July News

Welcome July!

*Image by Freepik

Summer is here! We here at WIFSFBA wish all of you a great summer, filled with enlightening and inspiring works of art. Personally, I’m enjoying getting into The Bear again and love the first episode of season 3…despite minimal dialogue, it’s filled with beautiful direction & acting, brilliant editing, and a soundtrack by Trent Reznor. Despite what might be going on in the world, we can take solace in the fact that humans can create beautiful stories that move us and bring us together in our common humanity. 

To celebrate summer, please join us for our upcoming in-person mixer at the BraveMaker film festival on July 13th in Redwood City! More info below.

Letter from the President

Dear Members,

As we celebrate Independence Day, we reflect on our cherished freedoms and the strides we’ve made toward equality and representation in the film industry.

Summer is upon us, bringing long days and warm nights that provide the perfect backdrop for creativity and connection. Let’s embrace this season to explore new ideas, collaborate on exciting projects, and recharge our spirits.

At Women in Film San Francisco Bay Area, we are committed to supporting, empowering, and advocating for women filmmakers. Our independence as creators is essential in shaping diverse and impactful narratives. Together, we challenge norms, break barriers, and inspire future generations.

Speaking of inspiring women, I’d like to give a special shout-out to our board members, Darlene DeRose, Kelli White, and Nil Ünerdem, for being selected for the BraveMaker Film Festival in July. Their achievements reflect the talent and dedication within our community.

Enjoy the festivities and the vibrant energy of summer. Let’s celebrate our accomplishments and renew our dedication to our mission. I encourage you all to participate in our upcoming events, engage with our community, and continue supporting one another in our professional journeys.

Wishing you a joyous Independence Day and an inspiring summer!

Warm regards,

Julie Rubio, WIFSFBA President


Summer Mixer at the Bravemaker Film Festival!

When: July 13th, 2024 at 11:30 AM PDT

Where: in person at Hella Mediterranean, 855 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City, CA 94063

Cost: free

Grab your lunch at Hella Mediterranean in Redwood City and join Women In Film San Francisco Bay Area and other female filmmakers from all over the country who are attending the BraveMaker Film Festival (July 11th - 14th).  The restaurant will be giving 10% Off on all items purchased.

Then walk over to the festival’s FREE Women In Entertainment Panel starting at 1:00pm at the Redwood City Library.

It’s a great opportunity to connect with and learn from other female filmmakers you may not otherwise have the opportunity to meet.

Please RSVP so we can give the restaurant a headcount.

MORE INFO and register here: Events - Summer Mixer


Script Incubator News

Our next monthly Table Read will be on Monday, July 15th  from 7-9pm. Come join us and hear 1-10 page excerpts from writers’ work, read by talented actors from the Bay Area and beyond. 

No homework! Just show up! And all participants are encouraged to give feedback.

If you have any questions about the table-read or would like to reserve a spot for your script at the June meeting, feel free to contact Carol Hall at bod-admin@wifsfba.org with “Script Incubator” in the subject line. 


BraveMaker Film Fest - WIFSFBA Board & Member Films

This year’s BraveMaker film fest will include films made by WIFSFBA member Jessica Sison as well as Board members Darlene DeRose, Kelli White, and Nil Unerdem! Please check them out and come say hi at our in person mixer during the festival!

The Elevator Dance (For Elisa) Remix (Jessica Sison) - On February 13, 2013, the Los Angeles Police Department released surveillance footage of a missing young woman. The footage showed Elisa Lam in a hotel elevator behaving strangely. This was her last known sighting. It was an instant internet sensation and was seen by 3 million people in China alone. The unsettling video prompted one person to write, "I'm so scared, I'm shaking. I'm numb." Her body was found on February 19, and the circumstances surrounding her death are still shrouded in mystery.

Rather than trying to solve the mystery of her death, this film is meant to be a celebration of her life. Her unusual moves have been reimagined into a dance where her spirit is set free.

Finding Hope in America (Darlene DeRose) - The nightmare of addiction, seen through the eyes of a group of men and women, and the power of the community that saves their lives. Playing July 12th and July 14th. 

