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Grants to California Filmmakers and Students for
Animation Films, Dramatic Works, and Documentaries

Film and Video Grant Program

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Berkeley Film Foundation (BFF)

Deadline Date:

05/09/22 12:00 Noon


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Grants to California students and filmmakers in eligible regions to create animation films, short dramatic works, and documentaries. Funding is intended to support projects that are already in the production, post-production, or distribution stages. Eligible applicants are East-Bay based emerging and established independent filmmakers whose work combines intellectual clarity with creative use of the medium. For general grants, filmmakers must work or live in Berkeley, Emeryville, Albany, El Cerrito, Richmond, or Oakland. Applicants for student grants must be currently enrolled in a full-time film studies program in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, or Marin.

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)

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:

BFF accepts applications from filmmakers in Production, Post-Production or Distribution.

- Must work or live in Berkeley, Emeryville, Albany, El Cerrito, Richmond or Oakland. No P.O. Boxes accepted.
- Must be at least 18 years of age.
- Must 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.
- For General Grants: Applicant must be the Director or Producer of the film. Organizations may not apply.
- For General Grants: Must reside or work in a qualified city for at least one year prior to the application deadline.
- For Student Grants: Must be currently enrolled in a full-time film studies program in the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, or Marin.

Not Eligible:
- Broadcast news journalism
- Broadcast reality entertainment
- Advertising Commercials
- Industrial or Corporate Media
- Animation over 30 minutes, narratives over 30 minutes, or music videos eligible only under the Student Grant.
- Pre-production film projects.

What Is 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.

Pre-Application Information:

The BFF 2022 grant cycle will be open on April 4. Deadline to apply is May 9 at 12:00 noon.

The review process takes five to six weeks before making recommendations. Applicants notified of award decisions no later than mid-July 2022.

A clip of up to 10 minutes of edited footage is required with your application.

The Saul Zaentz award and The Al Bendich award will be determined by the Grants Review Panel; they may not be applied for separately.

Applicants may submit one project for consideration per funding cycle.

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

For content questions, please contact the Berkeley FILM Foundation at or

For technical assistance, including troubles accessing your account or uploading files, please contact Submittable Support at

Berkeley FILM Foundation
Saul Zaentz Center
2600 Tenth St, Suite 427
Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 705-1481 (office)

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: All applicants must live or work in Berkeley, Emeryville, Albany, El Cerrito, Richmond and Oakland; For students, film studies program must be in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, or Marin.

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