Announcing the finalists for the Spring 2018 SFFILM Rainin Filmmaking Grants

Photo by Erin Lubin

Fifteen exciting narrative feature projects have been just been selected by the SFFILM Makers team as finalists for the Spring 2018 round of SFFILM Rainin Filmmaking Grants. The largest grant program of its kind in the US, the partnership between SFFILM and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation is celebrating ten incredible years of supporting important independent filmmakers telling critical socially driven stories.

The winning projects, which will split $250,000 in this round, will be announced in about a month. In the meantime, get to know this talented group of finalists!

As always, find out more about the filmmakers services provided by SFFILM Makers at


— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Cops and Robbers
Jinho “Piper” Ferreira, writer (screenwriting)
John “Jay” Punch is a social justice artist from Oakland, California. Frustrated with the lack of impact of his artistic efforts, and haunted by the police killing of Oscar Grant, he decides to pay his own way through the police academy in an attempt to create change from the inside.

50 Miles from Boomtown
Flo Linus Baumann, writer (screenwriting)
After six years of grueling work, the only woman working on the oilfields of North Dakota is months away from the dream she’s been saving for: trading in her truck for a new house with her daughter. But when the economy dwindles, and she finds herself falling in love with her younger partner on the oilfields, she begins to question which dream she should be chasing after all.

Suzanne Andrews Correa, writer/director (screenwriting)
In Ciudad Juarez, a city where violence against women goes unnoticed and unpunished, an unlikely heroine emerges to seek justice.

I’m No Longer Here
Fernando Frias, writer/director; Gerry Kim, Gerardo Gatica, and Alberto Muffelmann, producers (post-production)
To prevent a life working for the drug cartels, a teenage Mexican boy is forced to migrate to New York City at the pleas of his family. But when he lands in Jackson Heights, Queens, he quickly realizes that he would rather return home to his family and friends than confront the alienation and loneliness that he faces in America.

Jimmy Salvador
Kirill Mikhanovsky, director; Alice Austen, writer/producer (screenwriting)
Jimmy Salvador depicts 36 hours in the life of a 14-year-old Mexican American sprinter who has to be faster than ever to save his undocumented mother from being deported.

Kayla & Eddie en Français
Iyabo Boyd, writer (screenwriting)
Eddie Williams is 20 years sober but has neglected to rebuild the tenuous relationship with his daughter Kayla, a film producer who’s heading to Paris to pitch an important funder. Hoping to reconnect, Eddie crashes Kayla’s trip, unearthing their long-standing tension around his addiction and emotional distance.

Gabriella Moses, writer/director; Julius Pryor, Marttise Hill, and Shruti Ganguly, producers (development)
When a reserved Dominican American girl with albinism believes she can perform miracles after she seemingly resurrects an illegally hunted albino deer, rumors spread to the popular clique at school, and she must choose to combat their cruelty with either revenge or peace.

Bassam Jarbawi, writer/director; Shrihari Sathe and Yasmine Qaddumi, producers (post-production)
Driven to psychosis by the torture he underwent in an Israeli prison, an ex-basketball champ struggles to re-assimilate into Palestinian society. As the line between reality and hallucination blurs, he cannot help but drive himself back to the same event that started it all.

The Borscht Corporation (post-production)
Omniboat is an anthology feature film comprised of nine different interconnected stories about a speedboat in Miami. It’s not just a boat ride, it’s a Miami adventure.

Sandhya Suri, writer/director (screenwriting)
In the corrupt hinterlands of Northern India, a newly widowed young woman inherits her husband’s job as a police constable. When a young girl’s body is found, she is forced to confront the brutality around her and the violence within.

Sealskin Woman
Tani Ikeda, director/co-writer; A-lan Holt, co-writer (screenwriting)
A young girl goes to live with her grandparents in Japan after her mother dies. When she discovers that the people who are supposed to protect her can’t, she must rely on her own magic to save herself.

Shit & Champagne
D’Arcy Drollinger, writer/director, Michelle Moretta, producer (screenwriting)
Shit & Champagne is a high-octane, high-camp, slapstick send-up of the iconic exploitation films of the 1970s. The film is a tribute to female empowerment flavored with borscht belt comedy, with an original funk score, fabulous vintage inspired fashion, and cross-gender casting.

Strange Fruit
Elizabeth Oyebode, writer (screenwriting)
In the 19th century South, a pugnacious Black journalist embarks on a life-threatening investigation that will upend her beliefs about all the Black men whose lives she and the rest of America thought did not matter.

Sutro Forest
Travis Matthews, writer/director; Mollye Asher, producer (screenwriting)
A young homeless woman prepares to leave San Francisco for a new opportunity, but when she finds her brother dead in Sutro Forest, she loses herself on a mysterious journey that may lead to his killer.

Todos los Cuerpos
Jennifer Reeder, director; Laura Heberton, writer/producer
In a not-too-distant dystopian future, in the wake of a climate-change-related disaster, two nearly wild mixed-race girls with special powers named Z and Bub fight to survive in the desert ruins of the former US/Mexico border wall.

Presenter of the SFFILM Festival, SFFILM is a year-round nonprofit organization delivering screenings & events to 100,000+ film lovers annually.