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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.
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, or any other applicant or co-applicant, must become a SFFILM member at the Film Pro level or above prior to SFFILM releasing funds related to the fellowship.
- 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.
- Projects must be in alignment with the SFFILM mission and represent an imaginative contribution to film.
- Film may be a documentary or narrative feature.
- Project should be vibrant, intelligent, original, moving, and innovative.
- Project must not be work for hire.
- Project must demonstrate viable financial support and promise a high likelihood of being brought to completion.
- Project should include team members with successful filmmaking track records.
- 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 directly answers all questions on the application and does not exceed the word count for a given section. Applications that exceed the word count will be considered ineligible.
- 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.
For more information about our grants and fellowships, visit our FAQ page.