San Francisco Film School in California

Film Schools San Francisco

San Francisco Film School

San Francisco Film School also known as the San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking is a private vocational school in San Francisco, California.

The school was founded in 2005 and works in conjunction with Fog City Productions to teach students the art and craft of filmmaking. A certificate program is available as well as workshops.

Core studies: Directing, Screenwriting, Cinematography, Producing, Editing and Post-Production and Audio for Film

Films such as TORN, Two Mothers and Moonlight Sonata were created and produced at San Francisco Film School and graduate students have had their work showcased at Cannes Film Festival.


  • AAS degree in Digital Filmmaking 16-24 months
  • Professional Certificate in Digital Filmmaking 12-20 months
  • Workshops: Certificate in Digital Media 12 weeks
  • Documentary Film Making Workshop 6 months
  • Short Filmmaking workshop 3 and 5 weeks
  • Visual Story Telling workshop 2 weeks
  • Introductory Filmmaking workshop 1 day

Fees: Average $45,000 per year.

California College of the Arts

California College of the Arts is based in both San Francisco and Oakland, California. They offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in film coving the fundamentals of filmmaking in an art school environment.


  • Film Image and Sound (Intro to lighting, shooting and editing)
  • Film Language and Form (Examining audio visual language and terminology on film/video production)
  • Production (Process from conception to production)
  • Post-Production (Digital tools and techniques)
  • Writing for the Moving Image (Practices of screenwriting and filmmaking)
  • Fundamentals of Directing (Process from the perspective of the Director)

Audrey Mars, Academy Award winning documentary maker attended.

Fees: Average $52,000 per year.

Acting Schools San Francisco

Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University on New Montgomery Street aims to give students the preparation to become an artist in the television, film and theatre industry.


  • Associate of Arts – Acting, improvisation, singing and performing
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts – Acting technique, acting for the camera improvisation and speech
  • Master of Arts – Specific skills in voice, speech and movement for the camera
  • Master of Fine Arts – conservatory approach to acting and portfolio
    Recent Alumni have gone on to have parts in The Lion King, Avengers Endgame, The Rise of Skywalker and 1917.

Fees: Average $50,000 per year.

San Francisco Acting Academy was founded in 2001 in collaboration with casting professionals, actors and teachers in the Bay Area.


  • Script analysis and Monologue work
  • Comfort on Camera
  • Authentic Actor

Fees: From $95 – $200 per workshop.

First Take Acting School

First Take Acting School offers two programs in the First Take Method (a technique that provides students with the tools to dissect material that would be given in an audition), Business, Networking and Psychology of acting.

Courses offered:

  • First Take Method Core Certificate Program – 8-week sessions (2 years)
  • First Take Method Master Certificate Program – Additional 2 years of study
  • Kids Classes

Fees: From $350 – $700 per 8 weeks.

Meisner Technique Studio

Meisner Technique Studio presents Sanford Meisner’s teachings through classes run by Jim Jarrett who was mentored by Meisner.

The Studio operates through various activities including:

  • Actors Intensive Retreats in Hawaii
  • 24 Hour Film Festival (Students create, shoot and edit a film within 24 hours with full viewing part afterward)
  • Speciality classes in cold reading, scene and character analysis, comedy and stand up and more.

Fees: $1200 for 3 months.

Talent Agencies San Francisco

STARS the Agency

STARS the Agency has been operating for 27 years and provides talent for on camera, voiceover, theatrical and writers for screenplays. A large portion of the business represents Latin talent.

Nancy Hayes Casting

Nancy Hayes Casting was founded 30 years ago and represents talent for films, commercials, industrial, voiceover and print.

MDT Agency Inc.

MDT Agency Inc. was established in 1988, with talent in their books for commercial and theatrical work and voiceover. Owner Michelle Mokalla has worked with actress, Salma Hayek.

Models Inc.

Models Inc. provides talent for fashion (commercial, print and advertising), television commercials, motion pictures, lifestyle, hand-modelling and fitness modelling.

J.E Talent LLC

J.E Talent LLC represents artists in theatre, commercials, voiceover, print and influencers and was established in 2001.

Wild Models Talent Agency

Wild Models Talent Agency has been in business for over 30 years, providing talent for print, music videos, film, live events and television commercials.

Film Tax Incentives San Francisco, California

The San Francisco Film Office is an advocate of productions from major feature films and TV series to commercials, music videos, documentaries and student films.

The Film Office offers the “Scene in San Francisco” rebate program, where qualifying productions are eligible for a refund of all payroll tax and city fees up to $600,000 per production. For budgets under $3 million, 55% of principle photography must take place in San Francisco. For budgets over $3 million, 65% is needed to qualify.

Tax credits on film and TV productions are also available through the California Film Commission for up to 25% of production costs with qualifying budgets and expenditures. More information can be found in the Film and TV Tax Credits Program 3.0 at

Film Festivals San Francisco

San Francisco Film Festival

San Francisco Film Festival is the longest running film festival in the Americas, showcasing over 150 films from 45 different countries and proudly supporting over 70 female directors this year.

San Francisco Independent Film Festival (SF Indie for Short)

San Francisco Independent Film Festival is presented by SF IndieFest along with 3 other festivals, the SF Documentary Festival, the SF Independent Short Film Festival and Another Hole in the Head (genre film festival).

SF IndieFest hold awards for film, shorts, documentaries, animations and more and showcase films year-round with after parties and award shows at ticketed events.

Amongst this, other festivals taking place in San Francisco are the SF Jewish Film Festival, SF Silent Film Festival and SF Ocean Film Festival.

Film Commission California

California Film Commission is a comprehensive directory for all things film in California to help enhance The State’s status as the leader in motion picture, television and commercial production.

Supporting budgets of all size and providing assistance with permits, budgets and locations, they also administer the state’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program and serve as a liaison between productions and levels of government to eliminate barriers to filming.

For information and access to their directory, their website is