Berkeley FILM Foundation Helps Young Filmmakers Drive Social Change

In this golden age of documentaries, turbocharged by the streaming revolution, who is making sure that film’s potential to drive […more…]

The Berkeley Film Foundation

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(510) 705-1481
Program Director: Isabella Miller


The Berkeley FILM Foundation is a 501(c)(3) grant and educational program for independent filmmakers founded by the City of Berkeley, Wareham Development, and the Saul Zaentz Company with a mission to nurture, sustain and preserve the thriving local film community while attracting the next generation of filmmakers. 

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We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s Director of Development and/or Executive Director.

The Berkeley FILM Foundation has been integral in supporting me and my project, “Black Mothers.” The Al Bendich Award enabled us to bring key creative members to our team and improve our sizzle reel. This was integral in elevating our materials to make for more competitive fundraising moving forward. Ultimately, all the support has allowed us to tell such an important story, especially in the current social and political context we are living. We’re so grateful for the Berkeley FILM Foundation!
–Débora Souza Silva, Grant winner in 2019 and 2022 & Director, Black Mothers

Even a Few Hundred Dollars of Support Can Move the Needle for an Emerging Filmmaker

For $150, the Berkeley FILM Foundation’s (BFF) Continuing Education Fund will subsidize filmmaker attendance at workshops with world-class storytellers and technical advisers.

For $1,000, BFF can pair one grantee with an established filmmaker to advise on their project as part of the Film Mentorship Program.

For $25,000, a multi-year “Named Grant” can fund a top award named for the donor, bringing dramatically more attention to the filmmaker. 

$15,000 per year will fund the work of three student filmmakers. 

Key Supporters

The City of Berkeley
Wareham Development
The Saul Zaentz Company
The Nancy P. and Richard K.
Robbins Family Foundation
The Robertson Family Foundation
The Jonathan Logan
Family Foundation
The Fleishhacker Foundation
Cal Humanities
The City of Emeryville
The TIDES Foundation
Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation