Film Arts to fold into Film Society

A new relationship between the San Francisco Film Society and Film Arts Foundation, announced this week, is being described not as a merger or takeover, but as “consolidation.”

Film Society Executive Director Graham Leggat said Tuesday that the parent organization for the San Francisco International Film Festival will absorb the work of the Film Arts Foundation, The City’s 32-year-old enterprise supporting independent filmmakers.

At a news conference, Leggat spoke of “marriage,” but in fact, FAF has come to the end of the road, although many of its functions will continue under the SFFS.

In a joint statement, Leggat and FAF Board President Steve Ramirez said that the film society is “assuming stewardship of former FAF services,” as the foundation “has reached a point at which it is no longer able to provide a number of filmmaker services that have been crucially important to all of us.”

The foundation is leaving its home at the Ninth Street Independent Film Center, and by next year, it will cease to be an independent entity.

SFFS is “launching a full slate of filmmaker services programs,” effective immediately. These include filmmaking courses, fiscal sponsorship and grant-making, publications and information resources, career-development and networking events.

The society has also announced creation of the SFFS FilmHouse Residencies, 2,800 square feet of production office space free of charge to local independent filmmakers. The venue comes from The City, in the Pier 27 building on The Embarcadero.

The Film Society also announced the new Herbert Filmmaking Grants, totaling $25,000; calls for entry will be published in November.

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