Pacific Pioneer Fund for emerging documentary filmmakers due 12/1/17

Pacific Pioneer Fund supports emerging documentary filmmakers. The term “emerging” is intended to denote a person committed to the craft of making documentaries, who has demonstrated that commitment by several years — but no more than ten — of practical film or video experience. Grants to support filmmakers are limited to filmmakers or videographers who live and work in California, Oregon and Washington. Grants range from $1,000 to $10,000. The next application deadlines are 12/01/17, and 06/01/18.
Apply today:


Looking for funding for your film? The Women’s Film Institute has compiled a comprehensive list of funding opportunities. When you make a gift in any amount today, you will receive the complete list of 200+ funding opportunities in your inbox.

FREE screening of UNVEILED on 11/16 at 7 PM at the Landmark Theatres in Piedmont

Women’s Film Institute is proud to co-present Frameline’s FREE Encore screening and Q&A of the Frameline41 film, UNVEILED (formerly called GIRL UNBOUND), Thursday, November 16, at 7:00 PM at the Landmark Theatres Piedmont.

UNVEILED explores the Pakistani tribal region of Waziristan, where females are forbidden to attend school, listen to music, or walk outside unescorted or uncovered, and the idea of a female athlete is an anathema. As the living embodiment of that radical idea, Maria Toorpakai has been a target of Taliban death threats since the age of sixteen. But against all odds, she is the top-ranked female squash player in all of Pakistan. From the excitement of a high-stakes international squash tournament to the dangers of driving through Taliban-controlled territory, director Erin Heidenreich captures both the peril and the perseverance of an athlete who dares to defy those who seek to contain her.

Learn more about the screening and Q&A here:

Tribeca All Access® Fund Open for Submissions

Tribeca All Access® seeks feature-length scripted and documentary projects from both established and emerging storytellers whose team include a director, producer, and/or screenwriter from a community that is underserved in the industry. Projects may be in any stage of development, from the treatment/screenplay stage through post-production. Projects of any genre and/or budget range are welcome to apply.

Five scripted filmmakers and five documentary filmmakers will each receive $10,000 in grant money that may be used in the following ways:

For All Programs: Grants can be used towards any stage from development through post-production. Grantees will participate in workshops and info sessions with industry during the Tribeca Film Festival – including Tribeca Film Institute’s center-piece film market, TFI Network. Deadline: November 6

Apply today:


Looking for funding for your film? The Women’s Film Institute has compiled a comprehensive list of funding opportunities. When you make a gift in any amount today, you will receive the complete list of 200+ funding opportunities in your inbox.

Author and journalist A’Lelia Bundles shares the legacy of her great-great-grandmother, Madam C.J. Walker, who helped women become entrepreneurs in the 20th century

On this edition of the Women’s Film Institute podcast, host, Scarlett Shepard, speaks with author and journalist A’Lelia Bundles about her book On Her Own Ground, which is slated to become a TV series about entrepreneur, philanthropist, and political and social activist, Madam C.J. Walker (1867–1919). A’Lelia Bundles shares the legacy of her great-great-grandmother, Madam C.J. Walker, the country’s first African-American millionaire, who helped women become entrepreneurs in the 20th century. Kasi Lemmons is attached to direct the series. Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer has signed on to play Madam C.J. Walker, and will become a producer of the show. LeBron James, in association with his production company, SpringHill Entertainment, has joined the team as an executive producer. The series is still in development for the kind of limited series we’ve come to expect on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and Amazon Prime.

Madam C.J. Walker’s story is one that should be in all history books. She worked as a washerwoman, making as little as $1.50 per day. She suffered from hair loss, and created a shampoo and scalp ointment to remedy her condition. She called it, “Wonderful Hair Grower,” and in 1910, she built a hair training school and factory, the headquarters of the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Co. The company trained thousands of African-Americans to become “Walker Agents,” and provided opportunities to women who otherwise would have been maids, cooks, and laundresses to gain financial independence.

I got my start by giving myself a start.” – Madam C.J. Walker

By the time Madam C.J. Walker died in May 1919, she and her teaching faculty had trained more than 20,000 Walker agents. Tune in to our latest podcast episode with A’Lelia Bundles, and learn how Madam C.J. Walker inspired women to become entrepreneurs in the 20th century.

Don’t miss Girls’ Festival 2017 (Oct.1) – Oakland, CA

Women’s Film Institute is proud to be part of The Girls’ Festival 2017 (Sunday, October 1, 2017 at The Hive – 2335 Broadway, Oakland, CA). Founder of the Women’s Film Institute, Scarlett Shepard, co-curated short films for the Community and Color in the Bay: Short Films program at the Girls’ Festival 2017.  Here are two films that will screen at Girls’ Festival on Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 4:25 pm – 4:45 pm.

