March News


Actress May Allison  with Helen Taft and a motion picture camera. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2018)

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

Happy Women’s History Month!

To serve as the President of WIFSFBA is an absolute honor for me.  The last few years have been challenging, and our organization has remained strong. Using technology and creativity, our board has worked diligently to keep our community connected and supported. At this very pivotal time for women in film and media arts, we need to adapt to these changes and will continue to be here for our members. WIFSFBA has proven to be a professional organization and a true community that provides education, support and guidance for all of our members. 

Because March is Women’s History month I would like to mention and give gratitude to a powerful woman in our industry who inspired me. One of my earliest inspirations was the talented singer, songwriter, actress, writer, producer and director Barbra Streisand. She was the first woman I ever saw go from actress to writer, producer, director and executive producer of major Hollywood films. 

From Streisand’s and Donna Summer’s “No More Tears,” I learned I could stand up for myself as a little girl, which was really important. The album, Enough is Enough, had me dancing on the coffee table to the soundtrack. I thoroughly enjoyed Funny Girl, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. The comedies Hello, Dolly!, What's Up, Doc?, Meet The Fockers, all made me laugh until I cried. When I saw the romantic drama The Way We Were, I was forever moved by her performance. Even the dramatic monologue that I used for auditions as an actress was from Barbra Streisand’s drama Nuts

Streisand also won a second Academy Award for writing the love theme for A Star Is Born, the first woman to be honored as a composer. With the release of Yentl,  Streisand became the first woman to write, produce, direct, and star in a major studio film. The film won an Oscar for Best Original Score and a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Musical. Streisand also received the Golden Globe Award for Best Director, becoming the first (and for 37 years, the only) woman to win that award. Her achievements taught me that a woman in the film industry could do it all. Streisand later directed The Prince of Tides, and The Mirror Has Two Faces

With sales exceeding 150 million records worldwide, Streisand is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. Her accolades include two Academy Awards, 10 Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Grammy Legend Award, five Emmy Awards, four Peabody Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and nine Golden Globes. She is a true inspiration and legend.

As you can imagine, I was blown away and thrilled to have her share her high resolution collection of Tamara de Lempicka paintings for my upcoming film The True Story of Tamara de Lempicka & The Art Of Survival and guide me through her section of the film with her knowledge and grace. I am forever grateful for her time and support. If only everyone could give back to each other in this way, I believe we truly could heal our planet. 

Working alongside such dedicated women that are supporting other women is empowering and will help to create positive change. At WIFSFBA, we offer opportunities for growth at all levels for women in film.  From our Plan Like A Boss financial education events, Short Film Showcase, Conversations and Connections State of Post production night, Script Incubator, and our Pitch-A-Pro Night, we recognize that we are stronger together. 

There are many opportunities for your voice to make a difference – from contributing to our newsletter, hiring from within our community, volunteering and working together, and mentoring and sharing your work with one another. All of this makes a difference. 

Our monthly newsletter is a great way to stay connected. I'd like to thank our secretary and newsletter editor, Nil Unerdem, for her brilliant contributions. As you navigate our website and social media channels and WIFCHAT message board, you will discover a welcoming, diverse and passionate group of women on a mission to empower each other. I encourage you to reach out and look for support. We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is important to the present and future success of our community. To further achieve our goal, we aim to continue to provide events to our membership base through efforts such as bringing both virtual and in-person events to our members and much more. 

WIFSFBA is transforming our vision and making great efforts to support our members with new and innovative programming. We excelled and surpassed our strategic plan for 2022. We continue to grow, diversify, and support new membership, board members, staff, and advisors, to ensure diversity on all levels in 2023. Please fill out the upcoming members’ survey as the results will better help us serve you.

It is an absolute privilege to serve and give back as the president of WIFSFBA. As an organization for media arts and creatives, I believe we truly are helping to change the world for the better.

With Warm Regards,

Julie Rubio

President, WIFSFBA

*This article was researched and written with the help of Wikipedia and the Hollywood Reporter.

Important Women Who Helped Shape Film & Cinema History (Famous and Infamous) 

There have been many important women in film and cinema history who have made significant contributions to the industry as directors, producers, screenwriters, actors and more. 

