The BFF is delighted to announce the award of 26 grants, totaling $229,000 —the largest annual amount to date. A record  120 applications were received from   filmmakers who reside or work in the cities of Richmond, El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville and Oakland. Since its founding in 2009, BFF has awarded  nearly $1.5 million to  140 film projects.
This year’s Saul Zaentz award for $25,000 was given to Bryan Gibel and A.K. Sandhu for their film, Sign My Name to Freedom about Betty Reid Soskin, famous as America’s oldest Park Ranger, she was a singer-songwriter in the 60s with a voice like Billie Holiday and the relevance of Nina Simone.
The Al Bendich grant for $20,000 was awarded to Shareef Nasir and Dana Nachman for th e film: Case 993 . The gripping citizen-detective story investigates the contested history surrounding the assassination of Malcolm X.

The City of Emeryville continues to support BFF. This year our Emeryville grant winners are: Andres Alegria for his film:  Song for Cesar  and Rick Tejada-Flores for the film: Troubled Water . Thank you to the City of Emeryville!

Educational Workshops

In May, BFF presented a panel on Shapeshifting Documentaries. A conversation on tools, strategies, and new directions for filmmakers. L ed by our distinguished panelists: Helen De Michiel, jesika maria ross, and Elizabeth Miller.

Mark Your Calendars!

Wed nesday, Oct. 24 | 1:00–4:00 PM
The David Brower Center
2150 Allston Way | Berkeley 94704

Doc Distribution: Design and execute a successful release strategy for your film!

In this workshop, Matt Chandler and Michelle Fawcett will provide a detailed step-by-step process for crafting and executing a hybrid strategy for the successful distribution of your film.
Drawing upon on their rich experience with a wide range of films with varying budgets and goals, Matt and Michelle will illustrate how films navigate a complex and competitive landscape to find their audiences and achieve their unique distribution goals.

BFF Celebrates Mill Valley Film Festival’s 41 st Anniversary
The Whistleblower of My Lai will screen on Thursday, October 11th, 6:30PM at the Sequoia Theater, Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, CA. AND on Friday, October 12th at 6:30PM at the Rafael Theater in San Rafael.

A hero to most, a traitor to some, and a veritable angel to those whose lives he save d, Hugh Thompson and his intervention at My Lai become the subject of a powerful, moving creative collaboration between composer Jonathan Berger, the Kronos Quartet, and Van-Anh Vo, 50 years after the devastating massacre. Meet director Connie Field for a Q & A.

BFF Screening Series at The New Parkway

Rodents of Unusual Size
Tuesday, October 2 | 7:00PM
Louisiana fisherman Thomas Gonzales doesn't know what will hit him next. After decades of hurricanes and oil spills he faces a new threat – hordes of monstrous 20 pound swamp rats. Known as "nutria", these invasive South American rodents breed faster than the roving squads of hunters can control them.

Join us in a Q & A with grant winners Quinn Costello and Chris Metzler.

Updates from BFF Filmmakers
Wilder than Wild
Won the Green Fire Award for Best SF Bay Area Environmental Feature at the SF Green Film Festival . The award recognizes the best of independent filmmaking in the SF Bay Area by honoring innovative storytelling and new perspectives on environmental topics.
Welcome To The Neighborhood
Broadcast on KQED’s Truly California series this year. It was one of the highest rated shows of the series, with nearly 37,000 households tuning in to watch. KQED is now offering this series to other California PBS stations.
My Love Affair with the Brain
Continues to rack up accolades—nominated for a national EMMY as best science and technology documentary.
We Became Fragments
Selected as a NYTimes Op-Doc, just won Best Documentary at the LA Shorts Fest which qualifies it to be considered for an Oscar Nomination.

A Special Thank You to Our Donors:

The City of Berkeley | Wareham Development | The Saul Zaentz Company | Nancy P. and Richard K. Robbins Family Foundation | The Fleish hacker Foundation | The LaFetra Foundation | Bayer Healthcare | Berkeley Civic Arts Commission | Jonathan Logan Family Foundation | Pacific Gas and Electric Company | The Robertson Family Fund | George Lucas Family Foundation | Quadric Group | Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation | The City of Emeryville | Shartsis Friese LLP | Walter Jerome Haas and Julie Salles Haas | Whole Foods | Sam W. Klein Charitable Trust | Van Acker Construction | County of Alameda Board of Supervisors | Arent Fox LLP | Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.

HELP US bring more voices to the screen.
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