San Francisco Film Society announced the six finalists for the 2011 Djerassi Residency Award/San Francisco Film Society Screenwriting Fellowship. The fellowship is part of the Film Society’s suite of filmmaker services designed to foster creativity and further the careers of independent filmmakers. The Djerassi Resident Artists Program, located 40 miles south of San Francisco in the Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean, offers living and studio accommodations and all meals at no cost to an emerging or established screenwriter from August 9 through September 8, 2011. The award provides uninterrupted time for work, reflection and collegial interaction, making the opportunity unique in its capacity to provide the winner with an inspiring and supportive environment in a stunning rural location. The finalists were selected from 67 applicants submitted in response to an international call for entries. This award is supported by a gift from Dale Djerassi. Finalists and projects follow.
Christy Chan, This Must Be the Place
The Chen family travels to China to visit its ancestral village, unaware that the genealogy agency purportedly specializing in reuniting emigrants with their families is running an elaborate scam. The agency escorts Chinese Americans to a village in rural China where actors and locals have been cast to play the emigrants’ destitute relatives. The Chens have trouble adapting to rural life and their earnestness begins to affect the villagers’ game plan. An expected death strains the fake family ties to the breaking point. For more information visit christychan.net.
Adam Chanzit, The 15th Stone
When a struggling Cleveland musician receives disturbing emails from his former best friend, he decides to find his old pal. The trail leads to a Daoist temple in the mountains of China where his friend has established a new life for himself. But a number of troubling activities — visits by government officials, the trading of illegal goods, the exchange of a child — lead the musician to suspect that a nefarious network may be operating out of the temple and that his friend may be involved.
Julie Cho, Single, with Child
Single, with Child weaves together the stories of four South Korean women struggling to overcome the taboo of unwed motherhood in a nation anxious to shed its old label as a baby exporter and embrace the realities of modern family life and South Korea’s new status as the country with the world’s lowest birthrate.
Ned Miller, Uphill Man
A homeless man becomes convinced that the prostitute who saved him from a vicious assault is his long-lost daughter and vows to care for her. He resumes a life of increasingly lucrative and dangerous crime, but when the risks become prohibitive he seeks redemption by gambling his own life to save hers. For more information visit tenderloinmovie.com.
Jennifer June Strawn, Off the Coast
Off the Coast is an eccentric dark comedy about a welder whose increasingly obsessive personality threatens to unravel his family. After a bizarre incident leaves him nearly blind and homebound, he is forced to reevaluate his choices and reassess his relationships with his wife and son.
David Talbot, Shadow Knights
Shadow Knights recounts the gripping tales of three English Special Operations Executive agents — everyday men and women who were trained in “black ops” and dropped behind enemy lines to sabotage the Nazi war machine — and the charismatic spymaster in London who led the intricate, top-secret operation. For more information visit TalbotPlayers.com.