Mayor Lee Announces Creation of Incubator for Local, Independent Filmmaking Community

04/04/11— Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced an incubator style program for filmmakers in San Francisco through the San Francisco Film Commission. The program will offer affordable office space at 134A Golden Gate Avenue in the Mid-Market area in a communal setting for independent and documentary filmmakers as an incubator space for successful filmmaking.

“The incubator project will benefit both the San Francisco film community and the evergrowing Mid-Market Arts District,” said Mayor Lee. “Establishing programs such as this helps ensure the health of the Mid-Market area as it continues to grow and become a burgeoning arts community.”

Tenants will be selected by the San Francisco Film Commission and tenancies are scheduled to begin in May/June. Tenants of the incubator program will also have the opportunity to take advantage of the Scene in San Francisco rebate program, further bolstering the likelihood of independent productions basing in San Francisco. Through this incentive, qualifying productions receive a rebate of up to $600,000 for the cost of fees paid to the City. Films can also benefit from the newly established Vendor Discount Program, offering discounts from 10%– 30% at various businesses including hotels and rental cars.

The new program is part of the Film Commission’s efforts to additionally provide office space to local filmmakers. The Film Commission began this kind of support in 2008 with the FilmHouse Residency. The Residency program offers free office space along with education and support in partnership with the San Francisco Film Society.

“This is an additional way for the Film Commission to support independent filmmakers in San Francisco,”
said Film Commission President Marlene Saritzky. “It provides another great place to collaborate, share resources and work in a communal setting – adding to the spirit of the industry that already exists here.”

“This program will strengthen the local crew base of available, qualified filmmakers and help to build on San Francisco’s reputation as a hub for independent film,” said Film Commission Executive Director Susannah Greason Robbins. “I believe that showing support from the Film Commission will also attract other films to San Francisco. Coupling that with home-grown films able to afford to stay in San Francisco ultimately will benefit our local economy with increased production.”