Please have a look at past SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grant Recipients to understand where projects have been based and their connection to the Bay Area. Additionally, note the range of issues themes and stories we have supported in the past. Please note, this grant does not support documentary films.

This grant is open to filmmakers who meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant must be in a key creative role for the film: screenwriter, producer or director.
  • Applicant must be an SFFS member at the Filmmaker Pro level or above or must pay the $25 (early deadline) or $45 (late deadline) fee.
  • Applicant must be at least 18 years old.
  • Full- and part-time students will be evaluated alongside non-student applicants.
  • Applicant must be actively engaged in a narrative feature film project in one of the following phases: Screenwriting, Packaging, Preproduction, Production, Postproduction.
  • Screenwriting applicants must be the writer/director. If there is a cowriter or producer they must be the coapplicant(s).
  • Packaging grant applicants must have the primary applicant be the producer and the writer/director as coapplicant(s).
  • All primary applicants in preproduction, production and postproduction must be the writer/director. If there is a cowriter or producer they must be the coapplicant(s).
  • Filmmaker, or any other applicant or co-applicant must become a SFFS member at the Filmmaker Pro level or above prior to SFFS releasing funds from the Grant.
  • Film must significantly feature a plot, character, theme or setting that reveals or explores human and civil rights, antidiscrimination, gender issues, sexual identity and/or other social issues of our time.
  • Total project budget shall be $3 million or under.
  • Projects must be consistent with SFFS's mission and represent an imaginative contribution to the moving image art form.
  • Projects and applicants may reapply for additional funding.
  • Applicants or project must have a Bay Area filmmaking connection and uplift the community in a professional or economic capacity. Please ask if you are not sure how this might relate to your project.
  • Please note that while we encourage filmmakers to apply for to the SF International Film Festival, Cinema by the Bay and Filmmaker360 project development program, winning a grant from Filmmaker360 does not guarantee acceptance into any of the above programs.
  • Please note that this grant is not solely for Bay Area residents. It is open to filmmakers internationally who are able fulfill the qualifications related to the Bay Area component of the grant application.

Funds must be spent in the following ways: 

  • Applicants must apply for the phase of production they expect to reach within three months of receiving SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grant funds.
  • If requesting Screenwriting or Packaging: you must reside in the Bay Area during the writing phase or packaging phase for a minimum of two non contiguous months (no less than two weeks at a time). If applying for screenwriting: you may apply if you are co-writing a screenplay.
  • If requesting Production Funds: 60% of grant monies must be spent in the Bay Area or on Bay Area crew, talent, equipment or services.
  • If requesting Pre- or Postproduction funds: 80% of grant monies must be spent in the Bay Area or on Bay Area personnel or services.
  • PLEASE NOTE: If you are unable to spend the money to fulfill the grant requirements you must notify Filmmaker360 in writing.  Failure to meet these requirements might result in a nullification of funds awarded or funds may need to be returned if already dispersed.

If you are unsure if you meet the requirements or have any questions regarding what phase you are in, please email grants@sffs.org.

Priority will be given to:

  • Projects that are vibrant, intelligent, original, moving and innovative.
  • Projects that illustrate a sense of hopeful transformation or a movement towards positive social change.
  • Projects that demonstrate viable financial support and promise a high likelihood of being brought to completion.
  • For first-time filmmaking applicants, projects with team members that demonstrate track records of filmmaking success.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Project has strong and recognizable social value, contributing, for example, to a greater public appreciation of a disenfranchised group, identifying an area where social change is needed or bringing to light a difficult or inspirational story, condition or issue.
  • Filmmaker has clearly articulated his or her intended goals for the grant, how those accomplishments will be measured and what the next steps will be for the project.
  • Filmmaker demonstrates how the project will impact short- and long-term professional and artistic goals.
  • Applicant directly answers all questions on the application and does not go over the word count. Applications that go over the word count will be considered ineligible.


  • Filmmaker may not be a SFFS or KRF employee or member of any SFFS or KRF board.
  • Project is not work for hire.
  • Project is not a documentary.
  • Please check the FAQs page if you have any questions.

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