It's challenging to name just one person as the most important woman in film and cinema history, as there have been so many trailblazers who have made significant contributions. Each newsletter, we will highlight one! 

Alice Guy-Blaché

One woman who stands out is Alice Guy-Blaché. She was a French filmmaker who is widely considered to be the world's first female filmmaker and one of the earliest filmmakers in general. She directed, produced, or supervised the production of over 1,000 films between 1896 and 1920.

Guy-Blaché is credited with many innovations in early cinema, including using close-ups, synchronized sound, and hand-coloring films. She was also one of the first filmmakers to use narrative storytelling in film, and she often explored feminist themes in her work. Despite her many contributions to the industry, Guy-Blaché's legacy was largely forgotten until recent years.

Alice Guy-Blaché was a pioneer in the film industry who made significant contributions to the development of cinema as a storytelling medium. She was born on July 1, 1873, in Saint-Mandé, France, and began her career in film in 1894 when she was employed by Léon Gaumont to work at his new motion picture company, Gaumont.

Guy-Blaché quickly became interested in the creative possibilities of film and began writing, directing, and producing her films. In 1896, she directed her first film, "La Fée aux Choux" (The Cabbage Fairy), which is considered one of the first narrative films ever made.

Over the course of her career, Guy-Blaché directed and produced hundreds of films in a wide range of genres, including comedies, dramas, and historical epics. She was a true innovator, experimenting with new techniques and technologies such as synchronized sound and color tinting.

In addition to her filmmaking work, Guy-Blaché was also a businesswoman. In 1907, she founded her production company, Solax Studios, in the United States, making her one of the first women to own and operate a film studio.

Despite her significant contributions to the film industry, Guy-Blaché's legacy was largely forgotten for many years. It wasn't until the late 20th century that her work was rediscovered and she was recognized as a key figure in the history of cinema.

Guy-Blaché died on March 24, 1968, in Mahwah, New Jersey, at the age of 94. Today, she is celebrated as a trailblazer who helped to establish cinema as a significant cultural and artistic medium.

By Tasha Nesbitt

Board of Advisors, WIFSFBA 2023-Present

Former WIFSFBA President 2019-2022

Stay tuned for this series and our next featured filmmaker in the next newsletter.

How to Honor Women in Film for Women’s History Month

Photo by SHVETZ Production  via

Women make up more than half of the population yet despite this vast numerical superiority, recognition of their accomplishments in the film and cinema industry remains stubbornly out of reach. What is even more absurd is that almost 90% of key creative decision makers in the film and cinema world are men. 

This troubling level of male dominance stands in the way of widespread acknowledgement and appreciation for exceptional women who have battled against these daunting ratios to achieve excellence. It's long overdue to step not only outside but overthrow an archaic system that deprives society of a wondrous array of incomparable talent. 

Let’s unite to recognize noteworthy women's achievements in inspiring films and dazzling cinematography!

By Tasha Nesbitt

Board of Advisors, WIFSFBA 2023-Present

Former WIFSFBA President 2019-2022

*This article was researched and written with the help of ChatGPT &, artificial intelligence driven writing tools.


Golden Thread Productions Presents: What Do the Women Say? Fighters for Freedom

When: March 8 @7PM

Where: Brava Theatre Center, 2781 24th St., San Francisco

Tickets: Reservations recommended, $20-200


An evening featuring Middle Eastern women fighting injustice through their art. The program will include Persian vocalist Marjan Vahdat, Iraqi filmmaker/activist Lujain Jo, Syrian soprano Lubana Al-Quntar, and Her Story Is, a collective led by independent female writers and artists from the U.S. and Iraq. A conversation between the artists and the audience will follow the presentations.

What Do the Women Say?

HERstory: S.F. Public Library Women’s History Month Series

When: Through March 31

Where: Great Star Theater, San San Francisco Public Library branches

Tickets: Free


In the SF Public Library’s March spotlight on women’s achievements, there will be author talks and panel discussions, exhibitions, book club events and film screenings to foster engagement and build strength and solidarity.

San Francisco Public Library


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 get to know each other and our community better as we plan for the new year. So stay tuned for a link via email! 

