Submission period opens 9:00 am April 1 – and closes Noon May 13, 2019
To date, the BFF has awarded over $1.5 million to 120 filmmakers and 36 student filmmakers. The BFF focuses on supporting social, historical and innovative documentary and dramatic works. Many of our grant winners have gone on to screen at U.S. and international film festivals, been recognized with prestigious awards, received television broadcasts, and are making a difference around the world. You can be one of them!


FILMMAKERS: All filmmakers who reside or work in the cities of Richmond, El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, and Oakland!

STUDENT GRANTS : Students 18+ who live in Richmond, El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, and Oakland and are enrolled in a film arts program in the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco and Marin may apply .

W ilder than Wild: Fire, Forests and the Future
Screening at the New Parkway

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 | 7:00 pm
The New Parkway Theater
474 24th St. | Oakland

We are experiencing now the fires of the future .” — CAL FIRE Chief, Ken Pimlott.

Wilder than Wild: Fire, Forests, and the Future   reveals how fire suppression and climate change have exposed our forests and wildland-urban landscapes to large, high severity wildfires, while greenhouse gases released from these fires contribute to global warming. In this one-hour documentary, filmmaker Kevin White takes us on a journey from the Rim Fire of 2013 to the wine country wildfires of 2017.
Directed by Kevin White
Produced by Stephen Most
With Filmmakers and special guest!

Mark Your Calendars
May 2 Workshop:
Perfecting Your Pitch

Thursday, May 2, 2019
1:30 pm–4:00 pm
The David Brower Center
2150 Allston Way | Berkeley 94704

Perfecting Your Pitch with award winning film producer Richard O’Connell.
Before a film, documentary or mini-series makes it to your local theater or to Netflix or HBO, it was presented in a pitch meeting. These meetings, often years in the making, allow Hollywood screenwriters, independent filmmakers, and producers between three to five minutes to propose their idea to an investor or co-producer. Ironically it often takes only about 45 seconds for investors or studio reps to know if they are interested or not, and 98% of the time they are not. So how can you improve your odds of a successful meeting or giving a winning pitch? 
Richard O’Connell is an Emmy Award winning filmmaker, producer and educator. Richard worked for 15 years at the Independent Television Service as Head of Production and later as Senior Producer of National Productions. During his time at ITVS, Richard oversaw the production, delivery and broadcast of over 600 films to PBS and all the national series including Frontline, American Masters, Great performances, POV and Independent Lens.
BFF Grantees in the News

Deann Borshay Liem 
Geographies of Kinship  (BFF Grant, 2012) will have its World Premiere as the Closing Night film at CAAMFest in May 19 at the Roxie Theatre. Followed by a panel discussion with participants and a closing night party. Congratulations to Deann!

Connie Field
The Whistleblower of My Lai  since it’s World Premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival, the film played at Santa Fe Film Festival, the Salt Spring Film Festival, and as part of the Albany FilmFest. Next stop, the Ashland Independent Film Festival, April 11–15.

Jed Riffe
A Dangerous Idea: Eugenics, Genetics and The American Dream , a documentary featuring Van Jones and Robert Reich will be screening around the Bay Area.
Tuesday, April 23 | The New Parkway, Oakland
Wednesday, April 24 | 7:00 pm
Smith Rafael Film Center, San Rafael
Thursday, April 25 | 7:00 pm
Delancey Street, Screening Room,SF Preceded by a Reception at 6:00 pm.

Film will be presented by filmmakers Maureen Gosling, Jed Riffe and Stephanie Welch

Made possible by a grant from the Fleishhacker Foundation.
Denize Zmehol was included in this list of 15 Bay Area Filmmakers to Watch and will be featured in May Pop Up Magazine events to share her journey to create Skin of Glass through the Pop Up Magazine spring tour. (dates and cities below)
Denise will present clips from the film-in-progress, describing the journey to discovery of her father’s threatened legacy as an artist through the story of his masterpiece building, a 25-story office tower nicknamed “Pele de Vidro” (Skin of Glass), which became Sao Paulo’s largest high-rise favela. Help spread the word.

Friday, May 10 | Sydney Goldstein Theater (Nourse Theater), San Francisco
Saturday, May 11 | Paramount Theater, Oakland
Monday, May 13 | Revolution Hall, Portland
Tuesday, May 14 | Revolution Hall, Portland
Wednesday, May 15 | Benaroya, Seattle
Friday, May 17 | Ace Theater, Los Angeles
Wednesday, May 29 | BAM, New York
Friday, May 31 | Lincoln Theater, Washington, D.C.
Upcoming Film Festivals in the San Francisco Bay Area
SF International Film Festival  
April 10–23, 2019

Film Festival’s lineup will include six features and five short films that have received support from SFFILM Makers, which provides grants, fellowships, residencies, and professional development opportunities.

Tom Quinn’s  Colewell, Ljubomir Stefanov & Tamara Kotevska’s  Honeyland, Liza Mandelup’s  Jawline, Luke Lorentzen’s  Midnight Family​​, and Michael Tyburski’s  The Sound of Silence 

May 2–May 5
Marin County, CA

Presented by the   California Film Institute, DocLands Documentary Film Festival is a non-competitive, non-juried, inclusive festival dedicated to building connections and partnerships that will invigorate the business and art of nonfiction filmmaking.

DocPitch at DOCLANDS
Saturday, May 4
11:00 am–1:00 pm
Smith Rafael Film Center
$8 / $7 CFI members 

DocPitch is designed to connect filmmakers and their ideas to funders, distributors, organizations, philanthropists, fellow filmmakers, and future audiences. Up to five film projects currently in development or post-production have been selected to present their pitches. The audience will vote for their favorite, which will receive a $25,000 cash award. Please join us and become one of the first to witn ess these new projects in development and vote to help a filmmaker take home the cash! 
Congratulations to BFF grantees Nicole Newnham and James LeBrecht for last year’s 2018 winning pitch.
World Wide Opportunities

Call for submissions: IDFA 2019

May 1st (for projects completed before April 30th) and August 1st (for projects completed after April 30th)

Our friends at IDFA are now accepting submissions for documentaries, interactive and immersive projects. The 2019 festival is the 32nd edition and takes place from Nov 20–Dec 1 Good luck!

A Special Thank You to Our Donors:

The City of Berkeley | Wareham Development | The Saul Zaentz Company |
The Nancy P. and Richard K. Robbins Family Foundation | The Fleishhaker 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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