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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Finalists for the Djerassi Residency Award San Francisco Film Society Screenwriting Fellowship

San Francisco Film Society announced today the ten finalists for the Djerassi Residency Award/San Francisco Film Society Screenwriting Fellowship. The fellowship is part of the Film Society's expanded suite of filmmaker services programs and activities designed to foster creativity and further the careers of independent filmmakers. The Djerassi residency, located 40 miles south of San Francisco in the Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean, offers living and studio accommodations and all meals to an emerging or established screenwriter from August 10 through September 9, 2010, at no cost. The award provides uninterrupted time for work, reflection and collegial interaction, making the opportunity unique in its capacity to provide the winner with an inspiring and supportive environment in a stunningly beautiful rural location. The finalists were selected from more than 65 applicants from all across the United States and beyond, including applications from as far afield as Columbia, Canada, the U.K., Israel and South Africa. This award is supported by a gift from Dale Djerassi. Finalists and projects follow.
 
Eric Adams: Vanished
(Pengrove, CA)
Vanished is the true story of the brutal murder by correctional officers of Mark Adams (no relation), the San Quentin inmate caught after having escaped California's most notorious prison for seven years. His widow, a former San Quentin employee, sued the Department of Corrections and won a $3.2 million judgment for his wrongful death. The case shed light on-and helped significantly reduce-inmate killings in state correctional institutions. For more information visit sleeperwave.com.

Steven Arvanites: Grilled Cheese Virgin
(New York, NY)
In the slums of Spanish Harlem, two prostitutes, Alicia and her tranny roommate Sushi, spend their days dreaming of something more: a place in the country, a respectable job, a family and eternal salvation. However, when the image of the Virgin Mary is seared into a grilled cheese sandwich, one friend makes it a business opportunity while the other sees the "relic" as her salvation. Their struggle over whether to use it as an economic or healing prop leads to a fracture in their friendship resulting in Sushi's death and Alicia's rebirth through the power of belief.
 
Andres Barrientos: The Art of Dry Cleaning
(Bogotá, Colombia)
Frustrated by not being able to pursue his artistic career because of the imposed duty of running his family dry cleaning business, Joseph looks for an outlet in inventing background stories for his customers based on their garments. One day, one of his employees brings to his attention a woman's dress that has not been picked up for months, and there's no record of who the owner is. Joseph falls in love on the spot just by looking at it and starts imagining who she could be. His obsession for her plunges him into a wild search and it will ultimately point him on the way to finding his own path in life.
 
Desha Dauchan: And Then Came the Wind
(Altadena, CA)
After a devastating divorce and a lengthy battle with infertility, Elise, a 42-year-old New Yorker, finds herself in Galveston, Texas starting over in a house she inherited. Upon arriving, she discovers that the battered and bruised house next door is a survivor of the infamous Galveston Hurricane of 1900. Elise becomes infatuated with the mysterious house and it's inhabitant, a young midwife. When Elise finally seeks her advice, the two become instantly inseparable, but the connection proves disturbing when Elise suddenly turns up pregnant without explanation. The answers to her questions arrive in the midst of Hurricane Ike.
 
Mahdi Fleifel: Palestine 3-Zero
(London, U.K.)
Successful Palestinian filmmaker Mustafa Habib returns to the refugee camp of his childhood determined to tell the story of a lost people. But it isn't long before he begins to wonder if it is he who is truly lost.
 
Helen Gaughran: Pop Psychology
(San Francisco, CA)
Pop Psychology
equates celebrity with narcissistic personality disorder, at their cores, both involve creating a false self for others to worship and adore. The protagonist, Anne, is a beautiful, brilliant psychologist. She is involved with a female pop star who lives in a world governed by an entirely different, less stringent, moral compass. Romantically betrayed, dismissed and angry, Anne reacts by fiercely reprimanding a musician client in a therapy session. Ironically, she is rewarded for it-he invites her to become group therapist for his band-and she begins compromising her own strong moral compass on the path to celebrity.
 
Kathryn Mockler: Weak People Are Fun to Torment
(Toronto, Canada)
Thirty-year-old Gus, a college dropout, has just been asked by his father to move out so that his girlfriend and her daughter can move in. Gus has no job and no skills, nothing that would remotely enable him to live independently. While coping with the death of his mother and his own feelings of guilt and resentment about her suicide, Gus struggles to move on with his life but finds himself being drawn back into familiar scenarios by his younger teenage brother who not only has a drug problem but also seems to have the same mental illness as their mother. For more information visit kathrynmockler.com.

Sushmita Mukherjee: Fermata
(Glenview, IL)
Oscar, a withdrawn young boy, learns to play piano by diligently studying the impoverished Iranian composer that lives beneath him through a hole in his bedroom floor. When he finds the composer dead in his apartment, Oscar steals his music and becomes a celebrated young pianist and composer. At the height of his fame, Oscar is tormented by the lie that he lives and the ghost of the pianist whose life work he stole.
 
Beth Schacter: The Break Up 5000
(Los Angeles, CA)
A married couple decide to visit their friends and family to tell them that they are divorcing; along the way the "we are just better as friends" break-up turns darker, sexier, meaner, funnier and a thousand times more complicated. For more information visit bethschacter.net.
 
Dave Tolchinsky: In Search of Spalding Gray
(Evanston, IL)
A screenwriter, frustrated with his life and art, attends a residency run by Spalding Gray and ends up delivering a surprisingly successful monologue. With encouragement from Gray, the man tells his wife he's no longer a screenwriter; he's now a monologist. She's tolerant even though they're facing bankruptcy and he starts researching Gray's life and realizes that indeed, they're exactly alike. And then Spalding Gray kills himself. Panicked, the screenwriter now begins to do whatever he can to separate himself from Gray-to be the opposite of Spalding Gray. Desperate to confirm he isn't headed for the same fate, the screenwriter embarks on a journey across the country in search of the secret of NOT being Spalding Gray.
 
For more information: sffs.org/filmmaker-services/grants-and-prizes.
 
San Francisco Film Society is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to celebrating film and the moving image in all its glorious forms. SFFS year-round programs and events are concentrated in four core areas: Celebrating Internationalism, Inspiring Bay Area Youth, Showcasing Bay Area Film Culture and Exploring New Digital Media. The Film Society shows the best of world cinema year-round on its SFFS Screen at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas; presents the longest-running film festival in the Americas, the SF International (April 22-May 6, 2010); publishes a daily online magazine, SF360.org, featuring broad-ranging news and features on Bay Area film and media; annually reaches more than 8,000 students ages 6-18 with its acclaimed media literacy programs; and provides crucial support to the Bay Area filmmaking community through SFFS Filmmaker Services including FilmHouse Residencies, Fiscal Sponsorship, the SFFS/Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaking Grants, the Herbert Family Filmmaking Grants, the Hearst Screening Grant, the Djerassi/SFFS Screenwriting Fellowship, SFFS Film Arts Forums and professional-level filmmaker classes.

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