August 20, 2008

San Francisco Film Society Absorbs Film Arts Foundation

In an effort to continue supporting Bay Area Filmmakers, the struggling
Film Arts Foundation has joined forces with the San Francisco Film
Society
. The beefed up Film Society will offer a slate of new and
continued services to the combined SFFS/FAF membership, and has tapped
key FAF staff to run them.

The Film Arts board will continue to provide consulting
services, advocacy and support to SFFS through the transition and beyond. One
member of the FAF board will join the SFFS board, to provide an institutional
and historical link, as well as programmatic continuity and best practices
advice. FAF expects to fully wind down operations in 2009.

FAF was founded by independent filmmakers in 1976, and provided key
services such as professional training, equipment, information,
consultations and exhibition opportunities to support artists across
the Bay Area. They also published the excellent film publication
Release Print.

A statement on the FAF website states, "After
thirty-two years of working hand-in-glove with independent filmmakers,
Film Arts Foundation has reached a point at which it is no longer able
to provide a number of filmmaker services that have been crucially
important to all of us. The
FAF Board and Staff have been working hard to determine how best to
sustain these filmmaker services that have been such an important part
of Film Arts’ mission, and we strongly believe that the San Francisco
Film Society is the organization best equipped to carry on the FAF
legacy."

New SFFS programs and initiatives include the following:

  • Herbert Filmmaking Grants: These grants will present awards totaling $25,000 to films by Bay Area
    filmmakers. Calls for entry will be published in November.
  • SFFS FilmHouse Residencies:
    Residencies will offer 2,800
    square-feet of production-office space at Pier 27 on the Embarcadero –
    free of charge – to Bay Area filmmakers. Residencies are for one- to
    six-month terms; application will be published in September. This
    initiative is in partnership with the San Francisco Film Commission.
  • Film Arts Forum: A new large-scale monthly
    evening screening/conference/networking event that brings together and
    showcases Bay Area filmmakers and filmmaking. Members receive
    discounted admission; event is slated to begin in November.
  • Formation of the SFFS Filmmakers Advisory Board: An active group of
    established Bay Area film professionals whose role is to aid in further
    developing SFFS Filmmaker Services. A complete list of Filmmakers Advisory
    Board members will be announced in September.

For more on how the two organizations will be combining services:
SFFS press release:
Film Arts Foundation News Update