San Francisco Film Society Announces New Filmmakers Awarded FilmHouse Residencies

FilmHouse Community Expands to Include Growing Number of Local and Visiting Filmmakers in Free Production Office Space for One-Year Residencies


San Francisco, CA — The San Francisco Film Society has announced the latest filmmakers who have been awarded one-year FilmHouse Residencies. This innovative program, made possible by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation with additional funding from the San Francisco Film Commission and the McBaine family, supports narrative and documentary feature films by making office space available free of charge for 12-month residencies to independent filmmakers actively engaged in various stages of production. A total of 50 filmmakers are currently supported under the FilmHouse banner, 26 of which have new residencies starting this month (full details below).

FilmHouse, located in a beautifully renovated space in the innovative multicultural development at 644 Broadway in San Francisco, consists of both private offices and a dynamic shared flexible use space. An additional expansion of the flex use group of filmmakers, which now includes a number of production teams that are previous office residents, has resulted in a bustling, diverse and energetic center of creative collaboration. In addition to office space, all FilmHouse residents benefit from a robust guest speaker series, featuring lectures and presentations by leading industry professionals; resident-led workshops and work-in-progress screenings; access to Film Society networking events; and numerous other community-building programs. A major component of the Film Society's Filmmaker360 program, FilmHouse functions as a vibrant workshop and creative hub for filmmakers of all kinds.  

The panelists who reviewed the applicants' submissions were Daniela Flori, former Documentary Coordinator, SF Film Society; Chris Martin, film colorist; Rivkah Medow, Board Member, Kenneth Rainin Foundation; Amanda Todd, FilmHouse Manager, SF Film Society; and Michele Turnure-Salleo, consulting producer, SF Film Society. The jury noted in a statement: "This new group of residents represents another significant expansion of the FilmHouse community, and introduces a whole new range of creative perspectives into the space. Several of these filmmakers are already a part of the Bay Area filmmaking community, but many are joining us from elsewhere in the country and abroad, and we're excited by the creative opportunities these diverse voices bring to the FilmHouse group. Add to that the fact that women now make up exactly half of the total resident group, and you can start to see the amazing potential of the year ahead."   
The next application period opens in summer 2017 for the term of FilmHouse Residencies beginning next fall. For more information, visit   

2016-2017 FILMHOUSE RESIDENTS – 12-MONTH TERMS (* denotes extension of previous residency)   

Katherine Gorringe – Red Heaven – documentary feature, production
Katherine Gorringe has worked on nonfiction productions with independent filmmakers Jamie Meltzer, Eric Daniel Metzgar, and Jacob Kornbluth, and her work has been featured at SXSW, LUNAFEST, the Smithsonian Magazine, and the History Channel, among others. She is currently producing her first feature-length documentary Red Heaven, about a Mars habitat simulation and the participants' changing relationship to the Earth during their isolation. Gorringe holds an M.F.A. in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University.

Diya Guha Moses – documentary feature, post-production
Born and raised in Kolkata, India, Diya is a film producer based in San Francisco. She pursued undergraduate studies in Economics at Sophia College, and completed her MFA in Creative Strategy at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, the city where she started to build a filmmaking career.

Francisco Guijaro  Moses – documentary feature, post-production
Born and raised in Malaga (Spain), Fran Guijarro is an award-winning creative director and documentary filmmaker based in San Francisco. He studied Film at Cuba International School of Film and Television, and also completed an MFA in Copywriting at the Academy of Art University. His short films Mexican Cuisine and The Mural have been screened at over 100 film festivals worldwide, including Cannes, AFI Fest and several other Oscar-qualifying festivals, and have received 26 awards. Guijarro also teaches at the Academy of Art University.   

Josh Izenberg Spin Game – documentary feature, research and development
Josh Izenberg's background in storytelling originated with a degree in screenwriting from the University of Michigan. His first foray into directing was an ultra-low budget feature, set in Eastern Tennessee. He later directed a short documentary, Slomo, which won Best Short Documentary at SXSW, Sheffield Doc/Fest, and the International Documentary Association Awards, and was shortlisted for an Academy Award, ultimately appearing as part of the New York Times Op-Docs series.

Amyn Kaderali Chokora – narrative feature, packaging and pre-production
Amyn Kaderali is an accomplished, award-winning filmmaker who has always sought out diverse stories off the beaten path. Whether filming talented unknown basketball players in America's ghettos for ESPN or documenting the lives of the world's least fortunate children in India, Nepal and Kenya, Kaderali knows these experiences have made him a better filmmaker and a more compassionate person.

Brett Marty Dearborn – narrative feature, screenwriting
Brett Marty graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Art Practice, with concentrations in film, photography, and sculpture. As a visual storyteller, Marty cut his teeth as a commercial director, making over 100 ads for over 75 companies.  

H.P. Mendoza Bitter Melon – narrative feature, screenwriting
H.P. Mendoza (Essential SF Honoree, 2012) is a Filipino-American filmmaker based in San Francisco most known for his work as writer-actor-composer for Colma: The Musical (2006) and director-writer-composer for his follow-up queer musical film, Fruit Fly (2009). After writing and performing music for David Lewis' Longhorns (2011) and writing Richard Wong's sex comedy Yes, We're Open (2012), Mendoza returned to writing-directing with the psychological horror film I am a Ghost (2014).

Sydney Mintz The Rabbi Max – narrative web/television series, screenwriting *
Rabbi Sydney Mintz has served as Rabbi of Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco since 1997, and currently works with the US State Department on the Committee for Social Justice and Religion. She has worked as a consultant on a variety of media projects and was featured in the film American Jerusalem. She is currently working on a television series with her partner Justine Shapiro that focuses on the life of a gay Rabbi of a large urban congregation in San Francisco and brings attention to life in a Rabbinic seminary, relationships between clergy and congregants, interfaith conflict, and more.

Justine Shapiro The Rabbi Max – narrative web/television series, screenwriting *
Justine Shapiro is an Academy Award-nominated, Emmy Award-winning documentary producer and director, and television host. Shapiro co-produced and co-directed Promises (with B.Z. Goldberg), a feature documentary about seven Palestinian and Israeli children living in and around Jerusalem that received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary and two Emmy Awards including Best Documentary. From 2005-2011 she produced Our Summer In Tehran, a one-hour documentary that premiered on PBS in 2011 and was officially selected to the IDFA film festival.

Andrew Smith The Wide Open – narrative feature, post-production
Andrew Smith hails from western Montana. With his twin brother Alex, Andrew works as a screenwriter and film director. The Smith Brothers are currently writing two pilots based on novels: The Brief History of the Dead, for Amazon; and The Darklings, for Red Arrow International (Germany). They have written for HBO, Warner Bros, Fox Searchlight, Sony, and FX, among others.  


Matthew Alavi – Westerfield House Of Legends – documentary/web series/interactive; pre-production
Emmanuelle Antolin – All the Right Reasons – documentary feature, production
Alix Blair – Untitled McCloskey Project – documentary feature, production
Richard Bosner – Where Life is Worth Living – narrative feature, packaging
Paul Burke – Clerical Affairs – documentary feature, research & development
Laura Green – Human Condition – documentary feature, production
Arpita Kumar – Gori – narrative feature, screenwriting
Michael Lei – A Taste of Sky – documentary feature, production
Jennifer Maytorena Taylor – The Gut – documentary feature, research & development
Nijla Mumin – Jinn – narrative feature, pre-production
Micha Peled – Forbidden Knowledge: The Comeback of Psychedelics – documentary feature, research & development
Courtney Quirin – Guardian – documentary feature, post-production
David Schendel – The White Houses – narrative feature, screenwriting
Ken Shneider – Evolution Cuba – documentary feature, production
Leslie Tai – How to Have an American Baby – documentary feature, production
Angelos Tsaouis – Robotics for All – documentary feature, production
Brandon Vedder – Untitled Bazan Project – documentary feature, post-production
Mimi Zora – Untitled Slovak Family Project – narrative feature, screenwriting  

For a complete list of all current FilmHouse residents, including those with extensions of previously announced residencies, visit  

San Francisco Film Society's artist support programs offer unique opportunities and significant resources to filmmakers nationwide, with an emphasis on fostering peer mentorship and career sustainability. Through its long-term partnership with the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, the Film Society is the largest granting body for independent narrative (dramatic) feature films in the United States, allocating as much as $1 million per year to incubate and support innovative and exceptional films at every stage of production, create innovative residencies for Bay Area artists, and develop special fellowships for underserved artist communities. Other programs include a growing Documentary Film Fund granting program for nonfiction feature films in postproduction, Off the Page screenplay workshops, fiscal sponsorship, and project development resources. For information visit