San Francisco Film Society and Kenneth Rainin Foundation Announce Winners of Spring 2012 SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grants

$300,000 Awarded to Six Narrative Projects with Social Justice Themes and Bay Area Connections


The San Francisco Film Society and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation today announced the six winning projects in the seventh round of SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grants. The grants are awarded twice annually to filmmakers for narrative feature films with social justice themes that will have significant economic or professional impact on the Bay Area filmmaking community. Between 2009 and 2013 the SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grants will award nearly $2.5 million, including more than $1.3 million awarded in the first seven grant rounds. 

The panelists who reviewed the finalists' submissions are Blye Faust, producer; Finn Taylor, writer/director; Jennifer Rainin, president, Kenneth Rainin Foundation; Margi English, SFFS director of development; and Michele Turnure-Salleo, SFFS director of Filmmaker360. The panelists were impressed with the broad spectrum of diverse and original stories, and the creative ways that the winners addressed social justice themes. They were equally enthusiastic about the vitality and innovation that the filmmakers will bring to contemporary cinema and the Bay Area filmmaking community.

Winners Spring 2012 SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grants

Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale, $100,000 for production
Fruitvale is the true story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family and strangers on the last day of 2008.

Robinson Devor, Untitled Sara Jane Moore Project, $33,000 for development
A fascinating look into the mind and actions of Sara Jane Moore, a former socialite and suburban mother turned San Francisco radical. Drawn into the city's social upheaval of the early 1970s, Moore became a double agent, working for both the government and several leftist revolutionary groups, until she was publicly exposed as an FBI informant. Suddenly outcast, isolated and fearing for her life, Moore attempted the ultimate act of revenge and self-preservation.

Lance Edmands, Kyle Martin, Bluebird, $44,000
 for postproduction
In the frozen woods of an isolated Maine logging town, one woman's tragic mistake shatters the balance of the community, resulting in profound and unexpected consequences. Told through fragmented and intersecting story lines, Bluebird examines the struggles of regret and redemption at the frontier of modern America.

Carlton Evans, Matthew Lessner, Ross, $40,000 for development
A hardworking young man's staid, well-established life is upended after he posts an offhand comment to his Facebook profile, drawing the attention of numerous secretive government agencies and setting off a bizarre chain of events.

Mohammad Gorjestani, Malcolm Pullinger, Somehow These Days Will Be Missed, $33,000 for screenwriting
After years of being denied permission, the Etemadi family has finally been granted their visas to leave Iran. Mehdi, his wife Mina and their two kids are excited to start a new life in bustling Silicon Valley. But when they arrive, life is far from what they imagined. With their money quickly running out, Mehdi reluctantly turns to the dark world of illicit drugs, which ultimately proves to be his greatest awakening. For more information visit

Ray Tintori, Josh Penn, Untitled Cabal Project, $50,000 
for screenwriting
Young revolutionaries in love take on the world and each other in a kaleidoscopically complicated universe that's coming apart at the seams. For more information visit

SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grants support work by local filmmakers as well as attract projects of the highest quality to the Bay Area, providing tangible encouragement and support to meaningful projects and benefiting the local economy. In addition to a cash grant, recipients will receive various benefits through Filmmaker360, the Film Society's comprehensive and dynamic filmmaker services program. 

For more information visit

Kenneth Rainin Foundation is a private family foundation that funds inspiring and world-changing work. The Foundation is dedicated to enhancing quality of life by promoting equitable access to a baseline of literacy, enabling inspiration through the arts and supporting research that will lead to relief for those with chronic disease. The Foundation will focus its efforts on the San Francisco Bay Area and specific medical issues and will utilize its networks, resources, and commitment to socially responsible practices to support innovation, collaboration and connection. For more information visit