One Day in San Francisco

Profile Spotlight: Rebekah Fergusson

I remember meeting Rebekah in person one rainy afternoon maybe 2 years ago. Prior to our Divisadero coffee date, I had attended a Backyard Films screening in Bernal Heights on a rare balmy summer night and was in awe of the shorts that were curated to be screened that night. I remember leaving the screening thinking, Wow, there IS a film community here and it impressed me how un-LA the crowd seemed (sorry LA).

At the time, I was newly freelancing, fresh out of grad school, and trying to navigate through the city's film and video scene. For anyone who lives here, you know that a lot of startups, tech ideas and companies, and industrial projects help to pay the bills but you're always working on at least 5 other "passion projects" that don't pay a dime. Oh, Bay Area.

Rebekah is a co-founder of a local Facebook group and forum called Bay Area Filmmakers Happy Hour. She shares the title with fellow Ambassador Vanessa Carr and a talented cinematographer Carlo Silvio. The three can attribute their group's success to the fact that while the film community in the Bay can feel divided, there are a lot of individuals who want to connect, share ideas, resources, and even paid gigs. Imagine that. I know I have profoundly benefitted from having joined this group and I've met some really incredible people at their screenings.

Rebekah also directed Pelada, a documentary about the global game of pick up soccer which did very well at several film festivals including South by Southwest. She also went behind the camera for The Case Against 8, which recently announced winning the Directing Award for US Documentary at Sundance this year.

We are very happy to have Rebekah on board to film for One Day in SF on April 26th. Feel free to stop by and say hello to her here or in person at the next Backyard Films happening this Sunday, April 20th. For more info and to RSVP- go here

A Sunday in San Francisco from Rebekah Fergusson on Vimeo.

Who are you and what is your profession?
My name is Rebekah Fergusson, and my title always seems to be changing.  I'm a documentary filmmaker, but I'm also a freelance producer, a DP, and sometimes an editor.  I think the essence of what I do for a living has to do with story, ideas, and the logistics of making those a reality on film.

Can you tell us a little about your background and upbringing?
I lived in North Carolina until I was 23, when I moved out to CA to make my first documentary.  A lot of my time growing up was spent on a soccer field.  I played soccer from five years old through college and after.  

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
A soccer teammate of mine at Duke was taking documentary film classes and turned her camera onto our team.  I suddenly realized that the stories that I noticed behind the scenes could be teased out and captured through documentary.  The first stories I did had something to do with sports.  Sports were a lens, a language through which I could capture stories and characters I thought were compelling.

Who or what do you most admire?
Anyone making a living as an artist.  

What do you love about SF?
That you can dress the way you want, do what you want, be what you want, and nobody cares, or if they do, they are usually genuinely interested.

What do you fear most for SF?
That the open, exploring, curious, creative vibe of the city will get lost in the din of business and competition...and that there will be more people in suits.

What do you hope for SF in the next 20 years?
That we find our own path to being a city that is both a business and creative center. That we start taking care of the people on the bottom as much as those at the top. And, I hope that filmmakers and artists will still crave to come to SF to find themselves and their inspiration.

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