March News

Welcome to March - Women's History Month

*Image by pikisuperstar on Freepik

March is Women’s History Month! Please join us in celebrating and supporting the creative works and contributions of women storytellers.

Women's History Month Film Events in the Bay Area

HERstory: Women’s History Celebration 

When: Throughout March 

Where: San Francisco Public Library, other various locations in SF

“Get inspired by HERstory, SFPL’s celebration of women's history, honoring and acknowledging the contributions of women and the experience of being female. All year round, the Library champions women writers, artists, academics and professional leaders in their fields. Come hear author talks and panel discussions, see what's on view in our exhibits, take part in book clubs, watch films, engage in interactive programs and build strength and solidarity. Themes center around women as groundbreakers, feminism, the women’s movement and much more.” 

MORE INFO: HERstory: Women's History Celebration | San Francisco Public Library

Women in Broadcasting 2024 

When: Wednesday, March 13th, 11:30AM-1:30 PM PT 

Where: Basque Cultural Center, 599 Railroad Ave, South San Francisco, CA 94080-3450 

Cost: $35-60/person

“Broadcast Legends will commemorate Women’s History Month  with a tribute to a group of female Bay Area radio and TV broadcasters who advocate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).

This year’s national Women’s History Month recognizes the need to eliminate bias and discrimination from our lives and institutions.

Our panelists include Dana King, Rebecca Corral, Claudine Wong, Joanne Greene, Carolyn Tyler, Miranda Wilson, Roberta Gonzales, Holly Quan, Freska Griarte, and Jessica Aguirre.

They will share stories and take questions from our emcees, Sue Hall and Rosie Allen.

Join us on Wednesday, March 13, at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco as these ten women share personal stories about their careers and some of the experiences that helped blaze their trail.

Doors open at 11:30 AM for our regular mix-and-mingle and no-host bar, followed by lunch at noon. Our program follows at 1 PM.”

MORE INFO: Women in Broadcasting 2024

Cinemalit - Women Talking + others film screenings

When: Friday, March 29th, 6:00 PM PT 

Where: Mechanics Institute, 57 Post St. San Francisco, CA 94104 

Cost: $10

Women Talking (2022), 104 minutes, directed by Sarah Polley, starring Rooney Mara, Judith Ivey, and Claire Foy.

Women Talking is just that. Following a series of rapes in an American Mennonite colony, the women gather to discuss what to do and where to go. The film derives from accounts of serial rapes occurring in a Bolivian Mennonite community, which became the basis of a 2018 novel by Canadian Miriam Toews. Women Talking devotes itself to tough moral dilemmas brilliantly articulated through language. There is no easy consensus among the women, and director-screenwriter Sarah Polley never gives her audience simple options. The result, fueled by an ensemble of powerhouse actresses, is mesmerizing, with Polley deservedly winning an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

March 2024 CinemaLit - Women Screenwriter-Directors on Women’s Lives

March at CinemaLit features a series of five startlingly fresh and visionary films written and directed by women. Each focuses on women’s lives with an emphasis on displacement, both geographic and emotional. In an industry dominated by finding the next billion dollar franchise and breakthrough computer technology, these films offer other ways of appreciating the expanding potential of motion picture story and content.

Join us for Jane Campion’s The Piano (1993), Nora Ephron’s Julie & Julia (2009), Lulu Wang’s The Farewell (2018), Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland (2020), and Sarah Polley’s Women Talking (2022).

March is Women's History Month and Mechanics' Institute is proud to feature works of cinematic importance, vision, and gravity by Women Screenwriters and Directors.”

MORE INFO: Women Talking film screening, Nomadland film screening, The Farewell film screening, Julie & Julia film screening, The Piano film screening presented by Mechanics Institute

Letter from the President

Dear Members, Supporters, and Friends,

As President of Women in Film San Francisco Bay Area, I am thrilled to connect with you through our newsletter, a dedicated space for celebrating our members, our industry's triumphs, addressing its challenges, and sharing moments that deeply resonate with us.  I’d like to extend a special thank you to our board of directors and our members that contribute such important stories each month, especially our secretary and editor Nil Unerdem and vice president Diane Walsh. You can find our past months publications here: Women in Film San Francisco Bay Area

In this edition, I will explore recent highlights from the film industry's awards season, including the Golden Globe Awards, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, and the Film Independent Spirit Awards, offering insights into their significance and the impact they have on our community.