Members in the News

Do you have news you’d like to share with fellow members? We’d love to hear from members on recent accomplishments, awards, or any news you’d like to share with the WIFSFBA community. 

Send your blurbs and any related images to with Members in the News in the subject line. Submit by March 24th to be included in the next newsletter.


Conversations and Connections March Event: Spring Virtual Panel with Joslyn Rose Lyons

When: March 23 @7PM PDT

Where: Virtual Zoom

WIFSFBA is proud to present a live virtual event with Joslyn Rose Lyons, award-winning director, Impact producer, and Oakland native, whose films have been featured on Showtime, BET, streaming platforms, and at film festivals nationally and throughout the world! 

Joining Joslyn on the panel will be the stars of her most recent award winning short Butterfly Boxing: Hill Harper (ABC, The Good Doctor), J. Alphonse Nicholson (P. Valley, STARZ, nominated for 6 NAACP Image Awards), Donald Lacy (ColorStruck) founder of the LoveLife Foundation (a youth violence prevention/media training program in Oakland, CA), and Kimberly Marie Olivier (SF Ballet). 

Also present will be the esteemed Butterfly Boxing executive producers Salena Rochester, Erika Conner, Johanna Saldaña, and producers Dominique Mouton, Alexa Rocero, Shania Banton!

Joslyn will share her journey and insights as a documentary and narrative filmmaker, producing media campaigns for films, and the success of her films being chosen to screen, and win, at international film festivals.  Joslyn is excited to share how she made her short film Butterfly Boxing as one of the most important steps along the way to its becoming a feature!  

Most recently Joslyn was given the Best Director award at the 7th edition of LA Independent Women Film Awards for Butterfly Boxing!

Our conversation will also explore Joslyn’s work as the producer on the upcoming doc TALE OF THE TAPE with producing partners Malik Buie and Kim Osario, which takes an unabashed look at the role The Mixtape played during the growth of Hip Hop music from the 1970's to now with Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, and Big Sean, DJ Clue, Kid Capri, Mobb Deep, DJ Envy, DJ Drama, J. Cole, slated for release in Summer 2023.

Register here:

$10 General Public    

Free for WIFSFBA Members

If you’d like to become a member: 

A Note from Joslyn Rose Lyons:

I am honored to have been invited to contribute to the WIFSFBA March Women’s Month Newsletter. I would like to dedicate this opportunity to some of the impactful organizations that have supported my work in this industry over the nearly two decades that I have been on this filmmaking journey. I am so grateful for their support, as I believe these connections are contributing factors to the overall confidence, creativity, and community of being creative in this space. 


I partnered with #TaketheLead “Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power” and as the film's Impact Producer, this initiative was an incredible part of spreading the message of this powerful film. 

#TakeTheLead is STARZ's commitment to amplifying narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences. We hope that by taking the lead and remaining fiercely dedicated to inclusion on and off screen, and throughout the company, as well as our commitment to bold, unapologetic stories and characters, it will inspire others across the industry.

Alliance of Women Directors

AWD was founded in 1997 by alumni of the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women as a community of peers to share information and support one another’s career advancement. In the decades since our inception, our values haven’t changed. Today we are an inclusive collective of over 400 professional women-identifying 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.

Member Spotlight - Joslyn Rose Lyons - Alliance of Women Directors

Alliance of Women Directors Member News

Academy Gold Rising 

I am honored to have been selected as a top six finalist in the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women, from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences


The Academy Gold Rising Program is a talent development, diversity and inclusion initiative designed to enhance internship experiences under the Academy brand. The initiative ultimately helps cement, strengthen and clarify long-standing but independent efforts to address concerns of accessibility and opportunity for underrepresented communities throughout our country.

Film Fatales: Film Fatales - Joslyn Rose Lyons

Film Fatales supports an inclusive community of women feature film and television directors who meet regularly to share resources, collaborate on projects and build an environment in which to make their films.

Women Make Movies

Champions women filmmakers and their stories.

Women Make Movies

 And so many more…

Root of Evil Speaker Event

When: April 20 @7PM PDT

Where: Virtual Zoom

We’re excited to have Yvette Gentile and Rasha Pecoraro join us for a speaker event through WIFSFBA on April 20th!  

