January News

Welcome 2023!

Photo by Marisol Benitez via Unsplash.com


New President Announcement!

WIFSFBA is happy to announce that Julie Rubio has been appointed as the new President in the coming 2023-2026 term. Preparations are underway for a thorough transition of the organization between the outgoing president, Tasha Nesbitt, and incoming president, Julie Rubio, through Q1 of 2023. Invitations for a celebration event will be shared with members once the transition period is complete. Keep an eye out for details this spring.

The WIFSFBA Board of Directors gives praise to outgoing president Tasha Nesbitt for her leadership. Since her election as President in 2019, Tasha has positioned WIFSFBA as an upstanding, influential, and educational organization and community that supports women in film. During her tenure, the organization has become a strong, diverse organization with a powerful and inclusive board of directors.

A Note from WIFSFBA’s new President 

I have been a member of WIFSFBA for the last three years and a member of our former chapters BAWIFM/Cinema Chicks for over 20 years. I believe in our powerful organization and I am proud to serve as the next president. I will continue to provide critical support for our mission to empower, promote, and celebrate women's creative work! I will seek to deliver useful solutions, build a strong community, and further the craft for women working at all levels in film, television, and digital media in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I’m honored to be chosen to lead WIFSFBA in the years ahead and look forward to working with our outstanding board of directors. We will provide an intentionally welcoming and safe environment where all of our members feel valued and cared for, and where all are given the opportunity to form meaningful connections with one another. We will continue to promote a climate of inclusion, elevating and amplifying the role of women in film and media.

I’m looking forward to sharing the leadership of WIFSFBA with Tasha Nesbitt during the transition period. I salute Tasha, who has worked tirelessly to build our organization since the beginning in 2019. Through her hard work and focus, she has continued to unite us in a vision of female empowerment and advancement. Tasha continually inspires me with her passion and drive. Our goal remains firm: to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion in the screen industry. 

I have had the privilege of serving on the board as Vice President alongside such intelligent, innovative, strong, and talented women. I look forward to a bright future ahead. 

Thank you for this incredible opportunity. 

With warm regards,


Congratulations to New Board Members!

Congratulations to Nichole Carlson and Kelli White, our new WIFSFBA Board members! 

Kelli White: Kelli has a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, a master’s degree in Emergency Management & Homeland Security, and has completed intensive workshops in both Film Production and Script Supervising. Throughout the years, Kelli has responded to accidents and disasters as both an investigator and an emergency responder. In recent years she has produced and/or worked as a crewmember on nine short films and two features and is currently in development on four other projects.


She formed her first production company with a childhood friend and a strong female writer, reconnecting over the desire to tell stories that focus on strong, female characters with a passion to do more and help others. Kelli has three goals she focuses on as she selects her projects: work with a great team or teams of people, do something meaningful, and have some fun while doing it.

Nichole Carlson: An ever inquisitive creative, Nichole Carlson received her Bachelor of Music Education and Music COF Psychology degree from the University of Florida. In 2002 she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and began taking acting classes at the American Conservatory Theater. During this time it became clear her interests were behind the camera. For years she studied film through university coursework and on-set experience, all while working a full-time day job and raising two children. 

Through this journey, Nichole discovered film directing was her true path. She then set out to create her own projects and shepherd them from script to screen using her versatile production background. Her most recent film project, which she wrote, produced and directed, “Maternally Damned” is featured in Sinphony: A Clubhouse Horror Anthology.

End of Year Reflection

Photo by cottonbro studio via Pexels.com

This has been a year of successes at WIFSFBA! Let’s take a look back on some of what we’ve accomplished in 2022.

Volunteers were treated to an in-person lunch and gifts with the board.

We held two major events this year: Covid Compliance On Set was our spring event and the highly attended State of Post-Production was our fall event.

Members had a chance to learn about how to pitch their projects to a panel of experts at our popular Script Incubator event this year.

We continued to provide financial education to members in two separate events this year.

Another popular event was our inaugural Short Film Showcase, with filmmaker Q & A panel.

We co-sponsored a film screening at Cinequest and hosted a live in-person event at the festival pavilion to celebrate. Not to mention our virtual socials on Wonder.me - it’s been a full year! All this while we continued to grow our membership through 2022.

Member Poll

As we move forward into 2023, we’d like to hear from you! We are working on a member survey to help us know each other and our community better as we plan for the new year. So stay tuned for a link! 


Script Incubator Pitch-A-Pro Event!

Join us January 31 for a Script Incubator sponsored Pitch Panel!

Are you a screenwriter with a completed script or a director with a project looking for a producer? Are you a producer looking for a partner? Would you like to get your project before a streaming service?

Then come to our Pitch-A-Pro Night when you can present your 2–3-minute project pitch to the producer, agent, manager, or streaming service rep of your choice! If there is space and time, you may be able to pitch more than one executive. At the end of the evening, at least four lucky people will get a chance to pitch all of the professionals at once before the entire audience. We have four execs coming with more being added! 

More details to be announced in early January!

Cost: $20 non-members, $10 members


The Liberation Film Festival

When: Saturday, January 14, 2023 @12PM  

   Tuesday, January 17, 2023 @9PM

Tickets are FREE -- no registration needed

Where: Various Locations

The Liberation Film Festival (LFF) is dedicated to bringing short-format cinema and human interest documentaries to the public through innovative programs designed to engage new and diverse audiences. 2023 marks the thirteenth annual program and will feature human interest and civil rights documentaries and conversations. In partnership with California Newsreel, the screenings are free and open to the public with limited theater seating on a first-come first-served basis.  

