2015 Djerassi Residency Award / SFFS Screenwriting Fellowship Winner Announced

The San Francisco Film Society, in partnership with the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, announced that Tom Gilroy has been awarded the 2015 Djerassi Residency Award / San Francisco Film Society Screenwriting Fellowship, for continuing development of his script Our Lady of the Snow.

The Djerassi Residency Award / San Francisco Film Society Screenwriting Fellowship provides uninterrupted time for work, reflection and collegial interaction, making this award unique in its capacity to provide a screenwriter with an inspiring and supportive environment in a stunningly beautiful rural location. Located 40 miles south of San Francisco in the Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this residency offers living and work-studio accommodations and all meals from September 8 through October 7, 2015, at no cost to the recipient.

 “To be awarded the Djerassi Residency is to receive both a short-term and long-term gift,” said Gilroy. “In the short term, immersion in the colony’s legendary natural beauty in September is perfect timing to complete the long journey that began last year with my script Our Lady Of The Snow receiving the SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grant. In the long term, to be in the presence of such an accomplished and varied group of fellow artists supplies the much needed affirmation any artist needs to keep up the fight and remember we are right and justified to do what we do—no small feat.”

Tom Gilroy has written and directed three award winning films: the short Touch Base; the critically-acclaimed feature Spring Forward starring Liev Schreiber, Ned Beatty and Campbell Scott; and The Cold Lands, which had its world premiere at the Berlinale and its US premiere at the Sarasota Film Festival. Gilroy is also the director of the shorts It Happened Today (commissioned by REM) and Mr. Sycamore. A 2014 recipient of a San Francisco Film Society / Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaking Grant for screenwriting, Tom is also a three-time fellow to the MacDowell Colony, a two-time fellow to the Sundance Screenwriting and Directing Labs, and a mentor at both the Hamptons Screenwriting Lab and the Sundance Creative Producer's Lab. A frequent film professor at Columbia University, Tom has also published three books of haiku, and his political columns appear frequently in the Huffington Post.

 Our Lady Of The Snow

When the Bishop decides to sell a gothic convent isolated in the snowy woods, the elderly nuns living there begin to have ecstatic visions, which he dismisses as faked. But as the visions spread to the convent’s teenaged atheist cook, inexplicable supernatural events follow, with no one sure of their cause.

Previous recipients of the Djerassi Residency Award are Lea Nakonechny (2014) for her dramatic thriller A Sweeter World, Joshua Zeman (2013) for his scientific drama Collider, Julie Tosh (2012) for her science fiction–infused family drama Program Rose, Adam Chanzit (2011) for his psychological thriller The 15th Stone and Kathryn Mockler (2010) for her project Weak People Are Fun to Torment. 

The Djerassi Residency Award / San Francisco Film Society Screenwriting Fellowship is supported by a gift from Film Society board of directors member Dale Djerassi.

 For more information visit sffs.org/Filmmaker360/Grants or djerassi.org.


Filmmaker360 is a leader in the field of non-profit support of cinema and offers unparalleled assistance and opportunities designed to foster creativity and further the careers of independent filmmakers worldwide. Filmmaker360 oversees one of the largest film grant programs in the country, which disperses nearly $1 million annually to incubate and support innovative and exceptional films at every stage of production. Other elements of Filmmaker360 include project development consultation, FilmHouse Residencies, Off the Page screenwriting workshops, fiscal sponsorship and information resources.

Recent Filmmaker360 success stories include Jennifer Phang’s Advantageous, which premiered at Sundance 2015, was a smash hit on the festival circuit and is currently streaming on Netflix; Chloé Zhao’s Songs My Brothers Taught Me, which screened at Sundance and Cannes and will be released in theaters this fall; Kat Candler’s Hellion and Ira Sachs’ Love Is Strange, both of which premiered to strong reviews at Sundance 2014; Short Term 12, Destin Cretton’s sophomore feature which won both the Narrative Grand Jury Award and Audience Award at South by Southwest 2013; Ryan Coogler’s debut feature Fruitvale Station, which won the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature, the Un Certain Regard Avenir Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award in the narrative category at Sundance 2013; and Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin’s debut phenomenon which won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize and Cannes’ Camera d’Or in 2012 and earned four Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture). For information visit sffs.org/filmmaker360.