Application fee is $25; fees are waived for SFFILM members with the Filmmaker Add-On.
SFFILM and the Catapult Film Fund support filmmakers in the early stages of development on compelling, story-driven, feature-length documentary films. The fellowship is geared towards emerging filmmakers who have directed short films previously and for whom this is their first feature, or filmmakers who have directed one or two features already.
Awards are made once a year to three films. In addition to a $10,000 grant, fellows receive mentorship by industry professionals whose work or artistic approach aligns with the filmmaker’s goals, guidance from SFFILM and Catapult Film Fund staff, and access to SFFILM’s FilmHouse residency and dynamic suite of artist development services. This fellowship will allow filmmakers to create a strong fundraising trailer and core application with which they can seek to bring on additional key team members, partners, and funders.
Please note, this application is for the SFFILM Catapult Documentary Fellowship only. If you are interested in applying for the Catapult Film Fund Grant, please visit https://catapultfilmfund.org/how-to-apply/. Eligible filmmakers who meet the requirements may apply to both the SFFILM Catapult Documentary Fellowship and, separately, the Catapult Film Fund grant.
- Applicant must be the director.
- Filmmaker may not be an SFFILM or Catapult Film Fund employee or Board Member.
- Filmmaker must be at least 18 years old.
- Filmmaker must currently be working in the United States.
- 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 fellow
- Film must be a feature-length documentary in early development.
- Film should represent both SFFILM and Catapult’s missions of serving powerful stories, and moving storytelling, across a broad spectrum of issues and perspectives.
- Film cannot be a narrative. Hybrid films will be considered on a case by case basis.
- Project must not be work for hire.
- If the project is fully funded and/or has distribution, it is NOT eligible.
- 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 demonstrates how the project will impact their short- and long-term professional and artistic goals.
- Applicant directly answers all questions in the application and does not exceed the word count for a given section. Applications that exceed the word count will be considered ineligible.
- Filmmaker will sign an agreement with SFFILM.
- Filmmaker agrees to submit a status report detailing how the funds were spent, and what progress has been made at three months and six months after the fellowship begins.
- Fellows will be asked to make two (2) three-day trips to San Francisco during the 6-month fellowship—once in the early fall to meet with SFFILM and Catapult, and once during the Doc Stories festival on the first weekend in November.
- Upon completion, a copy of the film will be made available to SFFILM.
- Filmmaker shall provide acknowledgement to the SFFILM and Catapult Film Fund. If the Fellowship represents up to 25% of the budget for the Project, SFFILM and Catapult Film Fund are to be listed with other comparable funders/fellowships/grants, with language that mirrors or is similar to “Made with support from SFFILM and Catapult Film Fund” – onscreen in end titles and in marketing materials tied to other grants/funders. If the Fellowship represents more than 25% of the budget for the Project, SFFILM and Catapult Film Fund will receive an “in association with” credit – onscreen in main titles or end titles, and in marketing materials tied to other “in association with” credits.
- 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.
- 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.
- Please note that 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.