Film Arts Foundation, after a long history of supporting the creation of independent film in San Francisco, has officially gone under. This is a surprise to no one. It's been hobbling along for years now. It was always one of those organizations that you felt should be and do more than it is. But, as a friend of mine put it, there's no 'there' there. You tried to be good and faithful member. You'd try to see how you could access them for help making a film. But they weren't as relevant as they could have been.
The news is that the SF Film Society is taking over their filmmaker services. This seems a bit of a stretch. SFFS puts on the San Francisco International Film Festival. They have fancy screenings and the like. But their mandate has been about bringing independent film to viewers, rather than working with the film community here. That's a real shift in culture for any organization, but I'm cautiously optimistic.
Why? There are a huge number of filmmakers in this town, with a great deal of energy. Most of them had run up against the limitations of FAF shortly after signing up for fiscal sponsorship. They ALL want a more vibrant center for filmmaking. I think most of them will give SFFS a shot.
Here's hoping, in any case. If you're interested in reading more, check out this article. It's well worth your time even if you aren't in San Francisco. There are a lot of changes going on in indie film. Some are great, some are not. The pattern is the same all over the country.