May News


May is AAPI Heritage Month and WIFSFBA would like to celebrate by highlighting AAPI women filmmakers!

If you’ve wondered why the month of May was chosen for AAPI Heritage month, it was to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese people to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

From the Desk of WIFSFBA Board Member & Treasurer Carol Hall

There was much celebration in the Asian and Asian American Pacific Islanders community when Everything Everywhere All At Once swept the 2023 Oscars with seven wins in key categories. Up until recently, Asian faces were rarely seen in Oscar-winning films, either in front of or behind the cameras. Asians are finally getting recognized in the Western world.

Michelle Yeoh, the star of EEAAO, who has been acting since the 1980s, rose to fame in the 1990s after starring in a series of Hong Kong action films where she performed her own stunts. She became more widely known in the West for being a Bond girl in Tomorrow Never Dies with Pierce Brosnan in 1997 and then in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon with Chow Yun Fat in 2000. More recently, she played major supporting roles in Crazy Rich Asians in 2018, Shang-Chi and Legend of the Ten Rings in 2021, and in the Star Trek Discovery TV series from 2016-2019.

Here are the first few words of her Best Actress acceptance speech at the Oscars in March:

“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities. This is proof...dream big, and dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime. Never give up."

As a Chinese American woman “past my prime,” Yeoh’s speech truly resonated with me. As a filmmaker, I started out relatively late in life, but I believe all my past experiences influenced and helped shape me into the producer and screenwriter I am today. I take to heart Yeoh’s admonition to dream big and never give up.

Carol Lee Hall

Producer, Jeweled Bird Pictures

Jeweled Bird film by Carol Hall


Center for Asian American Media CAAM Fest 2023, May 11-21

“We’re thrilled to announce that CAAMFest 2023 will take place May 11-21, 2023 with a completely in-person program, featuring a wide array of films and panels, plus an expanded slate of food and music events. The entire festival program is scheduled to be announced and tickets will go on sale mid-April on the CAAMFest website.

CAAMFest screenings, receptions, and events will be held in San Francisco and Oakland, including venues in neighborhoods rich with Asian American history, such as San Francisco’s South of Market and Chinatown. This 11-day festival will be more experiential than ever.

‘The recent Oscars was a historic night for Asian Americans,' says Stephen Gong, CAAM Executive Director. 'We hope to continue seeing more of our stories not only just represented on the big screen, but present throughout our communities. Since our first film festival over 40 years ago, CAAM has been working to lift these stories and change perceptions about our ever-evolving Asian American narratives.'

'All of our communities have been so completely transformed these last few years. As we emerge from a place of isolation, CAAMFest becomes a necessary space and practice in how to gather once again,' says Festival and Exhibitions Director Thúy Trần . 'CAAMFest is a call to gather, an open invitation to everyone to join us in reimagining how we connect through acts of joy, healing, advocacy, and discovery.' CAAMFest emerges from the liminal with new energy and momentum behind fresh ways of pushing storytelling from observational to interactive."

Save the Date! CAAMFest 2023 is Coming May 11-21

Asian Art Museum

“Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with dance and music traditions from across South and Southeast Asia inspired by current exhibition Beyond Bollywood: 2000 Years of Dance in Art. Enjoy in-gallery storytelling tours, hands-on art making inspired by movement and dance, and featured performances by the Chitresh Das Youth Dance Company and Gamelan Sekar Jaya. These events offer fun for the whole family!”

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration

Important Women Who Helped Shape Film & Cinema History

Ongoing Newsletter Series - by Tasha Nesbitt

Courtesy of the British Film Institute

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

In each monthly newsletter, we will highlight a different one:


Dorothy Arzner was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer who made significant contributions to the film industry throughout her career. She was born on January 3, 1897, in San Francisco, California, and grew up in Los Angeles.

Arzner was one of the first women to work as a film director in Hollywood, and she went on to become one of the most important female filmmakers of the 20th century. She was known for her strong, independent female characters and her innovative approach to filmmaking.

Arzner began her career in the film industry as a stenographer and script typist for the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation (later known as Paramount Pictures). She worked her way up through the ranks and eventually became a film editor, working on films such as Blood and Sand (1922) and Wings (1927).

In 1927, Arzner made her directorial debut with the film Fashions for Women, and she went on to direct a total of 16 feature films. Some of her most well-known films include Dance, Girl, Dance (1940), Christopher Strong (1933), and The Bride Wore Red (1937).

Arzner was a trailblazer who paved the way for other women in the industry. She was the first woman to join the Directors Guild of America, and she mentored and inspired a new generation of female filmmakers.