Sisters Yvette Gentile and Rasha Pecoraro are primarily recognized as the co-hosts of the wildly popular podcast “Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia,” a 2020 iHeartRadio ‘True Crime Podcast of the Year’ nominee. The dark story of their mother Fauna Hodel’s life garnered the attention of superstar Chris Pine (Star Trek, Wonder Woman, Dungeons & Dragons), actress India Eisley (Underworld: Awakening, The Secret Life of the American Teenager) and award-winning director Patty Jenkins (Monster, Wonder Woman) and became a six-episode TNT limited television series I Am The Night, which premiered in January 2019. Yvette and Rasha were on set just 6 weeks after losing their beautiful mother to breast cancer at the end of 2017. The sisters were a part of the filming process throughout 2017 and 2018, and were asked to host "Root of Evil," which was the companion podcast to I Am The Night. The podcast was created, directed, and written by Emmy Award winning documentarian Zak Levitt of Cadence13.

Sisters Yvette Gentile and Rasha Pecoraro

Gentile and Pecoraro are currently hosting a new weekly podcast from Tenderfoot TV and iHeart Radio called “Facing Evil.” In their latest venture, the siblings bring their unique perspective of growing up in a family with a dark history, to true crime with a focus on the victims and individuals at the heart of the stories, and moving onward and upward.

“If we can make a difference and teach others how we can be better human beings by doing good in the world, we will have achieved everything our mother stood for,” says the pair. “Our goal for this show is to find a light in the darkness and to bring awareness to those stories that are as deserving of the attention that our family has received. By shining light on these other stories of evil, we strive to foster hope and healing.”

Outside of podcasting, Gentile is also an actor, model, and sandal designer with her husband Gino. She is an avid yogi and marathon runner who trains and practices classes specific to individuals confronting distress and long-term grief and pain. She splits her time between her hometown of Hawaii, San Francisco and Italy.


Pecoraro was a fierce competitor on “The Biggest Loser” in 2006. Since then, she’s advocated for beauty at any size as a plus size model and married her wife Vanna in 2010. She is a proud LGBTQ+ advocate and activist, mother, as well as an actor and voiceover artist. She resides near Portland but remains a forever native of Honolulu.

WIFSBA hosts the WIFT-US mixer

When: May 11 @4PM PDT

Where: Virtual Zoom

Come join WIFSFBA as we host the WIFT US mixer that will include WIF members from all over the US! Make connections and network with other women filmmakers across the country. Stay tuned for a signup link.

An Evening with Grabrielle Carteras

When: May 11 @4PM PDT

Where: Virtual Zoom

Join WIFSFBA as we welcome actor and activist Gabrielle Carteras! Gabrielle will talk about the current state of the industry and the fallout from the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and how it changed culture in our industry and led to laws to protect artists.

 Gabrielle Carteras Bio - 

Gabrielle Carteris was elected president of the International Federation of Actors, or FIA, in May 2021. She is the immediate past president of SAG-AFTRA, where for more than five years she headed the union of 160,000 actors, recording artists, dancers and broadcasters. Before SAG and AFTRA merged in 2012, Carteris served in leadership

positions in both unions, as well as on the merger committee.

Carteris became a household name playing Andrea Zuckerman on Beverly Hills, 90210 and more recently starred in BH90210, a revival of the iconic show. Her extensive resume includes work in television, film and the stage, including guest-starring roles on We Own This City, NCIS and Criminal Minds and voice work for video games. Onstage,

she performed a special presentation of The Vagina Monologues to raise money to combat violence against women and child abuse. As a producer, Carteris created Lifestories, a series of specials, and Gabrielle, a talk show that she also hosted.

As SAG-AFTRA president during the first several months of the COVID pandemic, she guided the union’s response to create a set of strict industry wide protocols to ensure that sets and other workplaces were as safe as possible. As the head of the President’s Task Force on Education, Outreach and Engagement, she also led efforts to hold

regular remote workshops, panels and seminars to keep members connected during the unprecedented disruption to the industry.