This awards season has given us a lot to think about, particularly with the Golden Globe Awards taking center stage. It was a demanding year, where once again, they had to confront past controversies and work towards regaining trust and credibility. Finding the right host for events in challenging times is part of a broader effort to ensure inclusivity, promote equality, and celebrate a variety of viewpoints that contribute to the growth of our industry. Filipino American comedian Jo Koy hosted the 81st Golden Globe Awards. The recent Golden Globes highlight the ongoing journey towards embracing change, adapting, and innovating to ensure that award shows remain relevant and reflective of our dynamic society.

Following the Golden Globes was the SAG Awards. After enduring months of direct confrontations amidst a bitter Hollywood strike, the Screen Actors Guild and Netflix extended a two-hour olive branch to each other. The 30th SAG Awards, for the first time ever, was streamed on the platform. This historic moment marked a significant step forward in mending the beef between the two. It demonstrated the power of collaboration within the industry.  It really showcased SAG’s resilience, celebrating the undeniable spirit of storytelling and the strength of the acting community.

The show was host-less — though Phil Dunster and Taylor Zakhar Perez were this year's ambassadors. One of the most poignant moments of the evening was Barbra Streisand’s acceptance of the SAG Life Achievement Award. Barbra Streisand praises “the ‘dreamers’ who built Hollywood. I can’t help but think back to the people who built this industry. Ironically, they were also escaping their own troubles,” she continued, in a contemplative but forceful tone. “Samuel Goldwyn, Louis B. Mayer and the four Warner Brothers,” (all of them were Jewish and changed their names when they came to America) Streisand noted, “they were all fleeing the prejudice they faced in Eastern Europe, simply because of their religion. And they were dreamers, too, like all of us here tonight. And now I dream of a world where such prejudice is a thing of the past.” Her heartfelt words "I want to thank you for giving me so much joy just watching all of you on the screen" moved many in the audience to tears, including Anne Hathaway and Emma Stone. Streisand's speech was a profound reminder of the joy and impact our craft brings to both creators and audiences alike.

The 39th Film Independent Spirit Awards were hosted by Saturday Night Live alum Aidy Bryant.  I must say I take my hat off and give a bow to The Film Independent Spirit Awards, for achieving something unique this season that no other major awards group managed to do: they nominated three female directors for the best director category. In contrast, how many women received nominations for the same category from the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, and other awards? Zero. 

Additionally, The Film Independent Spirit Awards, while celebrating the innovative spirit of independent cinema, (bravo) experienced an unexpected moment that brought the intersection of art and activism into sharp focus. The ceremony was disrupted by a "Free Palestine" protestor, highlighting the broader socio-political narratives our film arts engage with. Later, Fremont director Babak Jalali was distracted by the protest while accepting the John Cassavetes award. “There are people speaking outside,” he said. “Whatever they’re saying I think is probably far more important than what I’m about to say…I’m so inspired by what they are saying outside, I can’t think of what I’m about to say.”  Despite the protest, the community's elegant response to the situation highlighted the resilience of individuals involved in the creation, celebration, and critique of cinema and serves as a poignant reminder of the profound impact of cinema in stimulating reflection, motivating change, and shedding light on pressing global issues.

As we navigate the complexities of our industry and celebrate its achievements, let us also recognize the vital role Women in Film SF Bay Area plays in creating a supportive and empowering environment for all women in the film industry. These award ceremonies are not only about recognizing individual achievements but also about acknowledging the collective strides we are making towards a more inclusive and equitable industry and world. 

I'm drawing inspiration from the resilience shown at the SAG Awards, the reflective moment at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, and the context provided by this awards season to continue supporting each other, advocating for meaningful causes, and creating films that move, challenge, and entertain. Together, at Women in Film San Francisco Bay Area (WIFSFBA), we are building real change, and with the necessary funding, we hope to be the architects of this transformation. It is time that all of the voices in the room are heard.

