Narrative film is a powerful medium that has the potential to inspire social change. The Rainin Foundation’s unique partnership with SFFILM makes them the largest granting body for independent narrative feature films in the United States. The SFFILM / Rainin Filmmaking grants program supports the production of projects internationally that benefit and uplift the Bay Area filmmaking community in a professional and economic capacity.

Strengthening the Bay Area Filmmaking Community

The following grants and programs, managed by SFFILM and supported by the Rainin Foundation, offer assistance and opportunities to champion filmmakers as they develop their careers.

  • SFFILM / Rainin Filmmaking Grants fund the production of narrative feature films with social justice themes.
  • FilmHouse Residency offers free office space to filmmakers to share talents and resources with their peers.
  • Producer Fellowships provide six-months of support to independent producers working on narrative features.
  • Women Filmmaker Fellowships address the inequity of women in film by helping female directors and writers realize their creative visions.
  • Off the Page offers script workshopping with professional actors.
SFFILM administers all of these programs. Learn more about opportunities on their website and contact them directly with any questions.

Growing a Network of Talented Filmmakers

Fruitvale Station

Since 2009, the SFFILM / Rainin grants program has supported more than 68 narrative film projects including: Jonas Carpignano’s Mediterranea, which premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival; Chloé Zhao’s Songs My Brothers Taught Me, which screened at Sundance and Cannes; Kat Candler’s Hellion and Ira Sachs’ Love Is Strange, both of which premiered to strong reviews at Sundance 2014; Short Term 12, Destin Cretton’s sophomore feature that won both the Narrative Grand Jury Award and Audience Award at South by Southwest 2013; Ryan Coogler’s debut feature Fruitvale Station, which won the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature, the Un Certain Regard Avenir Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award in the narrative category at Sundance 2013; and Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin’s debut phenomenon which won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize and Cannes’ Camera d’Or in 2012 and earned four Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture).