Bay Area Documentary Fund
Documentary films are an incredibly powerful tool for storytelling as much as advocacy. Established in 2008, The San Francisco Foundation Bay Area Documentary Fund (BADF) supports films that explore timely and compelling social justice issues from communities that have been historically underexposed, misinterpreted, or ignored. In recognition of the many award-winning documentaries that have emerged from the Bay Area, the Foundation seeks applications from accomplished film, video, and digital media artists.
Grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 are given to support the early production phase of documentary projects by experienced filmmakers living in the Bay Area with an esteemed body of previously created work. Proposed projects should align with the Foundation’s programmatic goals, and should address topics that are relevant to one or more of the five Bay Area counties we serve: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, or San Mateo.
The deadline to apply in 2013 has passed.
If you have additional questions, please contact Tere Romo, Arts and Culture program officer, at 415.733.8523 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can join us in supporting the Bay Area Documentary Fund by making a grant recommendation from your donor advised fund in Donor Center, or making a credit card donation on our Give Online page. For additional questions, please contact Philanthropic Services at 415.733.8500.
If you have questions regarding The San Francisco Foundation Bay Area Documentary Fund, contact Tere Romo, Arts and Culture program officer at 415.733.8523 or email@example.com.
2012 Bay Area Documentary Fund Grantees
Sophie Constantinou, Green Streets
Public housing residents come together to create jobs for their community by recycling its trash. ($25,000)
Connie Field, Martin Luther King in Palestine
African American gospel singers in a cultural collaboration with Palestinian actors, bring the ideas of Martin Luther King, Jr. on nonviolence to the West Bank. ($15,000)
Madeleine Lim, Bernice Bing (1936-1998)
The story of a California artist and community activist whose life stood for freedom and equality. ($15,000)
Dawn Logsdon, Free For All: Inside the Public Library
Documents the crucial role of the San Francisco’s Main Public Library and how libraries have transformed American civic life over the past 150 years. ($10,000)
Amir Soltani and Chihiro Wimbush, Redemption
A glimpse into the daily lives of four recyclers reveals the complex history, economy, and fraught political climate of West Oakland. ($25,000)
Dawn Valadez, TURN IT AROUND
Two youth from gang impacted and economically challenged communities face seemingly insurmountable obstacles as they work to earn an education. ($10,000 from the James D. Phelan Trust)
Debra A. Wilson, Alexander and Timothy
The story of a married couple diagnosed with schizophrenia reveals the state of mental health services in the Bay Area and how it impacts African American communities. ($25,000)
Gemma Cubero, Queer Tango
Tango dancers find connection, acceptance, and personal transformation on the dance floor. ($20,000)
Maureen Gosling, No Mouse Music!
A portrait of Arhoolie Records’ founder, Chris Strachwitz, that follows his life, vision, and adventures searching out America’s roots music. ($20,000)
Christie Herring, The Campaign
This observational, character-based documentary captures the emotional rollercoasters of the people working on the campaign to defeat California’s Proposition 8 and defend same-sex marriage. ($20,000)
Dave Iverson, Moscone: A San Francisco Story
A television documentary on the life and legacy of former San Francisco Mayor George Moscone. ($10,000 from the James D. Phelan Trust)
Catherin Ryan, A Love Affair with the Brain
A history of neuroscientific advancement through the life and work of the legendary anatomist, Dr. Marian Diamond, Professor Emeritus at the UC Berkeley. ($20,000)
Ken Schneider, GOT BALZ?