Arzner was openly gay, and many of her films explored themes related to gender and sexuality. She was a feminist and a champion of women's rights, and her films often featured strong, independent female characters who challenged traditional gender roles.

Arzner retired from filmmaking in the 1940s and went on to teach film at UCLA. She died on October 1, 1979, at the age of 82, leaving behind a legacy as one of the most important and influential female filmmakers in the history of cinema.

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.

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


Thank You to Yvette Gentile and Rasha Pecoraro!

We express our sincere appreciation to Yvette Gentile and Rasha Pecoraro for their invaluable contribution to the Women in Film SF Bay Area speaker series event. Their profound insights and expertise, showcased through their acclaimed podcasts “Root of Evil” and “Facing Evil,” as well as their connection to the series I Am The Night directed by Patty Jenkins, are a testament to their exceptional work ethic and unyielding determination to uncover the truth and raise awareness on important issues. 

As two women with a deep connection to Hawaii, their presentation exuded the aloha spirit, celebrating the love of family and capturing our attention with their captivating delivery. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to learn from Yvette and Rasha, who are an inspiration to us all. We wish them continued success in all their future endeavors and look forward to following their journey.

Thank you,

Julie Rubio 

President, WIFSFBA and Board of Directors


WIFSFBA is happy to announce that Diane Walsh has been appointed as the new Vice President in the coming 2023-2026 term! The Board of Directors nominated and unanimously voted for Diane to be VP in their April 12, 2023 monthly meeting. She had already been working as Vice Board Chair on our standard operating procedures, the mentoring program, committee work, and a lot more, so we thought it fitting that she should take on this new leadership role within WIFSFBA, and we are glad Diane agreed!

An Emmy-nominated producer for her work on Hallmark Hall of Fame's A Place for Annie, Diane worked for 20+ years as a development executive for several Los-Angeles based production companies, taught screenwriting at UCLA, and served as Director of Programming for the Family Channel’s movie night. In 1988, she took her wealth of experience and love of storytelling to Philadelphia where she served as Director of the Writing for Film & TV program at the University of the Arts, until she retired back to her hometown of San Jose in 2020, and joined WIFSFBA. 

In her new position, Diane will support our president, Julie Rubio, in expanding our organization to reach more women filmmakers in the SF Bay Area, and strengthen our strategic plan & mission of  empowering, promoting, and celebrating womens’ voices in all  media.  Welcome and congratulations to Diane Walsh, our new VP!           


Becoming a WIFSFBA intern or volunteer is a unique and exciting opportunity to be a part of a highly respected organization in the film industry. Come join our wonderfully diverse team!

Position Description:

We offer school credit for those attending a HigherEd institution, AND volunteer opportunities for non-students of all backgrounds and experience levels.  During their internship, applicants will have the opportunity to work and interact with experienced  working producers, directors, writers, editors, etc on projects that expand WIFSBA’s community outreach, and will be invited to attend all of our events.  In return, we ask interns to contribute 5-10 hours a week to WIFSFBA, and attend mandatory monthly Zoom team meetings.

We are looking for interns to support our work in one or more of the following areas:


●Tech Support for Zoom Events

● Graphic design

● Work with Photoshop

● Marketing

● Canva -- assist in photo editing and marketing materials

● Website

● Managing social media, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and WIFChat

If you are experienced or trained in one or more of the areas listed above, and are interested in expanding your skills professionally, please APPLY by sending the following materials addressed to Julie Rubio, WIFSFBA President, at

● Resume

● Cover letter -- please include:

-which area(s) above interest you

-your experience/training in that area(s)

-reason(s) for wanting to work with WIFSFBA

-if you are a student OR non-student

-If student: which semester/quarter/summer you are available

-If non-student: when you could begin a 6-month time commitment

We strongly encourage applicants from all backgrounds, including but not limited to BIPOC, gender diverse individuals, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, people with disabilities, bilingual individuals.  Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified applicants with disabilities may participate in the application process.

We are accepting applications on a rolling basis.

Questions? Please contact, and put INTERNSHIP in the subject line. 


Events and Programming Committee

Have you always wondered what happens behind the scenes of our Events and Programs?

We would love to have you join the WIFSFBA Events and Programming Committee!

All levels of experience and expertise invited!  

Your interest, enthusiasm, and willingness to to be a team player are all that are required. We work closely and collaboratively, supporting each others’ strengths, and sharing our skills with each other.

Desired expertise and/or willingness to learn new skills:

Please send an email to with the subject line "Event and Programming Committee Volunteer."

Please include a brief introduction, your experience with event planning (not required), and why you’d like to volunteer to support our committee’s work. 