Lost, Not Forgotten (Kelli A. White) - Shane, a high school senior, is in a cycle of drugs, alcohol, and running from the people that are willing to show him love. He is just skating by in school, smart enough to go places but not wanting to put in the work, and is lost in a world where he doesn’t want to figure out who he is. He doesn’t want to figure that out, but he’s scared he is like his father, who left him for drugs and alcohol, and he doesn’t see the parallels of this until his life crumbles around him and he realizes he has to be the one to determine his own fate and break this cycle.

Infectious Theatre (Kelli A. White) - They have to go viral or the show can't go on. This mockumentary comedy acts like a pilot episode to a TV series. In order to keep their doors open, Storytelling Theatre Institute hires a social media influencer to help them get more money...and followers, but instead they get more problems.

The Eulogies (Kelli A. White) - Everyone has something to share about Bhadrak Kappor when he dies. His wife, his adult kids, his sister-in-law, his brother, his next door neighbor, and even the intern who worked at his company, whether she was invited or not. Grief comes in many forms and grief expresses itself through many stories.

Pearl in the Window (Nil Unerdem) - When her chipper caregiver goes missing, an isolated, irritable old woman fearfully goes on a journey to find her, embracing her need for connection on the way. 

CineSource Magazine - Rubio's New Feature on Painter Tamara de Lempicka

Our President, Julie Rubio, has been mentioned in another article for her upcoming documentary feature on artist Tamara de Lempicka in CineSource magazine!

“I live life in the margins of society,” said Tamara de Lempicka (1894-1980), a Polish painter who lived in France, the United States and Mexico. “The rules of normal society don’t apply to those who live on the fringe.”

“Similar could be said for East Bay filmmaker Julie Rubio, whose latest work is a feature documentary, ‘Tamara: The True Story of Tamara de Lempicka & The Art of Survival.’ The film will screen in its entirety at San Francisco’s de Young Museum, as part of the highly anticipated de Lempicka retrospective, which opens October 12, 2024. This event is expected to draw significant attention from art and film enthusiasts alike, providing a platform for Rubio's film to reach a diverse audience.”

Please check it out here: CineSource article on Julie Rubio's new feature

WIFSFBA and NYWIFT member Hyong Jung "Helen" Lee

Hyon Jung “Helen” Lee is the writer and executive producer behind the thought-provoking short film, Bible Camp. This captivating film delves into the lives of young immigrants at a backwater camp who face daily microaggressions from the locals.

“That NYWIFT x WIFSFBA speed networking event? I met Dani Milton (WIFSFBA), who liked hearing about my short film, and she suggested I submit it to the Kansas City Film Fest International, and we just screened the film in KC. Dani moderated the Q&A and I met many wonderful members of the KC film community. It’s a proof point that the speed networking efforts are a smashing success!” - Hyong Jung "Helen" Lee

Helen’s storytelling prowess shines through in Bible Camp, as she skillfully explores important themes such as identity, belonging, and resilience. Through her writing, she sheds light on the challenges faced by young immigrants and encourages dialogue surrounding issues of discrimination and prejudice.

Helen was recently featured in the “Meet the New NYWIFT Member” blog series, where she talked about her career journey from editor to marketer to writer and EP.  

Follow Helen Lee on Instagram at @helen_lee_

Do you have career or event news you’d like to share with fellow members?  

We’d really like to hear about any recent career accomplishments, awards, new ventures, or a positive experience having to do with our industry.  This is one of the advantages to being part of an organization like WIFSFBA -- by letting others know what you’re doing, you can expand your creative family and even  find new collaborators for future projects.   

So…take a moment to sit down and write something you’d like to share with your WIFSFBA sisters.  Then email that blurb and any related images to bod-admin@wifsfba.org with ‘Members in the News’ in the subject line.  Do it now rather than next week -- you deserve to shine!  Submit by the end of the month to be included in the next newsletter.

June Events Wrap Up

Writing Workshop with Lorien McKenna 

Thanks to everyone who joined us for a very special evening with Lorien McKenna, screenwriter and popular co-host of the Screenwriting Life podcast, on June 5th. We learned about Lorien’s screenwriting journey from working at Pixar to showrunner for Emmy-winning Tab Time

We left inspired, and Lorien’s guided meditation type writing workshop was an emotional experience! We hope to welcome her back soon for another fun and engaging event!

