Friday, March 21, 2008

Gail Silva/Doc Funding/AF Tip

Do you all know who Gail Silva is? She was the head of San Francisco's Film Arts Foundation for years (almost 30). She is a good friend of mine who left there a couple years ago. In my opinion the FAF has suffered seriously since she left, (and I don't think I am alone in that opinion), but FAFs loss is our gain.

Gail Silva is working with filmmakers as a consultant (, and if you are lucky enough to work with her your projects have a pretty good shot of landing in the right place for funding. I have known Gail for years, and whenever I would run in to her at a film festival, a film market, or just a screening, she always had someone she wanted me to meet. And the people she would introduce me to were always quite impressive. I met people who worked at foundations, film festivals, media art centers, and scores of other filmmakers.

Gail has helped so many people over the years, I couldn't begin to count. Lots of people know Gail because for the last 30 years she has been a tireless advocate for independent filmmaking. Her friends range from the famous, wealthy, and established filmmakers, to the poor, unknown and struggling filmmakers. Gail's gift is that she treats them all the same. If you are serious about filmmaking, she always seems to have time for you.

What I like about Gail as a consultant is that, unlike some in this business, she only works on films and with filmmakers she believes in. Yes, she makes money as a consultant, but I have also seen her donate time and make suggestions to filmmakers who have no money. She can spot real filmmakers long before these filmmakers break out and become established. She is really about "Independent" filmmaking and the films and filmmakers she has helped out illustrate that.

Check out her website,, and see what sort of things she's done. She loves documentaries and documentary filmmakers. And if you have a really interesting project, drop her a line. Tell her I sent you.

And Gail, (if you ever see this), I'm sorry I just can't tone down the "Anger" and yes I know it prevents me from getting funding. But thank you for always letting me be me and still introducing me to people that can help. One day maybe, I won't shoot myself in the foot with those people. I'll call you next time I'm in town, I promise.

And now, your AF Tip of the Day.

Try to keep your shooting times down to a reasonable length. Keep your days to ten hours.
- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in Spring 2008)


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