A survivor of a serious on-set injury, safety has been a priority initiative for Carteris. She formed the President’s Blue Ribbon Safety Commission, which has advocated for intimacy coordinators to be present on set during the filming of simulated sex scenes and other hyper exposed work. The Commission has also taken concrete steps to

confront harassment, make sets safer for stunt performers and establish the COVID safety protocols.

A fierce advocate for diversity, Carteris has taken on age bias in the industry, championed the unionization of Spanish-speaking performers and broadcasters, worked toward gender and pay equity and led efforts to advance greater inclusion in the industry at all levels.

Carteris is a board member of the Solidarity Center, the largest U.S.-based international worker rights organization. Allied with the AFL-CIO, it strives to attain safe and healthy workplaces, fair wages and greater equity. In August 2016, Carteris was elected a vice

president on the AFL-CIO’s executive council, re-elected in 2017 and co-leads a sexual harassment workgroup. She also is a founding ambassador of ReFrame, an initiative of Women In Film and Sundance Institute to further gender parity in the media industry. In

2017, Carteris was appointed commissioner to the Hollywood Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality. In addition, she serves as a trustee of the American Film Institute and is a board member of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.

In 2008, Carteris served the Screen Actors Guild as fifth alternate national director, in 2009 as first alternate national director and in 2010 she began a three-year term as a National Board member. Her previous American Federation of Television and Radio

Artists service includes two consecutive terms on the AFTRA Los Angeles Local Board and the AFTRA National Board, three terms as an AFTRA convention delegate in the actor category and, in 2011, she was elected Los Angeles Local president and national second vice president. As part of the Group for One Union, she was instrumental in

developing the plan to merge SAG and AFTRA.

She also served SAG-AFTRA during the transition year as national vice president, Los Angeles. In 2019, SAG-AFTRA presented Carteris with the George Heller Memorial Award for her years of union service.


Feature FILM Challenge - In PRODUCTION

When: February 18 @10AM - March 19 @7.30PM

Where:  MMTB Production Studios, Theatre & Lounge, 13 Pacific Ave, Rodeo, CA

Making a feature film -- sometimes, the only way to get it done is EVERYONE pitch in! Here’s your chance to be a part of the DRAMA/Thriller Edition!!! Looking for Executive Producers, Crew, Writers and Actors.

MORE INFO:  Feature FILM Challenge - In PRODUCTION Feb 18, 19, 25, 26, Mar 4,5,18, 19

Unnamed Footage Festival 5

When: March 23-26, 2023

Where: Balboa Theatre, 3630 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA

“The Unnamed Footage Festival showcases features and short films all in the genre of found footage horror or faux documentary.  The Unnamed Footage Festival is set on opening a dialogue regarding the entertainment and artistic values of first person narrative filmmaking.”

MORE INFO: Unnamed Footage Festival - FilmFreeway

Sonoma International Film Festival

When: March 22-26, 2023

Where:  103 E. Napa Stree, Sonoma, CA

“This annual five-day festival celebrates the best in film, food, wine and fun showcasing more than 100 new, international films, high end culinary events, nightly parties, panels and more.”

MORE INFO:  Sonoma International Film Festival

Reel Stories: Exploring Audio Workshops -

 Audio in Film Masterclass Series

When: March 4 - April 1, 2023

Where: Oakstop - 1721 Broadway #201, Oakland, CA

“Discover the world of Audio for filmmaking taught by industry pros! Free workshop for girls and gender expansive youth ages 15-24.  In this FREE master-class style workshop series, discover careers in audio for film, record and edit your own dialogue, foley, and musical scores, and expand your storytelling with sound skills!”

MORE INFO: Exploring Audio Workshops: Audio in Film Masterclass Series, 4 March | Event in Oakland |

FSD: San Francisco Movie Tour

When: March 12, 2023

Where:  200 Marina Blvd., San Francisco, CA

“What better way to celebrate the 95th Academy Awards on March 12th than to tour San Francisco’s movie locations? San Francisco has a rich history of being used as a backdrop over the years. We’ll explore movie locations from the golden age of Hollywood to the present as we traverse various San Francisco districts.” 

MORE INFO:  March (12th) FSD - San Francisco Movie Tour!