Screening of Daddio (with Sony Picture Classics) at the AMC Metreon

WIFSFBA partnered with Sony Picture Classics for a screening of the new film Daddio starring Sean Penn and Dakota Johnson, directed by Christy Hall at the AMC Metreon on June 26th! 

Christy Hall - Director

Christy Hall, a New York City based playwright, moved to LA in 2017 when her original stage play turned screenplay, Daddio, was honored in the top 3 on THE BLACK LIST. A year later, Christy’s original screenplay Get Home Safe was also listed in the top 3 on THE BLACK LIST 2018. She was named one of Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch 2018 and went on to write, executive-produce and co-create the series I Am Not Okay With This for Netflix and 21 Laps, which premiered in 2020.

Community Partners - Events & Invitations

BraveMaker Film Festival - A Celebration of Independent Cinema

Dates: July 11-14, 2024

Where: Redwood City, CA

WIFSFBA is proud to be a Community Partner of the BraveMaker Film Festival, taking place July 11-14th in Redwood City, CA! We have several Board members with films at the festival and will be having an in person mixer event on July 13th (see Upcoming WIFSFBA Events section above) so we hope to see you all there! 

“The Bravemaker Film Festival offers a unique opportunity for filmmakers to showcase their work, connect with other industry professionals, and gain wider exposure for their films. The festival also offers a fantastic platform for film enthusiasts to explore and discover new and emerging talent, while engaging with the dynamic and vibrant community of independent filmmakers.

The Bravemaker Film Festival offers an extensive range of films that cover diverse themes, genres, and styles. From drama to comedy, romance to action, and documentaries to short films, there is something for everyone at this festival. In addition to showcasing films, the festival offers a platform for expert speakers to share their knowledge and experiences, providing valuable insights into the filmmaking industry.”

MORE INFO:BraveMaker Film Festival

For passes, tickets, schedule: BraveMaker film fest schedule

Get your All Access pass  NOW at All Access Pass

Jewish Film Institute Presents:  44th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

When: July 18-August 4th 

Where: San Francisco, CA

WIFSFBA is proud to be a Community Partner of the Jewish Film Institute’s 44th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, taking place July 18 – August 4 in the Bay Area. SFJFF44 will showcase dozens of films, talks, parties, and events that celebrate the latest and greatest in independent Jewish storytelling for audiences everywhere.  

Get your Early Bird passes and tickets  NOW at SFJFF.org 

Opening Night Film Shari & Lamb Chop!

WIFSFBA Previous Speaker and Member Lisa D'Apolito's Film Shari & Lamb Chop Opens the Jewish Film Festival

When: July 18th, 6:30pm with party afterwards at 9:00pm

Where: Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA

"Director Lisa D’Apolito, participant Mallory Lewis, and special guest Lamb Chop expected to attend!

Shari & Lamb Chop traces the career of Shari Lewis, the groundbreaking Jewish puppeteer and performance artist behind the beloved children’s television character “Lamb Chop.” You won't want to miss this joyful documentary honoring a visionary spirit, who kindled the imaginations of dreamers and storytellers across generations.

Following Shari & Lamb Chop, the party continues at the magnificent Palace of Fine Arts with tasty treats and refreshments from our festival partners."

Congratulations Lisa D'Apolito!!

Buy your tickets here: Shari & Lamb Chop tickets at the JFF

The Vine: The Video Industry Networking Event - BBQ & Beats on the Bay

When:  July 4th, 12PM PDT
Where: Arrowhead Marsh, Oakland, CA

“The July mixer promises to be another fantastic opportunity to catch up with colleagues, forge new connections, and share insights into the latest trends and innovations in our industry.

Whether you’re a filmmaker, producer, editor, or play any role in the video industry, The VINE is the place to be for networking and inspiration.”

Register here: VINE Networking Event for July

Micheaux Film Festival -- 20% Discount on Film Submission

Short Form Submission Deadline:  July 11, 2024

“The Micheaux Film Festival is a multicultural festival that celebrates diversity and representation both in front of and behind the camera.  With a focus on fostering inclusivity and promoting emerging talent, the festival embraces a wide range of genres, styles and perspectives.  It acts as a catalyst for change, inspiring a new generation of filmmakers to challenge conventional norms and push the boundaries of storytelling.”

