The San Francisco Film Society and Kenneth Rainin Foundation announced the winner of their $35,000 Filmmaking Grant on May 6th. The grant is given to a filmmaker for a narrative feature film with a social justice theme that is made in the San Francisco Bay Area.
This year, Richard Levien has been chosen for the acclaimed prize for his film, La Migra. The film focuses on the deportation process, told through the story of an eleven-year-old girl named Alondra. While Levien won for his screenwriting and script development, his first directorial debut played at multiple festivals including Slamdance, Aspen Shortsfest, and the Seattle International Film Festival.
An honorable mention went to Amanda Micheli for Tomboy, her script of a coming of age film around a young woman’s sexual identity, female courage and self-determination set in the world of college women’s rugby. Jeff Zimbalist also received honorable mention for The Scribe of Uraba, which chronicles the rise of the Nobel Prize-nominated Peace Community Movement in Latin America.
The panelists who reviewed the 124 submissions are Linda Blackaby, director of programming, San Francisco Film Society; Jennifer Chaiken, partner, 72 Productions; Graham Leggat, executive director, San Francisco Film Society; Jennifer Rainin, president, Kenneth Rainin Foundation; and George Rush, entertainment attorney.
These awards are presented in part to the collaboration between the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and the San Francisco Film Society. The Rainin Foundation aims to enhance the quality of life by enabling inspiration through the magic of the arts, while the SFFS is dedicated to celebrating film and the moving image in all glorious forms.
The grants, which run from 2009-2013, will be awarded in the spring and fall of each year. The total amount disbursed over these five years will be over $3 million. The next letter of inquiry period for the second $35,000 SFFS/KRF grant, to be announced, for screenwriting, script development, preproduction and postproduction, will begin on July 21 with the deadline as August 28.