We’re looking for a minimum commitment of 6-8 hours a month for 6 months.

Promotion & Social Media Committee

Are you a social media enthusiast? Interested in digital marketing?

Then the Promotion/Social Media Committee wants YOU! 

We have an exciting volunteer opportunity available to WIFSFBA members who love social media and want to promote and empower women in the film industry! 

Help us amplify our message on Facebook, Instagram, Linked-in, and Twitter. 

You don’t need to be a social media expert. You just need an interest in collaborating on creative social media campaigns for our events, workshops, programs and initiatives, and a desire to engage with our online community!

We’re looking for people who possess one or more of the following:


If you’re interested, or want to know more, please send an email to, with the subject line "Promotion/Social Media Committee Volunteer." 

Please include a brief introduction, your experience with social media, and why you’d like to volunteer to support our committee’s work. 

We’re looking for a minimum commitment of 6-8 hours a month for 6 months.


Member Poll

Thanks to everyone who filled out our member poll. We have held a virtual raffle and the winners of our prizes for filling out the poll are:

Veronica Savas and Heather Freeze each won a free WIFSFBA umbrella!

And L.Z. Zephyr won a free WIFSFBA membership for next year!


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 June 21st to be included in the next newsletter.

WIFSFBA President Julie Rubio Featured in Diablo Magazine

I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Diablo Magazine and Pete Crooks for featuring me among the esteemed 2023 Power Players. It is truly an honor to be recognized by such a prestigious publication.    

Julie Rubio

WIFSFBA President



Longtime Orinda resident Julie Rubio has been using her filmmaking skills for years, starting with an instructional yoga video she shot on Oahu’s North Shore nearly two decades ago. At the time, Rubio was teaching yoga at Lafayette’s Oakwood Athletic Club, a job she left to pursue filmmaking full-time.

Rubio has built a résumé of independent films, writing and directing the noir thriller Six Sex Scenes and a Murder and the teen drama Too Perfect, as well as several short films shot in the East Bay. She had a major breakthrough in 2014, producing the hit East Side Sushi, a drama about a Mexican American immigrant who finds success as a sushi chef in an Oakland restaurant.

Rubio has spent the past several years directing a documentary about the artist Tamara de Lempicka, a painter who died in 1980 at the age of 82.

“De Lempicka’s popularity soars today, 40 years after her death,” says Rubio. “In 2020, her work sold at auction for over $21 million. ... Her most famous collector is Madonna. I have Madonna in the film, as well as Barbra Streisand, Jack Nicholson, and Anjelica Huston, as they [are] all collectors.”

Rubio and her team are in talks with major streamers and museums about the release of the film. Meanwhile, Rubio was recently named president of Women in Film San Francisco Bay Area, a position that will run through 2026.

by Peter Crooks

Diablo Magazine article


WIFSFBA hosts the WIFT-US mixer with the Jewish Film Institute:

A Discussion with Director Lisa D'Apolito on her documentary film Love, Gilda

When: May 11th @ 4:00PM - 5.30PM PDT

Where: Virtual Zoom

Cost: $10 Non-members, Free for WIFSFBA, WIFT-US, and JFI members

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. 

In addition, we have an exciting and exclusive virtual event during the mixer, presented by WIFSFBA, WIFT-US, and the Jewish Film Institute: a discussion with director Lisa D’Apolito on her documentary about Gilda Radner called Love, Gilda

The heartwarming 2018 documentary Love, Gilda celebrates the life and career of beloved comedienne Gilda Radner, an original member of Saturday Night Live, offering a unique window into her honest and whimsical world. View the trailer for Love, Gilda here.

Don't miss this amazing opportunity to learn more about how Lisa brought this heartfelt story to the big screen, and what she is working on now.  You'll also hear from JFI’s Claudia Finkle and Rebecca Pierce about the incredible work of the Jewish Film Institute, the premier curatorial voice for Jewish film and media around the world. JFI's programs showcase the full diversity of Jewish experiences, aiming to create a more informed and empathetic world where vital Jewish-content films are made, watched, shared, and treasured. Love Gilda was the Opening Night Film at the Jewish Film Institute in 2018.

Secure your spot today and get ready for an unforgettable evening of terrific speakers, followed by an opportunity to network with old friends and potential new collaborators from around the United States. 

