Connect with us

Film Award & Prize News

San Francisco Future Giants; Kris Swanberg, Chloé Zhao, Jonas Carpignano, Machoian/Ojeda-Beck Receive SFFS/KRF Coin

Announced earlier this evening, SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grants have been awarded to potential 2015 Sundancers in the likes of Kris Swanberg, Chloé Zhao, Jonas Carpignano and the team of Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck (they all receive major post-production coin), while Elena Greenlee and Annie Silverstein will get to concentrate on crafting their individual screenplays having received some grin-worthy dollar contributions. Along with cool initiatives from Sundance and Cinereach folks, this twice yearly SFFS/KRF program has funded more than 50 projects since its inception, helping out the likes of Fruitvale Station back when it was now as Fruitvale. Here are the descriptions of the projects, with the size of each grant, supplied by the SFFS are below:

Dark Forest – Elena Greenlee, writer/director – $35,000 for screenwriting
A hipster millennial—equally versed in neuroscience and party drugs—steps out of her depth into the complex world of Amazonian shamanism. She finds herself in the crossfire of an intense battle for power being waged in a magical dimension she’s not even sure she believes in.

God Bless the Child – Robert Machoian, writer/codirector; Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck, codirector; Robert Thomas, producer; Laura Heberton, producer – $60,000 for postproduction
Five siblings spend a summer day on their own. Only the eldest—the one girl, 13—knows their mother may never be coming back, and while looking after her brothers she lets them just be little kids, drawing them closer to her as the day goes by. More info at

Mediterranea – Jonas Carpignano, writer/director – $60,000 for postproduction
After leaving his native Burkina Faso, Ayiva makes the perilous journey across the Sahara and Mediterranean in search of a better life in Europe. Once in Italy, he must balance his desire to provide for his family in Africa with the intolerance and harsh working conditions he finds in his newly claimed home.

Skunk – Annie Silverstein, writer/director – $35,000 for screenwriting
Long-lying tensions erupt in a small watershed town east of Houston after a sexual prank by a group of teenage boys is linked to a local girl’s suicide. 14-year-old Laney, riddled with guilt and grief over the loss of her friend, begins her own investigation which has unforeseen consequences. More info at

Songs My Brother Taught Me – Chloé Zhao, writer/director/producer – $60,000 for postproduction
Johnny, a restless Lakota teen, fights to escape his life on the reservation but soon realizes that leaving the only place he has ever known is far more complicated than he thought.

Unexpected – Kris Swanberg, writer/director – $50,000 for postproduction
An inner-city high school teacher finds herself pregnant at the same time as one of her most promising students, and the two develop an unlikely friendship while struggling to navigate their unexpected pregnancies.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

Click to comment

More in Film Award & Prize News

To Top