2023 SFFILM Rainin Filmmakers With Disabilities Grantees Announced - Kenneth Rainin Foundation

2023 SFFILM Rainin Filmmakers With Disabilities Grantees Announced

The headshots of the three grantees against a pink background. Vivien Hillgrove, Andrew Reid and Daniela Muñoz. Photos courtesy of SFFILM.

Directors Vivien Hillgrove, Andrew Reid and Daniela Muñoz have been selected to receive funding through SFFILM’s suite of Artist Development programs. The Rainin Filmmakers with Disabilities Grant, introduced in 2020, supports filmmakers whose works specifically address stories from the diverse disability community. The partnership between SFFILM and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation works to create a more inclusive film landscape by ensuring systemically excluded communities have access to artistic and financial support. 

The panel who chose the grantees noted in a statement: “We are delighted to support these three outstanding filmmakers, who impressed us with their boldness and creativity. With this strong cohort, we are proud to provide funding and artist development benefits to narrative and documentary films, features and shorts all at different stages of production. We are extremely grateful to the Kenneth Rainin Foundation for their continued partnership in this initiative that supports filmmakers from underserved communities and gives space to vital stories that expand our understanding of disability within our communities.”

The panel that reviewed submissions for the Rainin Filmmaker with Disabilities Grant included Filmmaker and FilmHouse alumni Javid Soriano; Erika Arnold, SFFILM Artist Development Associate Manager; Rosa Morales, SFFILM Artist Development Manager: Narrative Film; Joshua Moore, SFFILM Artist Development Manager of Documentary Programs; and Masashi Niwano, SFFILM Director of Artist Development.

The 2023 Grantees

Vivien’s Wild Ride—Vivien Hillgrove, director (post-production)—$10,000

Headshot of Vivien Hillgrove.
Vivien Hillgrove. Photo courtesy of SFFILM.

After a long career in cinema, veteran film editor Vivien Hillgrove discovers she is losing her sight, catapulting her into unknown territory where she is haunted by a previous loss. What unfolds is an unconventional documentary memoir that invites viewers into the artist’s inner world while she grapples with encroaching blindness and struggles to reinvent herself at age 70.

About The Director

Vivien Hillgrove is a documentary film director and a picture and dialogue editor in the San Francisco Bay Area with over 50 years of experience in the film business. She has worked extensively on both narrative and documentary films. She is a member of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and has served as an advisor for numerous Sundance Documentary Composer/Edit Labs.

Iron Lung—Andrew Reid, director (post-production)—$5,000

Headshot of Andrew Reid.
Andrew Reid. Photo courtesy of SFFILM.

When a storm knocks out the power to her iron lung, a polio survivor and her sister find themselves in a race against time to find a new way for her to breathe.

About The Director

Andrew Reid is a disabled Jamaican-Cuban storyteller who migrated to the United States at the age of 10. He was an undocumented immigrant for several years before receiving US citizenship under the wet foot, dry foot policy from the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966. He is a Directors Guild of America Award winning director and MFA graduate from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. His award-winning projects have screened at Slamdance, Creative Artists Agency’s Moebius, Paramount Pictures, HollyShorts, Cleveland, Pan African and over 70 other film festivals worldwide. He was recently nominated at the NAACP Image Awards, HBO Max Latino Short Film Competition and Best of NewFilmmakers Los Angeles.

Silence Diaries—Daniela Muñoz, director (production)—$10,000

Headshot of Daniela Muñoz.
Daniela Muñoz. Photo courtesy of SFFILM.

Silence Diaries is the record of a journey to learn a new language. An autobiographical documentary where the director deals, through memories, with uprooting and hearing loss. It is an exploration of hypoacusia and exile as successive mourning processes.

About The Director

Daniela Muñoz is a cuban documentary filmmaker, producer and photographer who graduated from the University of Arts, Havana, in 2017. Co-founder of the independent Cuban production company ESTUDIO ST, with which she has produced the short films TundraEl RodeoThe Rubber Boy and most recently, History is written at nightBlue and 4 Holes. Her films have also been selected for festivals like Sundance, Rotterdam, Locarno, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), Clermont-Ferrand, Ji.hlava, Bogoshorts, Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema and Miami, among others.

Her films understand and explore cinema from the perspective of her hypoacusia, proposing others sound universes. An example of this is her feature documentary Mafifa (2021), which premiered at Luminous of IDFA and was selected in numerous international festivals. It had its North American premiere at True/False Film Festival and screened at the International Documentary Association’s Spring Docs/Nonfiction Access Initiative in 2023. She also directed the documentary short film Gloom (2021) which premiered at Festival Internacional de Cine de Viña del Mar, Chile, and with which she participated in the Open Doors program at the Locarno Film Festival in 2022. She recently finished 4 Holes, which had its world premiere at IDFA, and North American premiere at Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal in Canada at the end of 2023.

Her current feature-length documentary project Silence Diaries was selected for the Spanish Academy Residencies for 2023–2024, and won the prestigious Chicken & Egg fund awarded to women documentary filmmakers for the research phase. She is also currently working on the development of several hybrid and fiction feature films. She also participated in the Producers Lab at Locarno Open Doors, 2023.

About The SFFILM Rainin Grant

The SFFILM and Kenneth Rainin Foundation partnership is the largest granting body for independent narrative feature films in the United States. SFFILM Rainin Grants are awarded to filmmakers whose narrative feature films will have a significant economic or professional impact on the Bay Area filmmaking community and/or meaningfully explore pressing social issues.

The SFFILM Rainin Grant is currently accepting applications for the 2024 cycle. The final deadline to apply is May 3, 2024. For more information visit sffilm.org/rainin-grant.