With warmest regards,

Julie Rubio

President, Women in Film San Francisco Bay Area



Tamara de Lempicka Documentary Interview

*Copyright Tamara Lempicka Estates LLC

Our president Julie Rubio was interviewed about her documentary, The True Story of Tamara de Lempicka and the Art of Survival in this recent Italian magazine article! Check it out:

Metropolitan Magazine: Art as a means of freedom

Thoughts from Sundance 2024

by Kelli A. White, WIFSFBA Board Member

Hello members!

It’s been a month, but I am still processing my first trip to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.  It was a week full of new experiences and lots of films, friends, and fun!


Our first film was Ghostlight and while I sat in the theater next to the team from Searchlight Pictures, I started to realize what an amazing opportunity it is to have a film accepted to Sundance.  Ghostlight is a great example of what is possible.  Co-Directors Kelly O’Sullivan (also the writer) and Alex Thompson accomplished so much in such a short amount of time.  A few weeks of prep, the shoot, and four days after wrapping production, they submitted their film to Sundance and two weeks later they were accepted!  The acting was remarkable and the Kupferer family brought their onscreen family’s heart wrenching story to life in such a beautiful way.  This “tender-hearted drama” was acquired by IFC Films and Sapan Studios just after their Sundance debut.

Going with a friend and producing partner is fun, but just stand in line for two minutes and you’ll probably have met at least three more people.  It’s definitely the “norm” at Sundance to say hi to whoever is next to you and “break in” to each other’s conversations to hear about what they are working on or why they’re in Park City.  Everyone there really just wants to connect with fellow filmmakers and film fans.

The panel discussions offered are also incredibly inspiring.  I met female producers, attorneys, directors, and actors who are all fighting for other women to have a voice in the industry and get their films made.

Nico Parker was amazing in the heartbreaking and touching Suncoast (now on Hulu).  She really held her own with legendary actors Woody Harrelson and Laura Linney.  Linney, ever the supporter of independent films, sang the praises of both her young costar and first time feature director Laura Chinn.  It was also great to hear Jesse Eisenberg talk about his very personal story in A Real Pain.

Many of the films at Sundance are heart-wrenching or make you think, but others are inspiring and fun.  Lionel Richie had a blast reliving the making of We Are The World decades later in The Greatest Night In Pop (Netflix) and watching June Squibb get her first leading role at 93-years-young in Thelma reminds us it’s never too late to chase your dreams.


Some of the things I’ll remember for next year are:

That’s what we used this year for…we got our feet wet with our first Sundance.  Each night my producing partner and I would gather to talk about the things we saw and heard that day or who we met.  We shared new ideas, got inspired, made some connections, and some new friends!

You never know where these friendships or connections may take you.  

See you next year in Park City!

Kelli A. White, WIFSFBA Board Member

Do you have career 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 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.

February Event Wrap

 A successful VIRTUAL HANGOUT with New York Women in Film and Television  was held on February 7th from 3:30-5:00 pm PT!  Many thanks to Katie Chambers at NYWIFT for inviting WIFSFBA to hangout, and a BIG thank you shout out to the 125+ WIFSFBA and NYWIFT members who registered to chat, network and make cross-country filmmaking connections.   

WIFSFBA members can now apply for a discounted DUAL membership with NYWIFT by using the dual membership application on their website:

Community Partners - Events & Invitations

Join us in welcoming our new Community Partners:

Women in Film and Video - New England (WIFVNE)

Check them out here:  Women in Film and Video - New England

WIFVNE event: Haley Ricker & Film Tax Credits AMA: Networking Wednesday

When: March 27th, 10:00 - 11:00 AM PT

Where: Zoom

Free to attend! Advance registration required.