MORE INFO: Liberation Film Festival

'Film n a Day' Actors & Directors Challenge

When: January 14, 2023 @10:00 AM-6:30 PM PST

Where:  Movie Making Throughout the Bay! Inc. 13 Pacific Avenue, Rodeo, CA 94572

ACTORS, FILMMAKERS, WRITERS compete in teams and make a short film!

Films made during this event will be screened at a local theater in the Bay Area and voted on for a chance to win $1,000 and a trophy.  Everyone attending this event will receive IMDB credits.


MORE INFO: Film n a Day Challenge

 Fishnets and Film ~ Drag Show & Queer Cinema

When:  January 26, 2023, @7-8:30PM (Doors open at 6PM)

Where: The Bureau 510 -- 5800 Hollis St, Emeryville, CA

This is a Drag Show WITH a Screening of a short LGBTQ+ film In ONE LIVE SHOW. Come be entertained by Queer Performance Art & Queer Cinema!  This show is also sponsored by over two dozen businesses and key community members. This is a family-friendly restaurant and show. Minors can attend with their parents.


MORE INFO: Fishnets and Film - Drag Show & Queer Cinema


When:  January 20, 2023 – February 5, 2023 | $22-$55 

Where: Various Locations

SF Sketchfest was founded in 2001 with a mission to highlight Bay Area comedy groups, and has grown into a nationally recognized festival that includes film, promotes emerging talent, and attracts big names. 

The comedy festival will include a screening and panel to celebrate mockumentary A Mighty Wind, and a 50th anniversary screening of the 1973 neo-noir satire, The Long Farewell. 

MORE INFO: SF Sketchfest


The Brklyn Film Festival

Submission Period: November 30, 2022 - March 13, 2023

BFF is a festival for and by independent filmmakers. The organizers bring to this annual event 25 years of festival experience. BFF accepts submissions in six categories: Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Short Narrative, Short Documentary, Experimental, and Animation.

MORE INFO: Brooklyn Film Festival - FilmFreeway

ATX TV Pitch Competition

Deadline: January 29, 2023

“We believe that anyone anywhere has the potential to write the next great scripted TV series! 

We created The Pitch Competition as a platform for you, the undiscovered burgeoning TV Writer, to get your idea and script in front of some of TV’s greatest showrunners and executives all while forming a community of support with other writers and leading industry members along the way. 

We work closely with our panelists, alums, advisory board members, and competition partners, to fulfill our mission of giving you the opportunity, tools, and resources to get you to the next stage of your writing career, whatever that may be!

We may open the door, but it’s your ideas and talent that keep you in the room!”

MORE INFO: ATX TV Pitch Competition

18th Annual SF International Festival of Short Films

Deadline: April 10, 2023

“SF Shorts explores a wide mix of genres and cultures without circumscribing them into niches. We accept all types of short films, which for us includes music videos. Our festival prides itself on its range. It's our mission to present the widest possible scope of content. Go to our website to view the 2022 season’s diverse range of films, many of which continue to screen there.”



Deadline: January 26, 2023

The COVEN Film Festival is hosting a COVEN Film Challenge -- a new short film program that provides funding and support to emerging women and non-binary filmmakers from the San Francisco Bay Area to write and film a narrative short film. Indigenous, disabled, LGBTQ+ and BIPOC makers are also encouraged to submit. Over the course of a few months, filmmakers will be asked to pitch, write, produce, shoot and complete a 3-5 minute short film.  The COVEN Film Challenge will provide resources and in-kind support for filmmakers to complete their short film. 

MORE INFO: Coven Film Fest


Film Independent Sloan Distribution Grant

Rolling Submissions

The Sloan Distribution Grant is a $50,000 grant awarded by Film Independent to a film that is entering its distribution phase. Eligible films must depict themes, stories and characters grounded in real science, technology or economics.

MORE INFO: Sloan Distribution Grant Information

Diversity Development Fund

Looking for exceptional stories by filmmakers from diverse backgrounds: stories that take creative risks, inspire dialogue, and are rarely seen on public media. They are committed to supporting producers of color and creating public media programming that is truly inclusive. Diversity Development Fund gives directors of color up to $35,000 in research and development funding to develop documentaries for public media. The documentary can be on any subject, viewpoint, or style as long as it is in development or pre-production. 

NOTE:  There is only one funding round per year -- check it out now to prepare for the upcoming open admission period. 

MORE INFO: Diversity Development Fund

Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant

Deadline for submissions:  April 29th, 2023

Now celebrating its 30th year, the Roy W. Dean Film Grants fund independent feature films, documentaries, web series, and narrative live action or animated short films with budgets of $500,000 or less that are unique and make a contribution to society that, without its help, might otherwise never get made. 

MORE INFO: Roy W. Dean Short Film Grant

Doc Society Climate Story Fund 

Submission Deadline:  February 1, 2023

The Climate Story Fund supports compelling storytelling and impact campaigns from around the world that move us closer to a climate just and biodiverse future. The fund will support 6-8 projects with grants ranging between $20,000 and $100,000 per project. This can include long form non-fiction, shorts or episodic docs as well as podcasts and AR/VR.

For more info:  Doc Society Climate Story Fund

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