SFFILM Announces Westridge Grant Winners
Earlier today, SFFilm announced the five recipients of their Westridge Grant, a biannual funding initiative that awards $100,000 to US-based filmmakers who are in the development stage of social justice related projects. This round’s panel of judges was comprised of Lauren Kushner, SFFILM Senior Manager of Artist Development; Alana Mayo, Head of Production at Outlier Society; Shelby Rachleff, Westridge Foundation Program Manager; Shira Rockowitz, Associate Director, Feature Film Program, Sundance; Jenny Slattery, SFFILM Associate Director of Artist Development and Foundations; and Caroline von Kühn, SFFILM Director of Artist Development.
The next application cycle will open later this month. Read on to learn about the winning projects.
John Paul Su, writer/director – screenwriting – $20,000
Caleb Diaz is an eleven-year-old Filipino-American queer comic book fanboy who lives in a diverse working-class neighborhood in American suburbia. After saving his classmate from a group of bullies, he is wrongfully accused of stabbing that same classmate. With the impending threat of expulsion, he struggles to prove his innocence, and fulfill his dream of becoming his family’s ultimate superhero.
Invoking Juan Angel
Daniel Eduvijes Carrera, writer/director – screenwriting – $20,000
Mexican immigrant Magdalena Cruz is hired as the live-in caretaker for Ian, a severely ill child whose forced isolation has created budding psychic abilities and a fascination for the paranormal. But unbeknownst to Ian’s overprotective father, the distressed Magdalena has a child of her own hidden in the basement bedroom. After the two boys share an unexpected encounter, Ian is convinced the mysterious child must be a ghost and seeks to unravel his tragic story.
Paul S. Flores, writer; Tashana Landray, producer – screenwriting – $20,000
Sixteen-year-old Edgar wants nothing to do with his father, former gang member Fausto (known as “Placas” for his many tattoos). Placas wants what every father wants: to provide a better life for his son. As Placas strives to put his past behind him, going through tattoo removal and therapy, Edgar is recruited by a rival gang. As Placas’ past and Edgar’s future collide, they both face choices that will change the course of their lives.
Andrew Okpeaha MacLean, writer/director; Cara Marcous, producer – screenwriting – $20,000
Inspired by true events, Qimmit tells the story of Suvlu, an Iñupiaq hunter who is forced to make a monstrous decision for the survival of his family.
Alicia D. Ortega, writer – screenwriting – $20,000
Homeschooled teenager Judith thinks she’s finally found her people when she joins the cast of a megachurch “hell house,” where evangelical teens aim to scare people into salvation. But when she doesn’t land the coveted role of the Abortion Girl, she convinces herself she’s the only player doing God’s work and that it’s her holy duty to expose the true wages of sin.