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Film and Video Grant Program

Grants to Bay Area, California Filmmakers for Dramatic,
Animated, and Documentary Film and Video Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Berkeley Film Foundation (BFF)

Deadline Date:

05/11/18 12:00 Noon


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Grants of up to $5,000 and grants of up to $12,000 to Bay Area, California independent and student filmmakers to produce animated, documentary, and dramatic works of film and video. Funding is intended to support creative film projects that are in the production, post-production, and distribution stages.

Grants are available in two categories: to support emerging and established independent filmmakers whose work combines intellectual clarity with creative use of the medium, and for student filmmakers currently enrolled in a full time film program.

The Saul Zaentz Award of $25,000 is given each year to honor Saul’s legacy. An award of $20,000 is given in honor of social justice advocate and BFF founding member, Al Bendich. These awards will be determined by the Grants Review Panel, there is no application for either award.

The mission of the BFF is to nurture, sustain and preserve the thriving local film community and provides grants for social, historical, and innovative documentary, animation, and dramatic work(s).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 153759

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Up to $12,000 for general awards.
- Up to $5,000 for student awards.
- The Saul Zaentz award is $25,000 and The Al Bendich award is $20,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligibility for filmmakers:
- Filmmakers must work or live in Berkeley, Emeryville, Albany, El Cerrito, or Richmond. Applicants must use a valid street address for application - no P.O. Boxes will be accepted.
- Applicants must be the Director or Producer of the film.
- Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.
- Applicants must be residing or working in a qualified city for at least one year prior to the application deadline.
- Applicants must be the primary creator of work submitted.

Eligibility for student filmmakers:
- Applicant must be over the age of 18.
- Students must live in the cities of Berkeley, Emeryville, Albany, El Cerrito, Richmond or Oakland. No P.O. Boxes
accepted for address.
- Must be currently enrolled in a full time film studies program in the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco and Marin.
- Be the primary creator of work submitted.
- BFF will not consider a new film proposal from a former grant recipient until the prior funded film is completed.

Eligible Genre:
- Short Form Animation (30 minutes or less)
- Short Form Narratives (30 minutes or less)
- Short Documentary (40 minutes or less)
- Long Documentary (over 40 minutes)

For ITVS funded films, only applications for distribution can be accepted.

Not eligible:
- Broadcast news journalism
- Broadcast reality entertainment
- Advertising Commercials
- Industrial or Corporate Media
- Animation over 30 minutes
- Narratives over 30 minutes
- Music Videos

Not Funded:
- The Foundation does not cover costs retroactively.
- Media projects other than film or video.
- Organizational projects for internal or promotional use.
- General operating expenses of companies or organizations.
- Student Projects. (for Filmmaker grants only)
- Pre-production film projects.
- Organizations may NOT apply.

Pre-Application Information:

Only the official online application will be accepted. It will not be considered complete until accompanying documents are received, which must be before 12:00 Noon, Friday, May 11, 2018. No exceptions.

Applicants will be notified of award decisions no later than July/August 2018.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Official applications and support documents must be emailed to:
Phone: 510.705.1481

Berkeley FILM Foundation
2600 10th Street, Suite 408
Berkeley, CA 94710

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: Berkeley, Emeryville, Albany, El Cerrito, Richmond or Oakland.