“In this special ‘Ask Me Anything’ Networking Wednesday event, Haley Ricker of Clocktower Tax Credits offers insight on film tax credits.  Haley will provide a general overview of film tax credits and discuss:

Haley Ricker joined Clocktower Tax Credits in 2023 as an Acquisitions Associate specializing in Film-based tax credits. She started her career working in the legal field before transitioning into the entertainment industry after moving to Los Angeles. Her previous position at a feature film sales, finance, and production company gave her hands on experience in multiple facets of filmmaking. Haley now focuses on helping producers monetize their tax credits and reviewing their projects for financing opportunities.  Haley holds a B.A. in Sociology and Legal Studies from Clemson University. She currently resides in Los Angeles, with her husband, James, and their dog.

Clocktower Tax Credits, LLC is a national broker of State and Federal tax credit incentives. We match Developers and Producers sponsoring tax credit projects with Institutional Investors seeking tax relief. Our firm specializes in tax credit financing for the film production, real estate, and renewable energy industries.”

RSVP here:  Film Tax Credits Event

New York Women In Film & Television (NYWIFT) - Science in Motion

When: Tuesdays at 7pm | February 6 - March 12, 2024

“NYWIFT and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) are thrilled to present a collection of ground-breaking contemporary films that delve into science and technology in the modern world. These urgent documentaries and empowering fictions take us from the depths of outer space to the on-the-ground action of a Hasidic women-run ambulance corps and beyond.

Films include To the End (Rachel Leas), Space: The Longest Goodbye (Ido Mizrahy), My Love Affair with Marriage (Signe Baumane), Every Body (Julie Cohen), 93Queen (Paula Eiselt), Chilly & Milly (William D. Caballero), and Over-Flow (Elizabeth Ramjit).

Join us for six weeks of free STEM-focused screenings, followed by Q&A’s with the filmmakers.”

Reserve tickets at

To find out what they’re up to, click  Here

BlackStar - William & Louise Greaves Filmmaker Seminar

When: March 8-10, 2024

Where: Stanford University

Registration: sign up by Feb 9th - keynote address tickets only are available now (SEE BELOW)

“The Seminar is a gathering for Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists working in cinematic realms. It will take place in-person only at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.  Registration and pass purchase is required. We have three levels of passes available, depending on your preference and financial ability, but all provide the same access to programming.”

The KEYNOTE address for this seminar is now open to the public -- March 8,  7:30 - 9:00 PM EST at Stanford University’s CEMEX Auditorium.  More info::

Film Resistance: 3rd Eye Cinema Praxis

“Even the most fragile expression of resistance is a conductor in the transfer of power. In electricity it is the friction that produces the strength of the flow, in filmmaking it is the question that produces the story. Speaker: Anisia Uzeyman is renowned for her groundbreaking work in film. She is the co-director and cinematographer of the Afrofuturist musical Neptune Frost, which has been celebrated for its revelatory approach to science fiction and critique of patriarchal capitalism. Before that she directed and acted in her debut experimental film, Dreamstates, entirely shot on an iPhone in 2016, and starred in Tey (Aujourd’hui, 2012) and Ayiti Mon Amour (2016).”

WIFSFBA members will be given a 25% discount on tickets for the keynote address, and can be purchased here: 25% discount - Keynote Address Tickets 

MORE INFO ON SEMINAR: BlackStar - Filmmaker Seminar

For more info on BlackStar’s activities click Here

Cinequest Film and Creativity Festival

Festival Dates:  March 7-16, 2024

Where: California Theatre and Hammer Theatre Center -- San Jose, CA

“We are thrilled to bring the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival to life in March at the spectacular California Theatre and Hammer Theatre Center in downtown San Jose. Returning to its palatial San Jose venues and flagship time of year, the program is a testament to Cinequest's 2024 theme of "Uplift" through the potent combination of innovation, the arts, and community.


Cinequest will unveil 217 films from 37 countries — chock-full of comedies, inspiring artistry, and diversity of culture and thought. Cinequest’s groundbreaking AI Town Hall (pre-launching the festivities on March 6th) will bring AI luminaries together to address the powers and mitigate the pitfalls of AI for communities and the world of creativity.”

The entire festival line-up, schedule and tickets is online at

Screening times can be seen on the film/event pages or in the calendar view (select date at top). 