Receive a 20% discount if you submit your film by July 11th -- use Promo Code: MFF24WIFSFBA

Submit films here: Micheaux FF - Use Promo Code  MFF24WIFSBA 

SIMI Film Fest -- Film Submission Invitation

Festival Dates:  September 5-8, 2024 -- Simi Valley, CA
Film Submission Deadline:  July 21, 2024
Cost:  Varies  

“The SIMI Film Fest  extends beyond the ‘start date’ with pre-event online meetings and chances to promote your work throughout the entire festival journey.  

Our curated panels aim to boost filmmakers’ careers by connecting them with industry professionals. We facilitate 1-on-1 meetings after panels with esteemed individuals, including Oscar and Emmy winners, studio execs, and recognized industry experts, to maximize exposure and career advancement opportunities.

What Films are we looking for?   We seek films that capture the essence of cinematic magic across all genres -- comedy, drama, action, thriller, animation, scifi, or any unique combination.  If your storytelling is compelling, you may just be a perfect fit for screening at SIMIFF.”

Contact us at bod-admin@wifsfba.org for a 20% submission WIFSFBA member discount code if submitting.

Submit films here:  SIMI Film Festival 

WIFT-US Member National Networking

When: July 11th, 2024, 7:00 PM Eastern, 4:00 PM Pacific
Where: Zoom

“Join us to meet other crew across the US! Crewing up in another area, join us and let’s put you guys together! Want to network? Join us! Must be a paid member of your local WIF chapter.”

MORE INFO:   Register for WIFTUS Networking Night 


From CineMama - Call for Latinx Filmmakers

Submission deadline: Friday, July 5, 2024 at 11:59pm 

“In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, SFO Video Arts and Film SF are partnering together this fall to curate a short film showcase of work by Latinx filmmakers with ties to the San Francisco Bay Area. This is an opportunity to feature your work to a global audience and we are thrilled to invite filmmakers to participate. Selected filmmakers will receive a $400 honorarium and their films will screen for about 4-5 weeks in the space from 8am-11pm. 

Submissions for the September program are now open and we encourage you to apply today!" 

MORE INFO: Cinemama FilmCinemama application

Athena Film Festival

Festival Dates: March 6-9, 2025

Submission Deadline: August 15, 2024

Entry Fee:  $15

"The 2025 Athena Film Festival marks their 15th anniversary of showcasing stories of women’s leadership. The festival is looking for challenging and original stories to share with their audiences, and to celebrate their ongoing mission. Only short films of 30 minutes in length or less can be submitted, and must have a woman (girl) or women in leadership role(s) or position(s). Projects from all genres are accepted, and stories about women from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural groups are encouraged.  If this sounds like your short film, the Athena Film Festival wants to see it! No writer will ever be turned away due to a lack of funds. To request a waiver for the submission fee, email athenafilmfestival@gmail.com"

Submit here: Athena FF  

Austin Film Festival Script & Film Competition

Film and Short Competition Deadline:

Cost: Varies based on what is being submitted, from $60+. Contact us at bod-admin@wifsfba.org for a member discount code if submitting.

“For thirty years, Austin Film Festival has been catapulting writers into life-changing careers. With one of the most noteworthy competitions among Hollywood tastemakers, AFF consistently yanks newcomers from the isolation of their desks and ushers them into the bustling world of film and television. Whether your dream is to sign a contract, land an agent, learn from an industry icon, or take home the coveted Bronze Typewriter Award, it’s simple: you can’t win if you don’t enter.”

Apply here: Austin Film Festival 

Script Pipeline - First Look Project

Submission Deadline: September 30, 2024

Submission Fee: $50

“The 13th Annual First Look Project searches for higher-concept material across six categories of entry:  

One winner in each division receives a share of $15,000, industry circulation, development assistance, and personalized career guidance over the long-term from Script Pipeline’s executive team. A minimum of one runner-up is also chosen for each category.”

Submit here: First Look Project

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

Extended Deadline: July 15, 2024 

Cost: Varies depending on date submitted

“The 33rd annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (October 18-26, 2024) is the longest-running non-fiction film festival in North America in the following documentary categories:  Shorts, features, episodic series.  HSDFF  is a designated Academy Award-qualifying festival for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts in Sciences in Documentary Short Subject.”