About Lisa D’Apolito: Producer and Director, Pronouns: She/Her

Lisa D’Apolito is an Emmy nominated producer and director. Lisa’s film documentary, Love, Gilda was selected as the opening night film of the Tribeca Film Festival, was distributed theatrically through Magnolia Pictures, had a broadcast premiere on CNN, and was nominated for 2 creative Emmys. Lisa started as an actress in film, theater, and television including a part in Goodfellas.  She went on to producing and directing in advertising, making her way to SVP/EP of production at FCB and then starting her own production company, 3 Faces Films. Lisa was named one of Variety’s 10 Documentarians to Watch in 2018 and was featured in SHOOT Magazine's New Directors Showcase 2019.  Lisa is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Italy.  She is in post-production with PYUNIVERSE, a documentary on the Cult director Albert Pyun, and recently completed Shari and Lamb Chop.

About Claudia Finkle: JFI Office Coordinator, Pronouns: She/Her

A veteran of the filmmaking community in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, Claudia Finkle brings her expertise and enthusiasm to the Jewish Film Institute. After graduating from the Art Institute in San Francisco, Claudia went on to edit over 20 feature-length narrative and documentary films. Claudia has served on the Board of American Cinema Editors and Women In Film. When not watching films, you will find Claudia dancing to the beat of the clave in Cuban music.

About Rebecca Pierce: JFI Marketing and Communications Manager, Pronouns: She/Her

Rebecca Pierce is a writer and filmmaker based in San Francisco. With works ranging from documentary films and political essays to pop sketch comedy, Rebecca's multimedia storytelling covers diverse topics related to politics, culture, and social justice. An alumna of UC Santa Cruz's Film and Digital Media program, Rebecca was a 2021 JFI Filmmaker in Residence and a 2019-2020 Affiliate Fellow at Harvard Divinity School's Religion, Conflict, and Peace Initiative. Her writing has been published in Jewish Currents, The Nation, The New Republic, The Jewish Daily Forward, +972, and produced by San Francisco's Killing My Lobster sketch comedy theater company.

AI in Filmmaking with Basil Shadid and Philip Shane

When: May 27th, 2023, 11:00AM - 12.30PM PDT

Where: Virtual Zoom

Cost: $10 Non-members, $5 WIFSFBA members & WIFT US members

Philip Shane

Basil Shadid

Experience a groundbreaking discussion with guest experts Philip Shane (documentary filmmaker) and Basil Shadid (producer) as they explore how filmmakers and documentarians can utilize AI technology, especially Chat GPT, at every stage of the filmmaking process.

WIFSFBA President, Julie Rubio, will moderate the first half of the event during which Philip and Basil will share valuable tools including: 

The second half of the event will be devoted to Q & A from attendees.

With over 800 RSVPs for their last event, Philip Shane and Basil Shadid have sparked a massive wave of interest. Register early to secure your space and join us in starting a longer, ongoing conversation about AI's role in film and media production, as well as the ethical and philosophical implications. 

See you online at this transformative discussion on AI in filmmaking. Secure your spot now!

An Evening with Gabrielle Carteris

When: June 1st @7:00PM -  8.30PM PDT

Where: Virtual Zoom

Cost: $5 Non-members, free for WIFSFBA members

Join WIFSFBA as we welcome actor and activist Gabrielle Carteris! 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 Carteris 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.


LUNAFEST: Films By and About Women

When: May 17, 2023 

Where:  Landmark’s Del Mar Theatre, 1124 Pacific Avenue #4415, Santa Cruz, CA

Cost: $20

“A program of short films that empower and inspire, LUNAFEST believes that sharing diverse perspectives can spark conversation, connection, and change. This year’s stories are told from a variety of perspectives that champion women and gender nonconforming individuals, highlighting their aspirations, accomplishments, resilience, and strength.”



When: May 3, 2023 @6.30-9.30 PM PDT 

Where: KMVT 15 - Silicon Valley Community Media, 2500 Old Middlefield Way -- Suite F, Mountain View, CA 94043

Cost: $90

“Experience behind the scenes, and learn how to produce your own show!”

MORE INFO: Studio Production Workshop

BASH - Bay Area & Sacramento Short Film Festival

When: May 20, 2023 @11AM-4.30PM 

Where:  Stage Werx Theatre, 446 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA

Cost: $12-15

“Bay Area and Sac Short Films PLUS! Challenge Filmmakers Compete to Win $1,000! Actors and Writers Compete…and Networking!”

MORE INFO:  BASH - Tickets


When: May 6, 2023 - All-Day SHORTS

Where: Mystic Theatre, 23 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma, CA 94952

Pass: $40

“Admission to all four programs.  A showcase of animated and live action short films with filmmakers in conversation.”