A mini festival guide can be downloaded from here

Bravemaker presents: Re-Entrification -- A Bay Area Documentary

When: Saturday March 9th, 6:30pm, doors open at 6pm PT

Where: 1840 Harding Avenue, Redwood City, CA, USA

Cost: $11 Students, $22 General admission

“Re-Entrification is a feature-length documentary film that tells the story of residents that have been displaced from their homes due to the city's high cost of living. Tiny homes became a sanctuary where families can have the fundamental human right of a home. This film tells their story on how they made the decision to seek this type of support. Re-Entrification sheds light on the housing crisis in the Bay Area.

Re-Entrification means being able to move back into communities and neighborhoods that a person is originally from. It’s the way to bring back its history, beauty, struggle, pain - the soul. Re-Entrification is to create and reclaim sustainable economic structures that allow people living in the neighborhoods to thrive within their own neighborhood; to recapture the native essence of that place.

Film program starts promptly at 6:30pm which includes a question and response time with the filmmakers and special guests.

Registration: Bravemaker events

BraveMaker is HQ'd in Redwood City and has a cinema quality screen, projector and AV system.

Director Fego Navarro is a Salvadoran American Artist/Filmmaker from San Francisco, CA. Fego is the Creative Director of the artist collective Lyrical Opposition, a California 501(c)(3) arts nonprofit that cultivates lyrical artists to oppose injustice through social awareness & systemic change. Lastly, he is the Director of a poetic documentary titled Re-Entrification, a film that tells the story of 5 residents displaced from their homes due to the city's high cost of living.”

MORE INFO: Lyrical Opposition

“The Alliance of Women Directors is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the number of women and gender non-binary directors working in the entertainment industry.  Today we are an inclusive collective of over 400 professional women and gender nonbinary directors working together to affect positive, lasting change in the entertainment industry.  A relentless advocate for gender parity, AWD  believes it is vital that stories are told from all perspectives.  Representation matters.

AWD is committed to substantially increasing the number of working women and gender nonbinary directors in film, television, commercials and new media by:

We hope you’ll join us as a member, ally, volunteer or donor."                                                                                      

More Info:   Alliance of Women Directors 


Meeting with Lois Vossen - PBS Independent Lens Executive Producer

DATE: Friday, March 15 2024

TIME:  11:00 AM - 12:30 PM PT 


$5 members/$20 non-members

This is a rare opportunity to meet a true industry leader and gain insight into the world of documentary filmmaking. With an impressive track record that includes numerous Emmy Awards, Peabody Awards, and Academy Award nominations, the esteemed Lois Vossen has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of non-fiction storytelling.

Don't miss the chance to engage with a pioneer in the field and learn from her wealth of experience. This event is a must-attend for anyone passionate about the art of documentary filmmaking and the power of storytelling.

Attendees will learn to:

● successfully submit to Public Television

● identify favored documentary formats

● understand current programming trends

Register on our Events page: WIFSFBA Events - Lois Vossen

*Consider becoming a WIFSFBA Member for $60 to receive dozens of invitations annually to free events, deep discounts for all WIFSFBA paid events, and many more benefits!

Cinequest Film Festival - In-person Mixer with WIFSFBA & Film Screening The Trouble with Jessica

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, March 16th, 2024

TIME:  WIFSFBA Mixer before the film at 5:30pm, then film at 7:15pm PT 

Where: SoFa Market, 387 S 1st St., San Jose, CA 95113 then Cinequest Film Festival, California Theatre, 345 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113


● Free tickets available for WIFSFBA members  - limited # of tickets available, claim your tickets before they’re gone by emailing with The Trouble with Jessica in the subject line)

● Additional tickets $14

We’ll be  partnering with the Cinequest film festival again this year and getting together for an in person mixer + a British star studded film, The Trouble with Jessica

“Starring Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter, The Mandalorian, Meek’s Cutoff), Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Resident Alien, Rogue One, I Robot), Rufus Sewell (The Illusionist, The Diplomat, The Man in the High Castle, Dark City), Olivia Williams (The Crown, The Sixth Sense, An Education, Rushmore), and Indira Varma (Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Game of Thrones), a brilliant comedy about a successful London couple who face the moral dilemma of their lives when an uninvited dinner guest does the unthinkable.

