Who We Are
SFJFF is a year-round media arts organization that promotes awareness, appreciation and pride in the diversity of the Jewish people. Our programs are meant to create community and strengthen consciousness of Jewish identity, history and culture; provide a dynamic and inclusive forum for exploration of and dialogue about Jewish experiences around the world, and encourage independent filmmakers working with Jewish themes.
SFJFF produces the first and largest Jewish Film Festival in the world, year-round screenings and events, an online shorts program, a New Jewish Filmmaking Project, and a Mitzvah Series that provides free screening of Jewish films for seniors in nursing homes and at our summer festival.
Annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
Our hallmark program is a renowned three-week summer Festival, screening in four Bay Area venues, featuring the highest quality Jewish films from around the world. As the first of more than 100 Jewish film festivals worldwide—and still the largest, with some 30,000 attendees—SFJFF is an influential showcase bringing together filmmakers and audiences to celebrate Jewish cinema and explore its new frontiers.
SFJFF today stands firmly and proudly on years of impressive and hard-earned accomplishments.
- We are the first and largest Jewish film festival in the world.
- We’ve exhibited 1,300 films over 32 years.
The films presented by SFJFF make up a very special and unique collection—one that is unlike any other—because they celebrate both independence and community. The collection involves those who make the films, those who curate and present them, volunteers, members, dedicated sponsors and donors, and lively audiences who get involved and respond. These people represent many independent voices, and who they are safeguards SFJFF’s independent history, present, and future.
We co-present dozens of films with other Bay Area organizations, including our partner organizations in our year-round home in the 9th Street Independent Film Center, and members are treated to sneak previews of theatrical features.Co-presentations continue to provide a great way to collaborate with other arts and Jewish organizations and promote their relevant offerings to our audiences. SFJFF has developed various new co-presentation relationships in the past year. New partnerships include:
- SFJFF@CJM: Starting in fall 2012, SFJFF will present quarterly screenings and events at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, featuring works from world-renowned Jewish filmmakers, as well as from SFJFF’s own New Jewish Filmmaking Project.
- SFJFF Movie Night at the Magnes: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at UC Berkeley is partnering with SFJFF on a film series aimed at sparking lively discussion and debate on a variety of topics. Screenings are being held on the first Thursday of the month, featuring films from all over the globe. In addition to the screenings, this series includes lectures and discussions led by noted University scholars.
- Jewish Community Center of San Francisco: SFJFF and the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco are co-presenting a film series focusing on artists and music. The series will feature CABARET BERLIN, IRAQ ‘N’ ROLL, and UNDER AFRICAN SKIES.
New Media Initiative and the '1.3 Million Mensch' milestone
SFJFF launched its New Media Initiative (NMI) in 2009, with the support of the Charles H. Revson Foundation and Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation, anchored in our website at sfjff.org and at SFJFF’s YouTube Channel. We have continued to expand the searchable information on SFJFF’s past films (more than 1300 titles now in the archive) and feature trailers, clips, and resources on Jewish film for educators.
- Online Shorts: Every month, we a stream a short for free on our website and YouTube channel. The 32 films presented have been viewed more than 1.3 million times by more than 800,000 people worldwide. This is more than the total attendance of the Festival for our entire 32 years.
- The Online Archive of Jewish Films: Our archive averages over 21,000 searches per year from more than 14,000 individuals, indicating substantive worldwide interest in Jewish film.
New Jewish Filmmaking Project
The New Jewish Filmmaking Project, produced by Citizen Film, is a year-round program of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. Since 2002, 50 young adult filmmakers, ages 15-25 have worked with the NJFP to create sophisticated, authentically personal short films. Those films have been viewed by some 300,000 people to date. Half-Remembered Stories, which rolled out at the 30th SFJFF, was the first NJFP production to combine today's online multimedia technology with traditional storytelling forms.
This year, the NJFP is participating in Citizen Film’s BUILT, a multimedia initiative exploring the relationship between architectural heritage, urban design and our concept of home. The Festival is inviting teens and young adults to contribute to an online multimedia exhibition that reimagines the Sukkah –the temporary shelter Jews construct to remember exile from the land of Israel: http://www.builtgallery.org.