The San Francisco Film Society and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation announced the five winners of the fourth round of SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grants. The grants are given 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 more than $3 million, including a total of $275,000 already awarded.

The panelists who reviewed the finalists’ submissions are Jennifer Rainin, president, Kenneth Rainin Foundation; Todd Traina, producer and member, SFFS board of directors; Michele Turnure-Salleo, director of filmmaker services, SFFS; Rachel Rosen, director of programming, SFFS; and Steven Jenkins, deputy director, SFFS. In choosing the recipients the panel noted, “It was incredibly encouraging to see such a broad range of issues, perspectives and genres in the applicants. We are confident that the grants will fulfill the mission of both our organizations.”

Debbie Brubaker: 504
$15,000 for development
504 is the story of the longest takeover of a Federal building in American history and the birth of the disability rights movement. A tumultuous love story between a recently paralyzed fraternity brother and an angry intellectual activist with cerebral palsy unfolds against the backdrop of an historic sit-in at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare offices in San Francisco, which led eventually to the enactment of the first disability nondiscrimination law, known as Section 504.

Lynn Hershman Leeson: Killer App
$50,000 for development
A visionary doctor at a fertility clinic realizes that a patient’s DNA holds the key to the next evolutionary leap from homo sapiens to machine sapiens: beings that look human but which have an unlimited ability to absorb information. As the patient learns more and more, she becomes increasingly aware that greed is destroying Earth and decides to develop a killer app that will save the world and her newborn twins.

Christopher Mason Johnson: Skirt
$35,000 for screenwriting
Skirt tells the story of an idealistic political campaign worker who must decide whether to perpetuate a lie in order to help promote a cause that she believes in or set the record straight before the truth is uncovered and run the risk of undermining her campaign.

Mike Ott: Teenage Wasteland
$75,000 for production
A young illegal immigrant who dreams of escaping her staid life in a sleepy desert town decides that the time to act has arrived when her impressionable best friend falls under the influence of his militaristic, vigilante older brother. She convinces him to leave with her and pursue their dreams in San Francisco.

Morgan Wise: Western Addition
$35,000 for screenwriting
Western Addition traces the lives of six African American residents of a crumbling San Francisco apartment building over the course of a single weekend in 1970 and the transformation of African American culture brought on by the second great migration of Blacks from the rural South to the industrial centers in the North.

The 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 the Film Society’s comprehensive and dynamic filmmaker services programs.

source: SFFS

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