COVID-19 is making filmmakers out of choreographers. Join us in exploring this new reality and realizing your cinematic vision. The 2021 Opportunity Fund at ODC Theater will help underwrite the costs of producing a five minute dance film for three participating artists.

In response to COVID-19 and the industry’s pivot to dance for camera, the Opportunity Fund’s pivot to film will also include structured mentorship, deeply modeled after ODC’s historic Pilot Program. In the past, the Opportunity Fund subsidized roughly 50% of the costs of self-producing through ODC Theater’s Rentals program. With acknowledgment of the expense of producing film work, in 2021, the Fund will subsidize roughly 65% of the activity costs which includes film production, a mentorship series, and individual consultation for each participating artist.

The three artists will participate in dance for camera training and feedback sessions, and guidance through the process of having their work presented by a venue. The 15-week process will help guide artists in assessing  the costs of producing film work, health and safety strategies appropriate to producing during lockdown, best practices for dance on camera, advice on lighting, sound, and editing, and entry strategies for film festival placement. The three final films will premiere in ODC Theater’s June 2021 festival Kick-Off.

The PILOT program was created in 1990 to encourage the development of emerging and mid-career choreographers. In recent years, ODC Theater has partnered with the Fleishhacker Foundation to create an eponymous opportunity fund at ODC to support self-producing performing artists through its open access rental program. In light of COVID-19, the Fleishhacker Foundation has made a continued commitment to support the administration of subsidies to artists at ODC Theater, though now not limited to live production.

This is an exciting new merge of the rich tradition of education and guidance from ODC’s Pilot Program and the support of professional production at ODC Theater from the Opportunity Fund. The process will be run in partnership and collaboration between the ODC School and ODC Theater.

About The Fleishhacker Foundation

The Fleishhacker Foundation is a family foundation located in San Francisco, California. It was established in 1947 to improve the quality of life in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Foundation makes grants to local, community-based organizations through two main programs: Arts & Culture and Pre-collegiate Education.

Program Overview

Weekly Opportunity Fund meetings will provide the three participating artists with education and consultation on producing dance for the camera as well as walking them through the real-time experience of being presented by a Theater venue. Artists will lead their own film process and come prepared to creative sessions with updates on their project. Artists will have expert consultation from professionals in the field and ODC staff, who will lead meetings and guide artists through the necessary steps of production.

The three culminating films will premiere in ODC Theater’s 2021 Festival at the opening night Kick-Off event. Each artist will have a contract to outline full presentation details. Each festival artist will receive 4 comps to their event and are expected to promote the festival in their circles and on their channels. ODC Theater will retain the exclusive rights to digitally distribute the Pilot films during the month of the festival.

Artists are asked to write a letter of recommendation for the program upon its completion and fill out a survey for use in future funding requests for the Opportunity Fund.

Included Services

Included with your participation fee and with the support of the Opportunity Fund, participating artists will receive the following with the objective of creating a 5 minute dance film, shot at ODC Theater:

  • Dance for Camera course
  • Lighting Designer
  • Two dedicated hours of consultation with Dance for Camera instructor to be scheduled by artist
  • Single camera film day with videographer. Additional cameras may be purchased as desired.
  • Two days of space usage at ODC Theater
    • One no tech spacing/rehearsal day
    • One film day with Two ODC House Technicians, Lighting Designer, and Videographer
  • Up to 40 hours of post-production video editing. Additional post-production time billed hourly.
  • Weekly meetings with field experts and ODC staff
  • Discounted rehearsal space at ODC Theater throughout the 15 week program
  • Presentation in ODC Theater’s 2021 Festival, with inclusion in all promotional materials and marketing campaign efforts, specifically, but not limited to: inclusion in festival press release, special episode release on Writer in Residence podcast, inclusion in all print and digital festival materials.

Activity Schedule




Week Dates

Initial Cohort Meeting


Full cohort

February 22-28

Festival Contracting with ODC Theater


Full cohort

March 1-7

Marketing Meeting with ODC Theater


Full cohort

March 8-14

Dance for Camera #1


Full cohort

March 15-21

Dance for Camera #2


Full cohort

March 22-28

Dance for Camera #3



March 29-April 4

Lighting Designer Consultation



April 5-11

Production Meeting with ODC Theater



April 12-18

WIR Podcast Interview Recording Session (2hrs)


Full cohort

April 19-25

Rehearsal/Filming Week at ODC Theater



April 26-May 2

Meeting with Post-Production Editor



May 3-9

Final Cohort Meeting Post Production


Full cohort

May 10-16

Post Production *in communication with editor



May 17-23

Post Production *in communication with editor



May 24-30

Premiere at Festival


Full cohort

May 31-June 6

Unless otherwise noted, all sessions are one hour. Full cohort sessions take place on Wednesdays at 9AM. Individual sessions to be scheduled by artist and applicable staff. Artists are expected to be available for all meetings, the premiere of their films at ODC Theater’s 2021 Festival, and be active, engaged, and responsive in the weeks after shooting for post-production editing correspondence.

Special Sessions

  • Festival Contracting with ODC Theater

    In this meeting we will discuss professional Theater relationships and the ins and outs of being presented. We will review the relationship between presenter/venue and presentee/artist and review your Festival Contract with ODC Theater for June 2021. ODC Theater will retain exclusive rights to present and distribute the films produced through the Opportunity Fund for the duration of the month of June 2021.

  • Marketing Meeting with ODC Theater

    Joined by ODC Theater and Marketing staff and ODC Theater’s Public Relations Specialist, you will discuss best marketing practices and provide copy and context for your film project for release as part of ODC Theater’s 2021 Festival Marketing campaign and press release.

  • Dance for Camera Training

    This is a three session sequence with a field expert on creating and composing dance for the camera. Two lessons will be with your full cohort on composition and capture. The final session will be dedicated consultation on your project with the instructor to develop storyboarding, shot lists, and provide project specific creative support.

  • Lighting Designer Consultation

    You will work with a provided Lighting Designer to develop look and feel concepts for your film shoot. You will discuss best lighting practices for film capture and the lighting capabilities of ODC Theater’s house repertory plot where the film will be shot.

  • Production Meeting with ODC Theater

    The provided Videographer, Lighting Designer, and ODC’s Theater and Production staff will be present. This meeting will serve to prepare the full team for your film day, post-production, and presentation in ODC Theater’s 2021 Festival. You will be asked to provide an overview of your plan for your film day at ODC Theater and staff will work with you to help plan.

  • Writer in Residence Podcast Interview Recording Session

    This will be a group interview with the artist cohort to discuss the process and development of your projects for release as part of ODC Theater’s 2021 Festival marketing campaign. Additionally, photos and video will be collected to accompany press materials. This press session will take two hours and the interview will be released on the ODC podcast in advance of the Festival.

  • Rehearsal/Filming Week Onsite

    The program will provide two full rental days at ODC Theater—one for rehearsal/spacing and one for your film shoot with two ODC House Technicians, Videographer, Lighting Designer, and Health & Safety Supervisor. You will have the option to invite your Dance For Camera instructor for up to two hours of consult/onsite support on either your rehearsal or film day at ODC Theater.

  • Meeting with Post-Production Editor

    You will have a meeting with ODC’s Film Editor to deliver and direct the post-production editing for your project. Ad hoc over the following weeks you will be able to have follow up correspondence as the project progresses and is finalized over 40 hours of editing time.


Application, Notification, and Participation Deliverables and Deadlines

Apply here. Applications will be reviewed by a panel in January of 2021. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Upon acceptance, instructions to submit the participation fee payment will be delivered.

A PDF version of the application is available to review before submitting, click here.

The application is due by Friday, January 15, 2021 at 11:59pm PT
Applicants will be notified of their participation status on Monday, February 1, 2021 by 5:00pm PT
The three selected artists’ participation fee of $1500.00 is due by Friday, February 19, 2021 at 11:59pm PT (payment plans are available, please contact Chloë Zimberg, Theater Program and Operations Manager at

Please direct any questions to

2020 Awardee (Performances postponed to 2021)

Marika Brussel



House of Names is a collaboration between contemporary ballet choreographer Marika Brussel, and composer Carla Lucero. The work explores Lot's wife,  Lilith, and other female mythological and biblical characters,  through a contemporary lens.