Oakland rapper and political activist Boots Riley is one of seven film-makers receiving thousands in funding from the San Francisco Film Society (SFFS) for their projects.
The SFFS announced on Tuesday the winners of the Spring 2016 Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaking Grants, which are awarded twice a year to "socially-minded narrative feature films that will elevate the Bay Area's filmmaking culture." The society says the program is "the largest granting body for independent narrative feature films in the United States" and it has funded over 50 projects, providing more than $3.5 million to filmmakers since its launch in 2009.
Riley, who co-founded the influential Oakland rap group the Coup in 1991, and his producers received $25,000 for their project Sorry to Bother You, which was summarized in their application as such:
A black telemarketer discovers a magical way to make his voice overdubbed by a white actor, propelling him into the upper echelon of a macabre universe where he’s selected to lead a species of genetically manipulated horse-people, called the Equisapiens.
The film's name is the same as his band's most recent album, which was released in 2012.
Other winners include writer/director Olivia Newman, who won $25,000 for her feature project First Match. The film is an expansion of a 14 minute-long short with the same name she made while was a student at Columbia University in 2012. It aired on KQED's Film School Shorts in 2014.
For a complete list of grant winners, visit the SFFS website.
Watch Newman's First Match below: