Grants & Fellowships

Rainin Grant

This grant IS currently accepting applications

ELIGIBILITY  APPLY NOW

REGULAR DEADLINE: Wednesday, February 6 at 5:00 pm PT
LATE DEADLINE: Wednesday, February 20 at 5:00 pm PT

Finalists will be notified by mid May. Winners will selected in mid June. All applicants will be notified of their status by email. 

The SFFILM Rainin Grant program is the largest granting body for independent narrative feature films in the US. Grants support films that address social justice issues-the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges-in a positive and meaningful way through plot, character, theme or setting and benefit the Bay Area filmmaking community in a professional and economic capacity.

Awards are made to multiple projects twice a year, in the spring and fall, for screenwriting, development, and post-production. In addition to a cash grant of up to $25,000, recipients secure a 6-month residency at FilmHouse and benefit from SFFILM's comprehensive and dynamic artist development programs. 

The program is open to filmmakers in the US and internationally who can commit to spending time developing the film in San Francisco with priority given to Bay Area / SF-based filmmakers.

Current SFFILM Rainin Grants are as follows:

  • Screenwriting Grant: These grants are open to filmmakers anywhere in the US, as well as internationally, and range between $10,000 and $25,000. The funds allow filmmakers to devote dedicated time to furthering their work, and the grant includes a two-month FilmHouse residency in the Bay Area to further develop the screenplay, and have access to both peer and established mentorship engagement. The screenplay must explore issues pertaining to social justice.

  • Development Grant: These grants are up to $25,000 for Bay Area-based producers tackling social justice issues OR producers willing to relocate to the Bay Area to develop and package their films, including a two- to six-month FilmHouse residency with peer and established mentorship engagement. Non-Bay Area-based producers may apply, if willing to relocate to the Bay Area for the majority of this six-month granting cycle. The development grant continues the organization's commitment to producers in film through financial and artist development support.

  • Post-production Grant: These grants are up to $40,000 for films that are looking to spend the funds outside of the Bay Area, and up to $50,000 for films looking to do all or some of the post-production in the Bay Area (edit, sound mix, color, etc.). This stage supports films with an exceptional commitment to social justice. Projects should have significant creative work remaining in the editorial process or have a specific need related to sound or color in post-production. Projects can be set and shot anywhere, but at least some of the post-production supported by this grant should be spent in the U.S. There is NO Bay Area residency commitment is required for this stage.

  • Post-Production Loan: A new discretionary loan for filmmakers in post-production that will sit in second position to equity investors. Open to any previous recipient or alumnus following the first day of production. Please contact SFFILM Makers staff at grants@sffilm.org to learn more.

Since 2009, the SFFILM Rainin Filmmaking Grants program has funded more than 100 film projects, including: Boots Riley's Sorry to Bother You, Reinaldo Marcus Green's Monsters and Men, Jeremiah Zagar's We the Animals, Geremy Jasper's Patti Cake$, Jonas Carpignano's Mediterranea, Chloé Zhao's Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Destin Cretton's Short Term 12, Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale Station, and Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild. Supported films have premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, South by Southwest and the Tribeca Film Festival. Learn more about the Kenneth Rainin Foundation.