibrant creative community, and mentorship from established filmmakers and members of the independent film industry.
- Filmmaker must have moved to the United States within the past ten years as either an immigrant or a non-immigrant.
- Filmmaker does not need to be a lawful permanent resident, but must be authorized to work in the United States over the length of this fellowship.
- Filmmaker must be working on at least one active project rooted in the United States, which is not fully funded and/or has not secured distribution.
- Filmmaker must have directed or produced at least one short or feature-length narrative or documentary film, but not more than two narrative or documentary features, as the director or lead producer. This does not include co-producer, associate producer, or executive producer credits.
- Filmmaker must use the fellowship to a produce at least one independent documentary or narrative feature with a budget of 3 million or less US dollars.
- Filmmaker may not be a SFFILM or Flora Family Foundation employee or member of any SFFILM or Flora Foundation Boards.
- Filmmaker must be at least 18 years old.
- Project must be feature length, the application alternates each year to support either Documentary or Narrative. See above to confirm this year’s application.
- Project should be vibrant, intelligent, original, moving, and innovative.
- Project must not be work for hire.
- Filmmaker has clearly articulated intended goals for the fellowship, how those accomplishments will be measured, and what the next steps will be for the project.
- Filmmaker intends to form connections with Bay Area filmmakers.
- Filmmaker demonstrates how the project will impact their short- and long-term professional and artistic goals.
- Filmmaker must submit a progress report detailing how the funds were spent, and a new work sample at three and six months.
- Fellows must reside in the Bay Area for a minimum of two (non-contiguous months), for no less than two weeks at a time.
- Filmmaker will sign an agreement with SFFILM.
- Upon completion, copies of the film will be made available to SFFILM.
- Filmmaker shall provide acknowledgement to SFFILM and the Flora Foundation. The fellowship is to be listed with other comparable funders/grants/fellowships, with language that mirrors or is similar to “Made with support from SFFILM and the Flora Family Foundation” – onscreen in end titles and in marketing materials tied to other grants/funders. Logos will be provided by SFFILM.
- Filmmaker understands there will be a press release announcing chosen fellows. Unless otherwise specified during the approval process, the submitted bio and logline will be used in that press release.
- Filmmaker will offer SFFILM a “first look” and first right of refusal for potential Bay Area premiere at SFFILM Festival and/or other SFFILM exhibition venues. Please note: while we encourage supported filmmakers to submit applications to the SFFILM Festival and other SFFILM Makers programs, winning a grant, residency, or fellowship from SFFILM does not guarantee acceptance into the SFFILM Festival or other SFFILM Makers programs.
- Projects and applicants may reapply to this or other SFFILM Makers opportunities for additional funding.
o be eligible for the New American fellowship, you must be born outside the United States and have only been living in the U.S. for the last 10 years or less. The goal of the grant is to offer financial and mentorship support for recently immigrated filmmakers looking to further a feature-length film in development.
Each year, the New American Fellowship supports EITHER a documentary or narrative film. In 2021 we are only considering applicants with documentary films in development.
The New American Fellowship supports feature-length projects at any stage of development, from research through post-production.
For more information about our grants and fellowships, visit our FAQ page.