San Francisco Film Society

For Incorporation And Stewardship Of Filmmaker Services Once Provided By Film Arts Foundation

  • Amount
  • Program
  • Date Awarded
  • Term
    36 Months
  • Type of Support
The San Francisco Film Society, presenter of the world’s longest continuous international film festival as well as year-round screenings, symposia and film-related classes, will establish a suite of programs that collectively forge a Filmmaker Services division for the $4.5 $million non-profit organization. Under the direction of executive director Graham Leggett, SFFS has successfully negotiated with the Film Arts Foundation (FAF)(a current Hewlett grantee) to adopt core services that FAF is no longer able to provide as a result of fiscal mismanagement and a determination to close operations altogether by the end of 2009 (see application summary for grant #2008-2743 for further explanation). With Hewlett funding SFFS will be able to add 3-4 former FAF staff members to its 20 person team and launch the following filmmaker programs. 1)Educational programming to consist of 36 courses a year teaching filmmakers non-technical subjects such as screenwriting, fundraising and marketing. 2)Membership extended to all 1,700 of FAF’s current members in good standing free of charge consisting of discounts on classes, fiscal sponsorship eligibility, discounted submission fees to SFIFF and screening series, invitations to preview screenings, passes to local video stores (after year 1, cost to former FAF members and anyone else is $90/year - $10 more than FAF’s current fee). 3)Fiscal Sponsorship offered to all 250 of FAF’s current projects (50% of which were active in 2007) and served by long-time FAF staff members 4)Publications will include both the online absorption of the filmmaker resources section of FAF’s print publication (Release Print) consisting of call for entries, classified listings) and the creation of a bi-monthly 32 page tabloid-format magazine for SFFS members and the general public SFFS has cultivated a global reputation for programming the best in international cinema bringing films (both with and without distribution) to the Bay Area as well as screening feature, documentary and short-subject films by local filmmakers. With over a hundred thousand annual patrons and a savvy marketing team the SFFS has successfully branded itself (and attracted impressive corporate sponsorship) as a slick institution presenting great movies. Though it has increased its year-round programming. curated a Bay Area filmmakers-only Golden Gate Award component to its annual festival, and even hired many local filmmakers as festival screeners and staff, the SFFS has neither developed the services (nor built the trust) necessary to connect the benefits and opportunities created by having an international stature and acclaim to the independent filmmaking community of Northern California. This grant will support an effort to establish that connection and will do so at a time when, in the face of FAF’s dissolution, it is sorely needed. ($240,000/3 17% of project budget)
About the Grantee
Grantee Website 
The Presidio 39 Mesa Street, Suite 110, San Francisco, CA, 94129-1025, United States
Grants to this Grantee
for disseminating award-winning documentary Presumed Guilty to targeted audiences in Mexico  
This Hewlett Foundation grant to the San Francisco Film Society will support the dissemination of the award-winning Mexican documentary Presumed Guilty, to audiences that are usually overlooked by conventional documentary distribution. Targeted screenings will reach out to law students, law professors and deans nation-wide; groups of prisoners and their families, and vulnerable youth. Hewlett Foundation provided the seed funding for the film, which became an incredible vehicle for disseminating some of the research that our program have supported for many years about the urgent need for justice reform in Mexico. The research findings are highlighted in the film and are a plea for greater transparency and accountability in Mexico's justice system, and for the implementation of the Constitutional Reform that requires the adoption of an adversarial type of criminal procedures all over the country.
for general operating support  
Each year, San Francisco Film Society engages more than 74,000 people through its flagship San Francisco International Film Festival, specialty film festivals, year-round screening programs, and media education programs for students and teachers. It also annually provides more than $1 million in financial and service support to filmmakers at all stages of their careers through its Filmmaker360 program.
for support of the "Saving the City" TV series  
The San Francisco Film Society (SFFILM) is a year-round nonprofit organization delivering screenings and events to more than 100,000 film lovers and providing media education programs to more than 10,000 students and teachers annually. SFFILM is supporting "Saving the City," a 13-part national television series that tells stories through the eyes of people who use the city. This series highlights successful and unsuccessful examples of urban development throughout the United States and Canada.

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