44th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

Ages 18+

SFJFF44 is proud to present a series of special screenings and community programs focused on dialogue, reflection, empathy, and understanding at the JCCSF.

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  • Jewish Life
The Assembly from SF Jewish Film festival

44th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

JCCSF Screenings

July 20 & 27, 2024

 

The 44th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Jewish Film Institute, returns July 18 – August 4, 2024 to the San Francisco Bay Area with its signature showcase of bold global cinema that expands and evolves the Jewish story. With more than sixty films on offer, discover an unparalleled community experience at the world’s most renowned celebration of Jewish film and media. SFJFF embraces the full spectrum of Jewish identity through its expansive lineup of dramatic and documentary features, episodic programs, shorts, and more.

SFJFF44 is proud to present a series of special screenings and community programs focused on dialogue, reflection, empathy, and understanding in Kanbar Hall at the JCCSF.

The Assembly

Sat, Jul 20 at 12:30 PM

In this musical-themed hybrid film, actor, musician and playwright Hershey Felder sets out to tell the story of the late Eva Libitzky, a Holocaust survivor from Poland who spent much of her life sharing her story at school assemblies across the United States. The story unfolds as eight of his music students accompany Felder and Eva’s son Moses to Poland where they retrace her footsteps from her childhood home in Lodz to the Jewish ghettos and cemeteries in Warsaw, culminating at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Museum. Much like Felder’s other works, the story is largely told through music. The Assembly transforms Holocaust education, building bridges across cultures, and bringing the concept of the Holocaust education assembly to life for a new generation.

 Participant Moses Libitzky expected to attend for a post-film discussion with Chanan Tigay, Editor-in-Chief, J. the Jewish News of Northern California.

All God’s Children: Work in Progress

Sat, Jul 20 at 3:00 PM

Renowned documentarian and SFJFF alum Ondi Timoner (and two-time winner of the U.S. Grand Jury Prize at Sundance) explores an interfaith effort towards unity in Brooklyn in this observational documentary work in progress. Two pillars of their communities, Rabbi Rachel Timoner of Congregation Beth Elohim and Baptist Reverend Robert Waterman of Antioch Baptist Church, collaborate to bring their congregations together. They discuss questions of belonging, identity and faith with the hope of combating the racism and antisemitism that they feel are plaguing their communities. An unflinching look at the difficulty of achieving these lofty goals, this film does not shy away from the obstacles they face in their faith, in society, and in their communities. In a moment where many are looking to find a model that requires turning towards one another, All God’s Children is a roadmap, a call to action, and a warning that this work is not for the faint of heart.

 Director Ondi Timoner expected to attend.

The Other

Sat, Jul 27 at 12:30 PM

Stories of hope abound in this inspiring documentary, which interviews a wide range of peace activists, community organizers, and musicians committed to overcoming divisions and uncovering common humanity. The Other examines the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, paying particular attention to issues of increasing political polarization, the proliferation of antisemitic and Islamophobic narratives, and the dangers of “the policy of separation” following the Oslo Accords. The documentary stresses the importance of being open to diverse narratives of human experience and the power of learning and speaking common languages. Featuring a haunting soundtrack and stunning landscapes, this film asks us how, in times of war, can we teach love instead of hate and recognize commonalities rather than differences. Highlighting a range of voices whose lived experience illuminates the way conflict manifests in our bodies, minds, and spirits, The Other presents a collaborative, dialectical dialogue that feels both urgently needed and generously rendered.

 Director and writer Joy Sela expected to attend.

Vantage Points: Perspectives from Sapir College

Sat, Jul 27 at 3:00 PM

Vantage Points: Perspectives From Sapir College is a collection of thoughtfully constructed shorts from the School of Audio & Visual Arts at Sapir Academic College. Situated on the border of Israel and Gaza, the school is rich in its inspiring landscapes, people, stories, and history. The most comprehensive and diverse film school in Israel, Sapir College students are mostly Jewish from the south, Mizrahi and Ashkenazi, as well as Muslims, Druze, and Christians, religious and secular, producing films that reflect a range of perspectives.

Included in the program is the beautifully crafted animation Layla, which confronts expectations and conformity. Out of Play, by Romi Menachem, contends with the growing pains of adolescence and gender. Shira Tama is an observational documentary that turns its lens on the life of illegal settlers in the West Bank while A Train to Cairo looks at the now abandoned train station that once connected Gaza to Egypt. The program is rounded out by Omer Daida’s Herd, a philosophical documentary affectionately highlighted by The New Yorker.

Expected to attend is Sapir College’s Dean of the School of Audio and Visual Arts department, poet, and peace activist Sami Shalom Schetrit, as well as Tenured Professor and Cinematographer Philippe Bellaïche (Advocate, SFJFF 2019). They will participate in an extended discussion following the screening, touching on the breadth of student work, the reality of teaching near the border, as well as the effects of October 7th on the student body, faculty, and future of the school.

As an independent media arts organization that values freedom of expression, JFI presents films that allow for a range of artists’ perspectives. No one film should be viewed in isolation but within the context of the entire festival programming where we present a variety of meaningful experiences and perspectives.

At SFJFF44, JFI is dedicated to maintaining a respectful environment for filmmakers and audiences from diverse cultures and perspectives to reflect on the current climate through the lens of domestic and international filmmakers, including Israeli and Palestinian filmmakers and international collaborative filmmaking teams.