SFFILM / Rainin Filmmaking Grants


The SFFS / KRF grant requires a "strong connection" to the San Francisco Bay Area. What does this mean?
Applicants must demonstrate that their film will have an economic or professional impact on the city of San Francisco or the greater Bay Area. You are not required to be a resident of the Bay Area to apply. However, your project should clearly demonstrate a net economic or professional gain for the Bay Area filmmaking community in the following ways: 

  • If applying for Screenwriting: Applicant must live in the Bay Area during the writing phase, for two noncontiguous months (no less than two weeks at a time), spending the funds on their living and other expenses. Applicants are not required to be Bay Area residents — they must only live in the Bay Area for the period of writing. 
  • If applying for Packaging: Applicant must live in the Bay Area during the packaging phase, for two noncontiguous months (no less than two weeks at a time), spending the funds on their living and other expenses. This however can include paying for travel to workshop finish scripts or to find investors and the like.
  • If applying for Preproduction: Applicant must spend a minimum of 80% of the funds in the Bay Area. This may include hiring Bay Area crew, talent, or utilizing Bay Area equipment or facilities. This may also include salary for a Bay Area producer or director's fee to develop the project outside the Bay Area or the country.
  • If applying for Production: Applicant must spend 60% of the funds in the Bay Area. This may include crew, talent, locations, facilities, equipment and other local resources. Taking a Bay Area resident crew member on location elsewhere would also qualify toward the 60%. Additionally it could also support paying for a VFX supervisor, post coordinator, sound editor or offline editor to be on location.
  • If applying for Postproduction: Applicant must spend 80% of the funds in the Bay Area. This may include hiring postproduction crew, using Bay Area post-houses and other facilities.

For specific examples of projects we have funded from outside the Bay Area who meet our requirements, please contact Tamara Melnik at tamara@sffs.org or 415-561-5019.

What does "social issue" mean?
The SFFS / KRF Grant supports films that explore issues of equality, fairness, societal intolerance or systemic oppression of people from various classes, racial or ethnic groups, sexual preferences, gender identities or income brackets. Social issue also includes political, economic and environmental matters. We are particularly interested in supporting projects that do not take a didactic or polarized approach to social justice; but rather, use character, plot or setting to reveal wider social themes. 

The SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grant also supports films where the social justice theme is more subtle or metaphorical. Please refer to the Past KRF Winners page for further information about what projects have received funding in the past.  

What phases of the filmmaking process does the SFFS / KRF Grant support? 
The SFFS / KRF Filmmakimg Grant supports projects in all phases of the filmmaking process: Screenwriting, Packaging, Preproduction, Production and Postproduction.

What phase should I apply for? Can I apply for more than one?
Please apply for the one phase that best describes the current status of your project,or the anticipated status of your project three months from when you submit your application.

  • Screenwriting: You, the writer/director applicant or co-writer co-applicant are currently writing the script though do not have a final draft. You have not yet attached actors or a key crew. You may, however, have actors in mind or interested.
  • Packaging: You, the producer/s are in the financing and casting phase. You may be compiling materials (writing treatments, grant proposals, pitch packages, etc.) to secure funding. You are figuring out the budget. You are pitching your project to agencies, pre-sales agents and a key crew. You may be reaching out to production companies or looking for additional producers. Your writer/director co-applicant is probably fine-tuning the script's final draft, and might be meeting with script editors or consultants.
  • Preproduction: You, the writer/director have a shooting script ready. At the time you submit the application the co-applicant, producer/s have secured significant funding. You have locked in most key crew, may be casting supporting roles, location scouting and solidifying a shooting schedule. You have dates locked or in mind for the start of the shoot.
  • Production: You, the writer/director and your co-applicant producer/s are actively shooting the film. At the time you submit the application you have your key cast, crew, locations and shoot dates locked.
  • Postproduction: You, the writer/director and your co-applicant producer/s have completed principal photography. You are editing, color-correcting, sound-mixing and/or adding visual effects. You are transferring your film to additional formats. You are submitting to festivals, securing distribution and carrying out your publicity/marketing and outreach campaign.

I am co-writing my screenplay. Am I still eligible for the SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grant?
If you are applying for a screenwriting grant, you must be the principal writer on the project. You may not apply for a screenwriting grant to then pay someone else to write the project. You can however work with a co-writer. We give priority to writer/directors or writers with directors already attached to the project.

I already received a SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grant. Can I apply again?
Yes. We encourage all SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grant recipients to apply for consequent rounds after you already received funds. 

Do I need to be a SFFS member to apply for the SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grant?
You must either be a SFFS Member at the Filmmaker Pro Level or above OR pay the application fees (the early or late fee) stipulated on the application.

Where does my application fee go?
The application fee goes directly to administrative support for our grants programs, helping to hire outside experts to review finalist material and also to ensure that our procedures are systematic, professional, confidential and timely. 

Who will review the SFFS / KRF applications? What is the review process like?
For the initial Letter of Inquiry round, qualified SFFS staff members will serve as jurors. They are required to read all applications thoroughly and then attend a meeting with the other jurors. They each discuss their top ten individual choices until the entire group reaches a unanimous list of finalists to move onto the next round.

For the Finalist round, SFFS Director of Filmmaker Services Michele Turnure-Salleo as well as KRF senior staff, previous KRF finalists or outside filmmakers, producers or industry professionals read all of the Finalists' materials. They then attend a review panel to unanimously decide who will receive funds.

How many applicants will receive funds per funding round?
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.

Money granted will be dispersed and should start to be used in May 2013, and funds must be spent in ways that directly support the Bay Area as outlined in the application guidelines. If applying for screenwriting, you must be the screenwriter and must hold the copyright.

Is the SFFS / KRF grant open to student filmmakers?

Yes. Student applicants are evaluated alongside non-student applicants using the same criteria.

Do I have to be fiscally sponsored by the SFFS in order to apply for the SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grant?
You do not need to be fiscally sponsored by the SFFS in order to apply for any SFFS grants and residencies. 

PLEASE NOTE: There will be press releases issued for both the finalist phase and the winners.  

Am I eligible to apply for the SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grant if I live outside the US?
The SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grant is open to international applicants, but they must demonstrate a strong connection to the San Francisco, as mentioned above, and will be contractually obligated to spend received funds in the Bay Area.

Lead Sponsor