Submit here:  Hot Springs Doc FF

Film Pipeline Shorts Film Competition

Regular Deadline: September 10, 2024 - $40

“The 7th Annual Film Pipeline Shorts Competition seeks remarkable directors and diverse, engaging content -- the type of work defined by forward-thinking perspectives and unconventional yet universally appealing stories.

Film Pipeline has created a platform significantly different from a festival:  selected entrants are given one-on-one collaboration with Pipeline execs to develop or produce additional scripts, consideration for industry circulation, and extended promotion of their film to our broader audience.”

Submit here: Film Pipeline Shorts Competition


The Future of Film is Female Short Film Fund 

Opens: August 9, 2024  --  Closes: August 9, 2024 (or when 400 limit is reached)

Standard Submission:  FREE

“The Future of Film is Female looks at short films directed by women or non-binary filmmakers for two funding cycles a year.  We consider films for financial pre-production grants or post-production grants from Heard City (sound) and Nice Shoes (color).  

GENERAL GUIDELINES: For ALL women and non-binary directors; no more than 20 minutes; all genres accepted; Non-US films are considered; For Pre-production funds, samples of previous work need to be included.  At this time, not funding episodic works or festival submission fees.”

Submit here: Future of Film is Female

Black Film Space X cliveRd. -- $10,000 Proof of Concept Short Film Grant                                                                              

Submission Deadline:  July 26, 2024

Application Fee:  $35

“Black Film Space and cliveRd. are partnering for a second year in a row with another proof of concept short film grant opportunity! Our Proof of Concept Short Film Grant is seeking one strong short film script under 15 minutes/pages that aims to serve as a preview for a feature film or episodic series. We are looking for ideas that showcase unique, novel perspectives of Black life and identity. We will also consider other factors such as the merit of previous work and financial need. All genres are welcome.”

Questions? E-mail us at info@blackfilmspace.com.

Submit here: BFS X cliveRd. Short Film Grant

Out at the Movies Film Grant - Emerging Artist

Application Deadline:  August 1, 2024

“This Out at the Movies grant program is intended to supplement the budget for an emerging LGBTQ+ filmmaker in the creation of their film.  The winner will receive a $5000 monetary award, along with access to a group of mentors from various disciplines within the film production world. Additionally, they will receive an all-access pass to attend the 2024 OATM Film Festival (October 3-6, 2024)."

Application Form:  OATM Emerging Artist Film Grant.   

Submit completed application:  email Director of Operations & Development:  maxcullen@gmail.com

Breaking Through the Lens
Regular Application Deadline: August 14th, 2024
Cost: $49.99

“This €10,000 Action Grant is open to any feature film Director who experiences marginalization due to their gender, including but not limited to women, non-binary and trans filmmakers. Applicants must demonstrate how the grant funding will allow you to advance in a critical area of development – be it a location scout, hiring crew, shooting a proof-of-concept or sizzle reel – there are no limits, as long as the action(s) taken moves the needle on your project. This is about finding films with strong artistic merit and a bold original vision, ready to go into production within the next 12 months. If you are not selected at this time it is no reflection on the quality of your project, and we invite you to submit again at a later date, if your project has moved forward significantly. 

The winner will be announced at the Sundance Film Festival, with the five finalists then entering into a year-round fellowship receiving guidance at festival markets, curated financier meetings and industry mentorship as a part of BTTL’s main program.”

MORE INFO:  Breaking Through the Lens

AXS Film Fund

Regular Application Deadline:  July 31st, 2024

“AXS Film Fund was founded to support documentary filmmakers and non-fiction new media creators of color with disabilities. 2020 very clearly brought about the need for compassion and serious change. Between violence targeted at people of color, a fearful divided nation, and the global pandemic, it is more important now than ever to raise and support a body of more culturally diverse voices.

This program is for creators of color in documentary filmmaking or nonfiction new media who identify as living with a disability. We seek to bring visibility to creators who are oftentimes overlooked. While we prefer that a person of color living with a disability is a key contributor to the project, we welcome diverse teams to apply. Each year we award up to five creators with grants of up to $10,000 each to assist them in finishing their projects in any stage of production.”


Thanks to Newsletter Contributors:  Diane Walsh, Julie Rubio, Nil Unerdem

Newsletter designed by Lina Indeeva and edited by Nil Unerdem