Movie Night in the Beer Garden - Purple Rain

When: March 9th, 6-9PM

Where: Retro Junkie - 2112 N. Main Street, Walnut Creek, CA

“Watch the film on a 15-foot outdoor LED Screen in the Beer Garden. Heat Lamps on blast to keep you cozy. Bring your own blanket!  FREE with RSVP.”

MORE INFO: Purple Rain Movie Night tickets

Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival

When: General Festival - March 16-19, 2023; Virtual Festival - March 20-29, 2023

Where: The UPS Store. 200 S. Main Street, Ste 130, Sebastopol, CA

“Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival is driven by an immense curiosity to learn and understand the lives of others, lives different in experience and age from our own. Submissions are open to anyone, from every part of the world. Films are chosen for excellence in craft, character, storytelling and authenticity.” 

MORE INFO: Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival


HollyShorts Screenplay Competition

Submission Deadline: March 24, 2023

“The 10th annual HollyShorts Screenplay Contest is part of the 19th annual HollyShorts Film Festival (August 10-19th 2023). Looking for short screenplays 30 pages or less, and TV Pilots 50 pages and under.”

MORE INFO: HollyShorts Screenplay Contest - FilmFreeway

The Female Eye Film Festival

Submission Deadline: March 31, 2023

“The Female Eye showcases high-caliber independent films that illuminate the best of debut, emerging, and established women directors from around the globe. The Script Development Program is open to both men and women.”

MORE INFO:  Female Eye Film Festival (FeFF) - FilmFreeway

North Fork TV Festival - Pilot Competition

Submission Deadline: June 1, 2023

“This year we are accepting submissions for independently produced TV and episodic web-series pilots in all genres (drama, comedy, thriller, etc). Our celebrated judges and selection committee will select projects that best reflect the spirit of independent storytelling to celebrate at the 2023 North Fork TV Festival. Runtime must be under 44 minutes.”

MORE INFO: Pilots — North Fork TV Festival

Austin Film Festival

Submission Deadline: May 17, 2023

“Submit to one of the Academy Award-qualifying short film categories - Narrative, Documentary, or Animated - for the chance to have your work reviewed by industry professionals and to be entered into the Austin Film Festival Jury Advisory Program!”

MORE INFO: Austin Film Festival - FilmFreeway

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

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.”


Hollywood International Diversity Film Festival

Submission Deadline: April 15, 2023

“With screenings in Hollywood, the Hollywood International Diversity Film festival celebrates independent films that embrace diversity of gender and cultural perspectives, and accepts our differences to promote understanding and empathy.”

MORE INFO:  Hollywood International Diversity Film Festival - FilmFreeway

Sundance Episodic Program

Submission Deadline: March 8, 2023

“The Sundance Institute Episodic Program provides artists with the tools, training, and industry access to develop their original series and pilot script. Offering one of the few training grounds for independent voices, the program is designed to help creators move their projects and careers forward.”

MORE INFO:  Episodic Program -

National Lampoon's Girls Rule Script Contest

Submission Deadline: June 30, 2023

The National Lampoon Company presents the NATIONAL LAMPOON’S GIRLZ RULE SCRIPT CONTEST (“NLGR Script Contest”) launched in association with Women in Film & Television US (“WIFT US”). This partnership seeks to provide women scriptwriters - LGBTQ+, women of color (Asian, Black, Indigenous, Latino), all religions, professional or amateur status, any race, ethnicity, country of origin, native language, political orientation, or sexual preference - with an opportunity to submit their scripts and be part of the GIRLZ RULE feature film series to be produced by National Lampoon. (#GirlzRule)

NLGR Script Contest seeks comedies and parodies of every kind that appeal to a wide audience. The scripts NL GIRLZ RULE seeks are intelligent, with cutting-edge wit, combined with some satire. National Lampoon has an illustrious history in the comedy genre beginning with its first film produced in 1978, National Lampoon’s Animal House, one of the most successful comedies ever.

Carol Bidault de l’Isle (“Daliland”) and Jerry Daigle ("Love, Wedding, Marriage" and "Odd Thomas") are set to produce the films. They will also participate in the review and determine the finalists.

