Incubator Program

Ninth Street Independent Film Center’s Media Arts Incubator Program offers access to workspace, knowledge sharing, outreach opportunities, networking events, meeting and exhibition space on an annual basis. A home for media arts for over a decade, Ninth Street IFC makes workspaces and shared resources available to individual filmmakers through the Media Arts Incubator program so that we may nurture groundbreaking independent media projects, sharing our unique collaboration with more of the independent film & media community.


With increased funding from the San Francisco Film Commission, Ninth Street IFC is able to offer this annual (12-month) residency for a one-time enrollment fee of $500 to each participating filmmaker. A total of four filmmaker projects will be selected, with each resident filmmaker provided 100 sq ft of individual workspace, access to all shared spaces and 5 hours of free meeting or exhibition per month in the well-appointed Ninth Street IFC screening room (particularly of value to filmmakers, in production and post-production).


Preference will be given to film projects that align with at least one of our in-house partnering film festivals. To ensure that projects have recognizable social, cultural, artistic value and a strong likelihood of completion the program has been integrated more fully with our in-house cultural film festivals, to increase cross-marketing and authentic collaborative opportunities such as co-sponsored film screenings and leveraging funding for filmmakers with our partner media arts organizations.


The Media Arts Incubator program will include an Advisory Committee with a representative from each Ninth Street IFC film festival – Center for Asian American Media, Festival & Exhibitions Director, Masashi Niwano, Frameline, Director of Exhibition & Programming, Des Buford, and San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Associate Programmer, Joshua Moore, and San Francisco Green Film Festival, Executive Director, Rachel Caplan. These representatives will be part of the recruitment process, screening for filmmakers who will benefit most from connections with these diverse groups (i.e., Asian, LGBT, Jewish, as well as environmental), responsible for further leveraging film festival resources for resident filmmakers throughout the program period.


Past filmmakers participants have expressed that the program has elevated their status in the film community, lead to additional in-house and outside recognition and resources, aided in securing funding, and provided valuable peer-to-peer interaction.


Next Application Deadline: June 30, 2014 / Enrollment: September 1, 2014 (see Application and Guideline attachments below)

Please copy/paste Application into a Word document. Applications must be emailed to [email protected]. Make sure to review Guidelines before applying.

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Current Program Participants Include:


Jack Walsh

Feelings Are Facts

Feature Documentary (Post Production)

At the age of 25, she took her first dance class.  At the age of 28, she changed dance forever.   "Feelings Are Facts" chronicles the remarkable life and career of postmodern dance maverick Yvonne Rainer.  As a choreographer, performer, filmmaker and writer, Rainer has been a key figure in the American avant-garde for five decades.   Over the course of her career, she revolutionized modern dance, created what later became known as “performance art,” and changed the basic tenets of experimental filmmaking - all during a time when women were largely ignored in the art world.  Rainer’s defiant, uncompromising, and highly influential ideas have informed artists as varied as Trisha Brown, Steve Paxton, Lucinda Childs, Robert Morris, Meredith Monk and Mikhail Baryshnikov.   Today she continues to push forward, creating vibrant, courageous, unpredictable work that mixes artistic disciplines, inspiring a new generation of artists to question, overthrow, and generate possibilities of their own.


Lise Swenson


Feature Narrative (Post Production)

Attempting to locate her grandmother’s wedding dress, Jenny travels to the Salton Sea. Amid the brutal ecological disaster of the sea and mounds of family debris, she reconnects with her eccentric aunt and begins to uncover a murky family history. As she starts to see the beauty of the neglected oasis and its inhabitants, she realizes her life is not what she thought it was. When secrets emerge, she must make hard choices about her future to be free from the past.


David Santamaria


Feature Documentary (Production)

The film is a character study of Harriet Goldstein Colarusso. A very attractive, Jewish woman, she grew up in Brooklyn, and was the first female cab driver in New York.  As a result, she was discovered by a New York columnist. Soon after a story about her was published (in the dailies), she appeared on "The Johnny Carson Show” and “Who's Line Is It Anyway”. During the civil rights movement, Harriet, managed gay clubs in the Village.  Never officially coming out, Harriet was a well known lesbian within the gay community of  New York. In the 70s, she settled out in Las Vegas where she worked as a blackjack dealer and later ran a meat packing business. Unfortunately, her gambling habit and hard-nosed living left her penniless.  These days she lives in subsidized housing on the lower east-side. The story follows her life, dreams, mistakes and hardships as seen through her eyes and the eyes of her colorful siblings. 


Mary Guzman

Lost Dog

Feature Narrative (Pre Production)

Cristina stumbles out of rehab with no job, no money, and one friend, Linda. When Linda is murdered, Cristina is sober enough to find the killer.