Berkeley FILM Foundation's 2023 Grant Awards Announcement

By: Berkeley FILM Foundation
BERKELEY, Calif. - Aug. 15, 2023 - PRLog -- The Berkeley FILM Foundation (BFF) is proud to announce that it has awarded $200,000 in its 2023 grant cycle to 20 independent filmmakers and 5 student filmmakers who live, work or attend school in the cities of Richmond, El Cerrito, Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville, or Oakland.

Since its founding in 2009, BFF has awarded almost $2.6 million to 265 film projects that continuously push boundaries and inspire change. In its effort to encourage the next generation of local filmmakers, BFF has awarded $227,000 to 66 student filmmakers.

This year's Saul Zaentz Award for $25,000, given each year to honor the legacy of renowned filmmaker and a BFF founder, Saul Zaentz, goes to Courtney Quirin for Tracker. This film follows an intimate group of students admitted to Tracker Academy, a premier program in South Africa that teaches traditional wildlife tracking skills to young people. The Academy seeks to preserve this indigenous knowledge of nature, integrate ancient skills into modern conservation and convince new generations that tracking is a valuable and rewarding profession. This film is in post-production. To learn more about the film, visit their website here (

The $20,000 Al Bendich Award is granted to The Package Wars directed by Yael Bridge and produced by Yoni Golijov, Mars Verrone and Jeremy Flood. This Award is given in honor of civil rights attorney, social justice advocate and BFF founding member, Al Bendich. This documentary follows UPS workers in New York, California, and Kentucky as they prepare for an explosive labor strike, the largest seen in generations. From behind the closed doors of contentious negotiation meetings to screaming matches out on fired-up picket lines, audiences will witness the powerful journey of everyday UPS workers going toe-to-toe with a global logistics giant. This film is currently in production. Visit their website here ( for more information.

We are also happy to announce the 4th annual Jonathan Logan Elevate Award for $25,000 in partnership with the Berkeley-based Jonathan Logan Family Foundation (JLFF). This award supports one emerging filmmaker each year for five years and will reflect JLFF's mission: to advance social justice by empowering world-changing work in documentary, investigative journalism, and arts and culture. This year's Elevate Award is granted to Finding Ma directed by Thanh Tran. After 20 years apart, a family shattered by the foster care and prison systems reunites to heal old wounds and rebuild their bonds, starting with finding their mom who is houseless in the streets of Sacramento. This film is in production. Thu Vo is the Production Coordinator and Phoenix Woodall is the Associate Producer. Visit the film's website here ( for more information.

Other films receiving 2023 grants:

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