National Lampoon and its NL GIRLZ RULE, LLC will sponsor the submissions process. Submissions will be free, at no cost to the writer, and will be accepted from February 24, 2023 through June 30, 2023.

MORE: National Lampoon's Girlz Rule


Movies that Matter

DeadlineApril 30, 2023

“We offer a start-up grant for new human rights film events and an impact grant for existing events that want to increase their impact or want to add new activities to their programmes. These events can take various forms, such as human rights film festivals, LGBTI film festivals and mobile cinema projects. Please note that we don’t finance film productions.”

MORE INFO: Grants - Movies that Matter

Berkley Film Foundation

Applications OPEN April 10, 2023

Deadline: General applications due May 15; Students applications due May 30

“Berkeley Film Foundation’s mission is to nurture, sustain and preserve the thriving local film community while attracting the next generation of filmmakers.                                                  

Basic Requirements:

MORE INFO: Apply — The Berkeley FILM Foundation

SFFILM Rainin Grant

Submission Period:  February 9 - March 24, 2023

"The program is open to filmmakers in the US and internationally who can commit to spending time developing the film in San Francisco. 

The SFFILM Rainin Grant will only fund films if they have a feature plot character, theme, and/or setting that explores social justice issues, such as human and civil rights, anti-discrimination, gender issues, sexual identity and/or other social issues of our time.  Films must NOT be a documentary, short film, or episodic series. The SFFILM Rainin Grant program is the largest granting body for independent narrative feature films in the US. This grant supports films that address social justice issues - the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges - in a positive way through plot character, theme, or setting and benefit the Bay Area filmmaking community in a professional and economic capacity."

For more info:  SFFILM Rainin Grant: Film Grant -

The Miller/Packan Film Fund - Documentary Films

Submission Deadline: Mat 15, 2023

"The Miller / Packan Film Fund supports documentaries that Educate, Inspire and Enrich. The Fund is financed through the Rogovy Foundation. We believe in the transformational power that comes from enlightening narratives and inspiring characters."

MORE INFO:  Documentary Fund – The Rogovy Foundation

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

Jewish Film Institute Completion Grants

Deadline for submissions:  March 31, 2023

“The Jewish Film Institute (JFI) Completion Grants support independent film and media arts projects that probe nuanced and surprising corners of Jewish life, history, culture, and identity. Grants provide critical resources for filmmakers to accelerate the final stages of their films as the funding landscape for independent filmmakers—particularly those seeking to reflect the full spectrum of Jewish experiences—becomes more challenging. Launched in 2020 to mark JFI’s 40th anniversary and to address the growing need for Jewish film funders nationally and internationally, the Grants advocate for films that challenge stereotypes and conventions, spark impactful conversations about Jewish life, and innovate storytelling forms. JFI has distributed more than $250,000 in grants to 19 projects since 2020.”

MORE INFO: JFI Completion Grants - San Francisco

MaMa Cash Grants - Resilience Fund

Deadline for submissions:  March 15, 2023

“Mama Cash supports ambitious feminist and women’s, girl’s, trans people's and intersex people’s rights organizations and initiatives led by and for women, girls, and trans people and intersex people from anywhere in the world. 

Mama Cash accepts Letters of Interest from applicants who are not current grantee-partners. Groups that apply will receive a response from Mama Cash by 30 June 2023, letting you know whether or not your application has made it to the final rounds of decision-making by the COM COM, our participatory grantmaking body.” 

MORE INFO: Apply for a grant – MamaCash

The Gotham Week September 16-22

2023 Project Market

Early deadlineMarch 22. 2023

Final Deadline: April 5, 2023

“The Gotham Week Project Market is a meetings-driven forum connecting new fiction and documentary projects in development, production, or post-production to key industry executives interested in identifying feature-length, episodic, and audio projects for development, financing, or distribution.

In addition to opportunities for feedback and pitching, artists who participate in the Project Market often walk away with career-spanning relationships with distributors, financiers, production companies, festival programmers, sales and talent agents, collaborators, and others. These invaluable connections continue well beyond the five days of Gotham Week.”

MORE INFO: Project Market | The Gotham

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

Newsletter designed by Lina Indeeva and edited by Nil Unerdem.  

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