SFFS at the 2015 Spirit Awards

SFFS at the 2015 Spirit Awards

We are so excited to see a slew of SFFS-supported films and SF International Film Festival vets nominated for Film Independent Spirit Awards! Among them are five films that the Film Society has supported through Filmmaker360 grants and services.

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You Want To Start A Film Production Company? Why Not Make It A Non-profit?

You Want To Start A Film Production Company?  Why Not Make It A Non-profit?

by Chris Mason Johnson

I don’t have any statistics on this, but from what I can gather anecdotally, forming a non-profit to make a fictional feature film is a pretty rare thing, but it’s what I’ve done for my new (second) feature, Test, and it’s been a great experience. Mostly great. At first I did have to endure snarky questions from my non-filmmaking friends, along the lines of: “Aren’t you just admitting your film won’t make any money?” Well, no... (More on that later.) From my filmmaking friends the response was more of a blank stare, followed by: “I don’t know anyone else who’s done that.”

There are a lot of filmmakers out there who make one feature and then stop. They didn’t break through to that magical “next level,” and there’s no way they’re doing the same thing all over again. But for those of us who are determined to keep making films on a small scale, truly independently—and who actually enjoy it—it makes sense to explore new models in a distribution landscape that’s in the midst of its own creative destruction and reconfiguring.

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