A Jewish boy in San Francisco initiates a campaign to send money and supplies to Cuba for youth to play baseball. ($10,000 from the James D. Phelan Trust)
Eugene Corr, From Ghost Town to Havana
The bonds of mentorship and camaraderie transcend borders as a little league team from West Oakland travels to Cuba to play baseball. ($20,000 from the James D. Phelan Trust)
Megan Gelstein, Green Shall Overcome
The controversial activist, Van Jones rises and falls at the hands of the media during his campaign to promote the green collar economy. ($20,000)
Peter Nicks, The Waiting Room
Using the physical waiting room as a symbol of the plight for those most affected by the heath care crisis, this film reveals the true cost of a system in peril. ($20,000)
Tamara Perkin, The Trust
Drawing the connection between poverty and recidivism, The National Trust program attempts to break the cycle by offering leadership training to incarcerated African American men. ($20,000)
Ken Paul Rosenthal, Crooked Beauty
An intense personal quest to live with courage and dignity is documented through this experimental, poetic, and powerful critique of standard psychiatric treatments of mental illness. ($20,000)
Christian Bruno, Strand: A Natural History of Cinema
This historical exploration of San Francisco’s movie theater culture in its heyday portrays the cinema as a site for imagination and a space for collective experience. ($22,500)
Helen De Michiel, Love Lunch Community
Chronicles the Berkeley’s School Lunch Initiative and one community’s effort to change how children eat. ($22,500)
Abby Ginzberg, Cruz Reynoso: A Man for All Seasons
The lifelong journey of the first Latino to be appointed to the California Supreme court, as he fights to eradicate discrimination and inequality. ($10,000)
Yoav Potash, Crime After Crime
The legal struggle to free Debbie Peagler, an incarcerated domestic violence survivor, reveals a deeply fractured justice system. ($22,500)
David Weismann’s & Bill Weber, We Were Here
A personal recount of the Bay Area’s AIDS epidemic as told by survivors. ($22,500)
Bay Area Documentary Fund F.A.Q.
Does the filmmaker have to live in the 5-county Bay Area?
Does the fiscal sponsor have to be physically located in the 5-county Bay Area?
Will this grant support the research and development phase of our documentary?
Yes. While priority is given to films in the early stages of production, BADF has also funded projects in the conceptual stage.
Can I apply again with the same project?
No. A filmmaker may only apply to the BADF once with any given project.
Can I apply again, with a new project?
Yes. If you are working on a new film, you are eligible to apply with that project.
What does “proven track record” mean?
The filmmaker leading the project should have already completed several substantial film projects.
When is the deadline?
The deadline changes every year. We are now accepting applications for the 2013 cycle. The deadline is Friday, April 12, 2013, by 11:59 p.m.The online applications and video samples must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on the day of the deadline.
How do I submit an application?
All applications must be submitted through the Grantee Center by registering for a new account. NOTE: The applicant name must be the documentary title or the production company. DO NOT list a fiscal sponsor as the applicant/grantee name or no other organization with this fiscal sponsor will be able to apply.
Who should fill out the application?
The filmmaker or production company can fill out the application.
Does the character count include spaces?
Yes, all character counts in Grantee Center include spaces. Text that surpasses the word maximum will be cut off. We recommend writing your text in Word and running a word count (including spaces) before pasting into the application.
What if my fiscal sponsor doesn’t have an audit?
You may submit their most recent Form 990 and request a waiver for the audit, stating the reason your fiscal sponsor does not conduct one.
What if I can’t submit my fiscal sponsor’s letter of resolution on time?
Letters of resolution from fiscal sponsors should be signed by the organization’s executive director. If you are unable to submit it by the deadline, you must request a waiver stating why you are unable to complete the document. Our staff will follow up with next steps.
What formats are acceptable?
Online samples are usually easier, however, they don’t always yield the highest quality. If you do send a link, please remember: DO NOT password protect your video. For physical samples, we prefer DVD, but we accept .mp4 and .mov.
Do I need to hand deliver my thumb drive or DVD?
You may deliver your samples to our offices. You can also mail samples, as long as they are postmarked by the deadline.
How do I know if my samples work?
All samples will be tested by our staff before the jury meeting. If there are any problems, you will be contacted and given an opportunity to resubmit your materials.
For questions about the fund or your eligibility, contact Arts & Culture Program Officer:
Tere Romo, firstname.lastname@example.org or 415.733.8523
For issues related to login, passwords, or technical difficulties, please contact:
Cindy Gonzales, email@example.com or 415.733.8548