Programming Overview

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival is an independent film and media arts organization and curator of groundbreaking, provocative film programming that offers a broad definition of the Jewish experience and adds perspective to today’s most pertinent issues.The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival puts on the world’s first and largest Jewish film festival. The annual festival sometimes referred to as the “Bay Area’s Secular High Holidays” takes place in San Francisco and four other Bay Area cities in late July and early August, drawing an audience of approximately 30,000 people.

Founded in 1980, SFJFF uses film and media arts to foster cultural understanding. The Festival presents dramatic, documentary, experimental, and animated features and shorts, as well as vigorous panels about Jewish history, culture, and identity. Our mission is to promote awareness and appreciation of the diversity of the Jewish people, provide a dynamic and inclusive forum for exploration of and dialogue about the Jewish experience, and encourage independent filmmakers working with Jewish themes. Our programming is rooted in the universality of Jewish themes, while always exploring and expanding the boundaries of what makes a film Jewish.

SFJFF is a key launching pad for Jewish-themed film in the U.S., and many other festivals and film professionals look to SFJFF for new talent and programming ideas. The Festival receives extensive media coverage and we promote each film with wide distribution of our catalog and program guide, on our website, and through a comprehensive outreach and publicity effort. Our Festival guests enjoy the cultural richness of the Festival and of San Francisco, as well as our audiences, which are known for their lively discussions. Befitting our region, we have an unusually diverse audience, welcoming affiliated Jews, those who may not otherwise seek out more traditional forms of Jewish participation, and non-Jews. Our audiences, whether secular, religious or non-Jewish, proudly refer to the festival as “the Bay Area’s favorite Jewish holiday.”

The 34th Festival will be held July 24 – August 10, 2014, in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Piedmont, Palo Alto and San Rafael.

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