School of Cinema Awards

Application deadline for all scholarships is May 12 at 5:00pm. For application requirements and to apply please go to the Academic Works website, All scholarships will be disbursed in the fall. 

Gordon Thomas Memorial Scholarship

The Gordon “Don” Thomas (1967 - 2003) Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a San Francisco State University junior, senior or graduate student, currently attending SFSU and majoring in Cinema or minoring in Animation. Gordon “Don” Thomas, animator and filmmaker, earned the first Master of Fine Arts in Cinema with an Animation emphasis, at San Francisco State University in June 2001. He designed his own program concentrating in 2D and 3D computer animation and 3D stop motion. Don was also an instructor at SFSU teaching beginning and advanced animation classes. With this scholarship, Don’s family and friends seek to honor Don’s memory and promote his values: creativity, diligence, inspiration to others, and celebration of human diversity. In addition, the scholarship is intended to promote Don’s commitment to learning, his love for teaching and his belief that we need to hear each other’s voices to make a difference.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Must be currently enrolled at SFSU as a junior, senior or graduate animation student
  2. Must enroll at San Francisco State University as a full-time student with at least 12 units undergraduate or 9 units graduate for the Fall 2018
  3. Write a personal statement (typed, double-spaced, not to exceed three pages) addressing the following:
    *Description of your financial need
    * Your creativity and diligence to the subject matter of your animation
    * How you inspire others around you in cinema/animation
    * Your commitment to your approach and how your work speaks to diversity
    * Description of a senior project; include story outline, storyboard, animation techniques you plan to use and why and goals for project after completion.
  4. Submit animation, artwork on USB Drive: MOV, PDF, JPEG files (USB will be returned) or copy and paste Vimeo link.
    * Samples should be your best most complete work
    * A proposal for a senior project that this scholarship will help fund. May include an animatic, storyboard, script, development artwork and animated sketches.
  5. Submit USB drive to the School of Cinema office, Fine Arts 245. ATTN: Thomas Scholarship.  You can find the application cover sheet on the Forms page.

The Jameson (Jim) Goldner Scholarship

Jameson (Jim) Goldner helped found our Cinema program after coming to SFSU in 1963. Since then he has been a revered teacher of directing as well as other production and studies subjects, including courses on the Hollywood blacklist, the Holocaust and screenwriting. He has been a mentor and inspiration to many successful graduates of our program. The scholarship of $1,000 is intended to help a junior-level undergraduate student complete a project that has originated on film.

To apply, submit:

  • Brief statement, describing how your studies of cinema have influenced your filmmaking syle and/or goals. (Maximum 2 paragraphs, double-spaced).
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Existing footage from the project (10 minutes on Vimeo link)

To receive an award, students must be seniors and must be enrolled full-time in the Fall 2017 (12 units minimum).


The Spotlight on Women in Film 2017 Award

To cap off the School of Cinema's focus this year on Women in Film, this scholarship of $500 will be awarded to a filmmaker making a film with a woman-centered story or issue. The film must be made by a MFA student or a senior working on a thesis project.

To apply, submit:

·    Brief statement describing your project and how it reflects women’s issues. (Maximum 2 paragraphs, double-spaced).

·    Unofficial transcript

·    Existing footage from the project (10 minutes on Vimeo link) and/or a script.

The Robin Eickman Cinema Student Scholarship

Robin Eickman is an SFSU alumna, was director of the San Francisco Film and Video Commission (1989-1998), and a friend of the SFSU School of Cinema. The Eickman Scholarship supports outstanding seniors and graduate students pursuing careers as professional filmmakers, as well as individuals who may be underrepresented in the film industry. This award is presented to a Cinema senior or graduate student whose creative work shows great potential in one of the following categories: (1) cinematography/lighting; (2) sound recording/mixing; (3) special visual effects; (4) art direction/set design; or another category to be designated by the applicant. The award is for $1,000. 

To apply, submit

  • Brief statement, describing how your studies of cinema have influenced your filmmaking style and/or goals.  (Maximum 2 paragraphs, double-spaced.)
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Creative work sample (10 minutes maximum on Vimeo link) demonstrating talent in one of the following: cinematography/lighting; sound recording/mixing; special visual effects; art direction/set design; or another category to be designated by the applicant.

To receive an award, students must be enrolled in Fall 2018 for at least six units.

Sponsored Awards

Deliver applications to the Cinema office in Fine Arts 245.

Kodak Scholarship

Kodak sponsors a highly competitive, worldwide scholarship program that supports undergraduate or graduate students who demonstrate superior and professional filmmaking production skills and creativity, along with academic success. Two award opportunities are available: the KODAK Student Scholarship and the KODAK Student Cinematography Scholarship. The School of Cinema may nominate up to two students for each of these scholarships.

For more information, visit

To apply, submit:

  • Personal statement, addressing all of the following: a sense of who you are as a person and as a student of cinema; how you inspire others in the world of cinema; your creativity and diligence to the subject matter; your financial need (Maximum 500 words, double-spaced).
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Entries must be completed works that communicate a story or theme in some fashion — no clips or short vignettes. Entries must be submitted on DVD.

Princess Grace Award

Honoring the late Princess Grace of Monaco, who starred in American films as Grace Kelly, the Princess Grace Foundation offers two competitive scholarships each year to undergraduate and graduate students in approved film schools. Awards range from $5,000 to $25,000 for future production or postproduction costs only. The School of Cinema nominates two students (one graduate and one undergraduate) as the SFSU nominees to the competition. Each entrant must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent resident status. For more information, visit the Grants Program page.

Nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a full-time student or matriculated but not yet have completed thesis film
  • Have completed at least one film as a director
  • Be the director of the proposed thesis film

To be considered for the Cinema nomination, please visit the Princess Grace website for further information. Then, by 5pm on Friday, May 12th, submit the following to the Cinema office or email and

  • Resume, including filmography
  • Thesis project description
  • Breif Artist Statement (1 page): Please describe how this project fits into your short and long term artistic, personal, and career goals. Describe the individual approach that you bring to your films.
  • A Vimeo link to a film you have directed.
  • Unofficial transcript

To receive awards, students must be enrolled. Selected nominees must be prepared to submit the entire Princess Grace application (as detailed here) by June 1st.


University Awards


SFSU Office of Academic Honors and Fellowships

Assistance for current SFSU students and recent alumni in applying to national competitive scholarships. Visit the website of the Fellowships office for more information.

California Pre-Doctoral Program

A pre-doctoral program designed to support economically disadvantaged undergraduate and graduate students in the CSU and to enrich the pool of potential faculty in California. Special emphasis on support for CSU students entering UC doctoral programs. View the Pre-Doctoral program website for more information.

External Organizations