Sarah (Henderson) and Tom (Tudyk) are a married couple in terrible financial trouble. On the brink of losing everything, they’ve managed to find a buyer for their stylish London home. When their best friends Richard (Sewell) and Beth (Williams) come round for a final dinner, an uninvited old friend, Jessica (Varma), tags along.

After a seemingly trivial argument, Jessica hangs herself in the garden. Tom goes to call the police when Sarah realizes if the buyer finds out, the sale will collapse, meaning definite financial ruin for their family. The only solution - to convince Richard and Beth to take Jessica’s body to her flat and make it look like she killed herself there. If they’re clever enough about it, what could possibly go wrong?”

MORE INFO: Cinequest - The Trouble with Jessica & WIFSFBA Events 

Script Incubator News

Our second table read of the year was a lot of fun! Three screenwriters got their scripts read by ten skillful actors. One script had a character who sang the Transformers theme song and another character who knew Star Wars dialogue by heart. 

For March, we will read aloud up to 3 script portions of 1-10 pages each. No homework! All participants will be encouraged to give feedback.

We are back to our usual third Monday of the month. Our next meeting will be Monday, March  18th, from 7-9 pm. If you have any questions about the table-read, feel free to contact me. And if you'd like to reserve a spot for your script at March's meeting, please let me know. We have two spots left. My contact information is below.

In other news, at least four industry professionals have committed to hear pitches at our Pitch-A-Pro event on Tuesday, April 23rd, 7-9 p.m. with more being added each week. We hope to include producers, agents, managers and streaming service reps to our list. Stay tuned for more news as the event approaches.

Wishing you all the best on  your film and media projects!


Carol Hall

WIFSFBA Script Incubator Coordinator 

MORE INFO: Email with “Script Incubator” in the subject line.

WIFT-US National Networking Night

When: Every second Thursday of the Month

Virtual Event - FREE for WIFSFBA members

Join us to network and meet other crew across the US!

Register:  Here


AFI Fest

Festival Dates:  October 23-27, 2024                                                                                                                        
Submission Deadline:  April 12, 2024 -- Entry fee: $50

“Call for Entries for AFI FEST is now open and filmmakers are invited to submit fiction, documentary and animated short films completed by October 1, 2023.  AFI FEST is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival for the Live Action, Animated and Documentary Short Film categories for the annual Academy Awards®. AFI FEST is also a qualifying festival for consideration for the British Short Film categories of both the BAFTA Film Awards and the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA).”

Submit via FilmFreeway:  AFI Fest           

Dreamscape International Film Festival (Houston)

Festival Dates: Sept 23 - Oct 1, 2024 in Houston, Texas

Submission Deadline: March 31, 2024

"The Dreamscape International Film Festival will host its inaugural event at the Star Cinema Grill in Houston from September 23rd to October 1 st 2024. The new festival will feature the largest monetary awards ever at a film festival or screenplay competition by awarding over $500,000 worth of cash prizes to both filmmakers and screenwriters. Celebrity guests at the festival will

include Brian Austin Green, Fivel Stewart and Sharna Burgess with additional guests to be announced.

The monetary awards will be divided into categories of Screenplays and Films. In the Screenplay section, the winner of the Grand Prize will receive monetary compensation of $125,000 as well as a budget breakdown and consultation on your film for pre-production, during filming and post-production. The runner up in this category will receive $25,000 with three 1-hour consultations.

Other awards include the Micro Budget Feature Film, which would require under a $200K budget. All of the Young Talent categories would focus on the filmmaker, director or writer to be 17-22 years old at the time of submission. Flash from the Past True Indie Award will be presented to full length and short films that were made between 2010 and 2021. with a budget of $200K or less as a feature and $100K or less as a short. The feature and short films that can submit will not have received prior distribution."

Submit via Film Freeway: - Dreamscape Intl Film Festival  

ScreenCraft Screenwriting Competition: True Story and Public Domain Features and TV Pilots

Final Submission Deadline: March 31, 2024

“This unique feature film and TV pilot competition focuses on true stories, biographies and works in the public domain (published before 1928).  Winners and finalists are highly sought after by managers and agents.  Hundreds of ScreenCraft writers have signed with top management companies and agencies like CAA, Anonymous Content, Bellevue Productions, WME, UTA, and many more. We’re also thrilled to offer an opportunity for a mentorship with Jenny Wood, President of Taylor Sheridan’s Bosque Ranch Productions.  All finalists will receive a guaranteed meeting with an industry professional.”   

SUBMISSION INFO: ScreenCraft - True Story

LA Shorts International Film Festival

Submission Regular Deadline:  April 5, 2024 on FilmFreeway

“LA Shorts is the longest running short film festival in Los Angeles.  The festival screens over 350 films and attracts 10,000 attendees each year including Hollywood industry professionals and emerging undiscovered independent filmmakers.  Films must have been completed after January 1, 2023. Works-in-progress will be considered provided they will be completed  prior to the festival. Films must NOT screen in Los Angeles County prior to our festival.”


Film Independent Episodic Lab

FREE for Filmmaker Pro Members (limited to one waived fee per Membership year)

$45 for Film Independent Members

$65 for non-Members

Non-Member Deadline: February 26, 2024

Film Independent Member Extended Deadline: March 11, 2024

“Designed to support writers with original long-form episodic projects, Film Independent’s Episodic Lab will accept a diverse group of 6–8 writers or writing teams and provide them with critical support and mentorship. Through personalized feedback from experienced showrunners, creative producers and executives, Fellows will gain the tools to revise and refine their pilots and navigate a changing industry landscape.

The Episodic Lab helps to further the careers of its Fellows by introducing them to industry veterans who can offer guidance on both the craft and business of writing episodic content. Each Fellow will be paired with a Creative Advisor with whom they’ll work one-on-one and in group sessions to develop their project during the month of September. Additionally, guest speakers will screen and discuss their own work to offer insights into the creative process and industry best practices. A final networking and pitch event will offer Fellows the opportunity to introduce themselves and their work to studio and network executives.”

Submission Info: Film Independent Episodic Lab

LightReel Film Festival

Festival Dates: June 5-8, 2024

Submission Deadline:  March 15, 2023 at FilmFreeway

“The LightReel Film Festival features the very best in independent filmmaking. Showcasing cinematic creativity that ranges from compelling feature-length narrative and documentary films to innovative international shorts, the festival’s continuous pursuit of spotlighting excellence in filmmaking results in a diverse enriching experience for more than 3,000 attendees.”

Submission Info: LightReel Film Festival


Artist Displacement Prevention Grant

Submission Deadline:  March 8, 2024 

“The Artist Displacement Prevention Grant (ADPG) stands as a beacon of hope for our beloved artists, offering critical support in the face of housing insecurity. With this grant, we aim to provide immediate relief to those facing eviction, rent hikes, homelessness, and other housing challenges, helping our artistic community weather any storm.

Throughout 2024, twelve artists will be selected to receive $2,500 each, empowering them to stabilize their housing situations and pursue long-term solutions. We will be selecting our first six artists in March. 

Our Commitment to Equity and Inclusion:


At Vital Arts, we're dedicated to uplifting artists from all backgrounds and experiences. We recognize that access to sustainable arts funding varies depending on a number of historical and systemic factors. The Artist Displacement Prevention Grant reflects our unwavering commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive arts community where every voice is heard, empowered, and celebrated.”

Apply here: Artist Displacement Prevention Grant

Points North Fellowship

A launching pad for the next generation of nonfiction storytellers

Deadline: Extended Mar 25, 2024

“The Points North Fellowship invites up to six teams of early- and mid-career filmmakers to Maine to accelerate the development of their feature documentary, culminating in the public presentation of works-in-progress at the Points North Pitch. The Points North Fellowship aims to strengthen filmmakers’ artistic voices and propel their careers forward by facilitating new relationships with mentors, collaborators and funders. We believe that a strong community of support is vital for independent filmmakers who are taking bold creative risks and expanding the possibilities of documentary cinema. The Points North Fellowship is presented by the deNovo Initiative. 

