The San Francisco Film Society and The Kenneth Rainin Foundation have announced the 12 finalists and four honorable mentions for the initial $35,000 SFFS/KRF FilmmakingGrant.

The Grant is awarded to a narrative feature with a social justice theme being shot in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over the next five years SFFS and KRF will disburse a series of annual grants during spring and autumn amounting to $3m.

The finalists, honourable mentions and their projects are: Jeffrey Brown’s sexual abuse drama In The Life, currently in the script development stage; Tom Brown’s HIV drama Pushing Dead, in pre-production; Catherine Craig’s domestic violence tale Suspended Belief, in pre-production; and Mark Decen’s Speak To Me, about speech therapy students, which is in script development.

The roster continues with Nanci Gaglio’s lesbian underground tale Venus Rising, in script development; Richard Levien’s immigration drama La Migra, in script development; Jennie Livingston’s sexual exploration drama Who’s The Top’, in script development; and Amanda Micheli’s coming-of-age story Tomboy, in script development;

Rounding out the 12 finalists are Mabel Valdiviezo’s tale of human rights abuses Soledad’s Awakening, in pre-production; Natalija Vekic’s war crimes story Solace, in script development; Caveh Zahedi’s sex worker activist tale Coyote, in script development; and Jeff Zimbalist’s workers’ rights drama The Scribe Of Uraba, in pre-production

The honourable mentions are: Opal, Dina Ciraulo’s tale of self-taught naturalist and cult icon Opal Whiteley, in post-production; Eric Escobar’s post-Iraq drama An Army Of One, in script development; Jed Riffe’s political drama Convention, in post-production; and Anurag Wadehra’s immigration drama Left At Exit, in script development.