'Film n a Day' Actors & Directors Challenge

When: May 27, 2023 @10AM-6.30PM

Where: MMTB - Movie Making Throughout the Bay, 13 Pacific Avenue, Rodeo, CA 94572

Cost: $0-300

“ACTORS, FILMMAKERS, WRITERS!!! Come make a short film with us!  Compete in Film Teams! Everyone Welcome! Must Register in ADVANCE.  WIN $1,000! Films made in this event will be screened at a local theater in the Bay Area during the BASH Film Festival and voted on for a chance to win $1,000 and a trophy.”

MORE INFO: Film n a Day Actors & Directors Challenge

The Culture AI Film and AI Games Festival 2023

When: June 13, 2023 @5.30-10PM

Where: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema New Mission, 2550 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Cost: $10 - Tickets must be purchased by May 9, 2023

“AI movies and AI games will next year compete with Blockbusters in our cinemas and on our PC’s. Come see the future!”

MORE INFO:  Culture AI Film and AI Games Festival


Mill Valley Film Festival

Early Submission Deadline: May 12, 2023

Final Deadline: June 9, 2023

“MVFF is the oldest fall film festival in California.  With a reputation for launching new films and creating awards season buzz, MVFF has a knack for spotting emerging talent. The festival accepts short and feature length work in the following categories:  narrative, documentary, experimental, animation, family films and youth produced.”

MORE INFO: Mill Valley Film Festival

The Women's Film Festival

Late Submission Deadline: May 12, 2023

“The WFF showcases work made by and/or about women. It is the only event of its kind in Philadelphia that celebrates and elevates women in film and television. Submit documentary, short, feature, animation or music video films featuring a strong female role in the category of director, writer, producer, editor, director of Photography, or lead actress.”

MORE INFO: The WFF | Tickets

HollyShorts Screenplay Competition

Late Submission Deadline: May 5, 2023

Extended Submission Deadline: June 2, 2023

“The 10th annual HollyShorts Screenplay Contest is part of the 19th annual HollyShorts Film Festival (August 10-19th 20223). We are looking for short screenplays 30 pages or less.  All Quarter, Semi and Finalists will be announced and invited to the festival with an all access pass. Winning scripts receive production deals courtesy of The Seattle Film Summit Hawk Films, and 88th Street Productions.”

MORE INFO:HollyShorts Screenplay Competition

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

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

Imagine This Women's Festival

Late Submission Deadline: May 21, 2023

“The Festival’s goal is to support women by sharing their work with the public, promoting equal opportunity for BIPOC women and the LGBTQIA+ community while providing professional development, and serving as  resource informational network.” 



SFFILM Documentary Film Fund

Submission Deadline: June 6, 2023

“The DFF supports engaging documentaries in post-production which exhibit compelling stories, intriguing characters, and an original, innovative visual approach.  Since its launch in 2011, the SFFILM Documentary Film Fund has distributed more than $900,000 to advance new work by filmmakers nationwide.”

MORE INFO:  SFFILM Documentary Film Fund

CrossCurrents International Doc Fund

Submission Deadline: June 2, 2023

“The CrossCurrents Fund is an international fund for filmmakers who are members of -- or have a deep connection to -- the underrepresented and marginalized community.  The Fund’s mandate is to help develop understanding and appreciation of unheard voices by encouraging projects that aim to reach not only members within the community, but also expanded audiences.  Short/feature/interactive support is offered.”

MORE INFO:  CrossCurrents International Doc Fund

Berkley Film Foundation

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

Women Make Movies - Production Grant

Submissions are taken on a rolling basis

“WMM offers a production assistance program for female filmmakers actively fundraising or about to begin fundraising.  Filmmakers can only apply if they are not currently fiscally sponsored by another organization.  One of the most important criteria for the Women Make Movies Production Grant is that you must be able to clearly communicate your fundraising or distribution strategies for the film.”

MORE INFO:  WMM | Production Grant

The Miller/Packan Film Fund - Documentary Films

Submission Deadline: May 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

NYWIFT Ravenal Foundation Feature Film Grant

Deadline:  June 2, 2023

“The NYWIFT Ravenal Foundation Grant is proud to present four grants that will support a woman feature film director and producer over 40 years of age in the production of a dramatic feature film. Two winners (a director and a producer) will receive $5,000 each and two runner ups (a director and a producer) will receive $2,500. Grant funds may be used for pre-production, production or post-production.”

MORE INFO: NYWIFT Ravenal Foundation Feature Film Grant

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

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

Thanks to Newsletter Contributors:   Diane Walsh, Tasha Nesbitt, Nil Unerdem, Carol Hall, Julie Rubio, Ami Zins, Christina McKinley, Nichole Carlson, Kelli A. White

Newsletter designed by Lina Indeeva and edited by Nil Unerdem.  

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