The Fellowship begins during the week leading up to the annual Camden International Film Festival. In private workshops, Fellows receive rigorous feedback from mentors and peers as they practice their pitches, hone their vision for their film, and develop their funding and distribution strategies. These workshops culminate at the Points North Pitch, where each team pitches their project to leading funders, broadcasters, producers and distributors before a live audience – both in-person and streaming online. 

Since 2010, the program has championed 74 creative documentary features and has become recognized industry-wide as one of the most vital platforms for new artistic voices in the documentary field. Many alumni have gone on to receive support from major funders like the Ford Foundation, Macarthur Foundation and ITVS, premiered at festivals like Sundance, Berlin and Tribeca, and secured distribution from major platforms like Netflix, CNN Films, Magnolia Films and POV.

The Points North Fellowship will take place in person in Maine in conjunction with the Camden International Film Festival, September 12-15, 2024. The exact dates of the Fellowship will be announced soon.”

Submission Info: Points North Fellowship

The Roy W. Dean Grant

Application deadline:  March 31, 2024

“For over 30 years, the Roy W. Dean Grants have awarded funding and production services to independent filmmakers with unique films that make a contribution to society.  From the Heart Productions, the 501(c)3 non-profit sponsoring the grant, is proud to have helped these filmmakers complete these amazing films and bring them to the public.  

The grant is open to documentaries, narrative features, short films and web series.  In addition to being unique and making a contribution to society, projects should be budgeted at $500,000 or less.  Students are welcome to apply.” 

Apply here:  Roy W. Dean Grant

Julia S. Gouw - Short Film Challenge

This film challenge is for Asian-American and  Pacific Islander Women and non-binary filmmakers. 

Submissions Open: February 2024

“Emmy Award- and Golden Globe-winning Hollywood producer Janet Yang (Janet Yang Productions)  and the CAPE Network have joined forces to provide short film production grants of $25,000 each to four API women or non-binary filmmakers. The four awardees will be offered unparalleled networking opportunities that will give them a chance to submit films to potential buyers and platforms with access to industry professionals including agents, manager, producers and studio executives.” 

To Apply: Julia S. Gouw - Short Film Challenge

Berkeley Film Foundation Grant

Application Deadline: May 13th (Opens April 12th)  

“Berkeley FILM Foundation supports East-Bay based emerging and established independent filmmakers whose work combines intellectual clarity with creative use of the medium and focuses on supporting social, historical and innovative documentary and dramatic works. Our mission is to nurture, sustain and preserve the thriving local film community while attracting the next generation of filmmakers.  We support documentary works that have a social consciousness and address  complex issues of our time.

The BFF grant program accepts applicants who live or work in the cities of Berkeley, Emeryville, El Cerrito, Albany, Richmond, and Oakland. Applications will be accepted  from filmmakers in Production, Post-Production or Distribution. A project sample of up to 10 minutes of edited footage is required with your application.”

Apply here: Berkeley Film Foundation

Humanitas Presents: New Voices Fellowship

Submission Deadline on Coverfly:  April 1 ($45 Submission Fee)

“The New Voices fellowship is an approximately six-month mentorship program for emerging television and screenwriters who are exploring the human condition in a nuanced, meaningful way.  The program identifies and empowers five writers each year who are currently working on a 30- or 60-minute pilot or feature-length screenplay.  These are stories and people who, for varying reasons, may go overlooked by the traditional marketplace.  Humanitas also recognizes the importance of mentorship and the changing nature of apprenticeship in Hollywood, and how advancement in the film and television industries involves social access and community building. Fellows are paired with a mentor, invited to the Humanitas Prizes event, and receive a trophy and $7,500 stipend.”

Apply here: New Voices Fellowship

Thanks to Newsletter Contributors:  Diane Walsh, Kelli White, Julie Rubio, Carol Hall, Nil Unerdem

Newsletter designed by Lina Indeeva and edited by Nil Unerdem