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 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 is able to offer this annual (12-month) residency for a one-time enrollment fee of $500 to each participating filmmaker. A total of five 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 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 film festival – Center for Asian American Media, Festival & Exhibitions Director, Masashi Niwano; Frameline, Director of Exhibition & Programming, Des Buford; San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Associate Programmer, Joshua Moore; San Francisco Green Film Festival, Executive Director, Rachel Caplan; and former Ninth Street Executive Director, Skye Christensen . 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.  


David Santamaria


Feature Documentary (Production)

The film is a character study of the filmmaker's aunt. 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”.  The story follows her life, dreams, mistakes and hardships as seen through her eyes and the eyes of her colorful siblings. 


Sasha Friedlander


Feature Documentary (Post Production)

MUDFLOW follows Indonesia's recent Presidential election, set against the backdrop of one of the largest man-made environmental disasters in recent history – the Lapindo mud catastrophe in East Java, Indonesia. The film raises an array of complex and difficult questions about justice, democracy and under-regulated corporate greed, all critical questions of our time.


Dan Goldes / Robert Cortlandt

5 Blocks

Feature Documentary (Production)

5 Blocks is a documentary film about the transformational changes taking place on San Francisco’s Mid-Market Street. Once known as “The Great White Way of San Francisco” it has, over the last 40 years, become a blighted no-man’s land.  Now, a seemingly grass-roots coalition is attempting to do what the previous efforts could not: use the arts and technology to bring economic development to the area while lifting up the poor and marginalized who already live and work there. If successful, San Francisco will create a historic first – but given the stakes, the risk of failure is huge.


Meika Rouda

My Peeps Are Whiteys

Feature Documentary (Pre Production)

My Peeps are Whiteys is an exploration of identity and how we become who we are. Meika Rouda was adopted as a newborn and never knew her biological background until she was in her thirties and trying to make a family of her own. Because she has exotic looks, she often had people tell her what ethnicity they thought she might be, and in turn sometimes took on those identities to see if they fit. After learning of her ethnic background she came to realize that who she identified with was her Jewish adoptive parents more than her biological family’s ethnic make up. Her search engages audiences to consider how they view their own identity and what makes you, you.