CULTIVATING COMMUNITY directed by Jasmine Ehrhardt and Zoe Salnave (6 min, USA, 2011)
A short documentary about the role urban farming has played in the boosting of West Oakland’s communal spirit.

GREATER THAN COLOR directed by Zoe Salnave (9 min, USA, 2011)
This short documentary consists of interviews with Bay Area high school students discussing their relationship to race and identity.

These films were created in The Factory Bay Area Video Coalition’s FREE after school youth film program.

The Girls’ Festival 2017  features 16 diverse and exciting workshops that span many topic areas including nutrition for athletes, filmmaking, media literacy, safe and healthy relationships, human trafficking awareness, computer coding, and cooking classes with high profile chefs. Be sure to check the schedule ahead of time for times and locations. These workshops will fill up fast, as space is limited, so arrive to the location early to ensure your entry. We hope you will join us on October 1st, and don’t forget to buy your tickets ASAP, as we have a feeling this year’s event will SELL OUT!

Here’s the schedule:

Coming soon to Mill Valley Film Festival (Oct. 5 – 15)

Women’s Film Institute is proud to be a community partner at this year’s Mill Valley Film Festival and co-present the following films:

Mr. Roosevelt
– After escaping the “velvet rut” of Austin to pursue a comedy career in LA, Emily returns to deal with a cat—and life—crisis. Writer-director Noël Wells (Master of None) stars in Mr. Roosevelt, her endearingly weird and funny debut, an autobiographical ode to 21st-century twenty something angst, the winner of audience and jury awards at SXSW.

Date/time/location: Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 9:15 PM at Century Larkspur
Date/time/location: Thursday, Oct. 12 at 6:30 PM
at CinéArts Sequoia

Buy tickets:

I Still Hide To Smoke is the debut feature from Franco-Algerian director and playwright Rayhana, featuring an all-female cast. In this tight, tense, and riveting drama, award-winning actress Hiam Abbass (In Syria; The Lemon Tree, MVFF 2008) is a head masseuse at an Algerian women’s hammam (bathhouse) that serves as both warm sanctuary and steamy political crucible for a group of culturally and religiously diverse women over the course one momentous day. In Arabic and French.

Date/time/location: Monday, Oct. 9 at 4 PM at Smith Rafael Film Center
Date/time/location: Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 11:15 AM at CinéArts Sequoia

Buy tickets:

Angelina Jolie ‘First They Killed My Father’ Film on Netflix

Coming soon to Netflix, Oscar-winning actress’ Angelina Jolie’s fourth feature directorial effort, “First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers.” Adapted by Loung Ung and Jolie from Ung’s memoir of the same title. It is told from the perspective of a Cambodian girl, Loung Ung, as she and her family struggled to survive the brutal genocide of the Khmer Rouge regime that murdered one-quarter of the population after the United States withdrew from Vietnam. Jolie recently screened the film at the Telluride Film Festival to a standing ovation, as reported by IMDB pro. The film is also eligible for the best foreign language film Oscar should Cambodia choose to submit it. The film will be simultaneously released by Netflix in select theaters and on its streaming platform on Sept. 15. (image courtesy

‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Creator Developing Female Police Series at Fox

Rizzoli & Isles creator Janet Tamaro writer for and producer of shows like Bones, Sleeper Cell, CSI: New York, Lost and Law & Order: SVU, is developing a new female police drama series for 20th Century Fox Television entitled Smoke and Mirrors. According to IMDB pro, the series would follow a seasoned former detective who is now a mom stuck behind a desk and raising two children. She is unexpectedly pulled back into the field to cover for a sick colleague and work alongside a young rookie female detective who has been deep undercover.

Octavia Spencer stars in TV Series as “Madam C.J. Walker”, one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire

Variety reports Oscar-winning actress, producer and author Octavia Spencer is set to play entrepreneur and activist Madam C.J. Walker (1867–1919) in a new TV Series based on the critically-acclaimed, best-selling biography “On Her Own Ground” by A’Lelia Bundles, Walker’s granddaughter. Madam C.J. Walker suffered from a scalp condition that made her lose her hair, which was the impetus for her to invent a successful line of hair care products, and is ultimately what led her in 1905 to become one of the first female self-made millionaires in America. The series is being produced by SpringHill Entertainment, the production company of NBA star LeBron James, whose mission is to spotlight the hidden African-American figures who helped shape American history.