Since its inception, the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival has been a key launch pad for emerging filmmakers from around the world by introducing their work to an American audience. Filmmakers such as Amos Gitai, Dani Levy, Roberta Grossman, Amy York Rubin, Lacey Schwartz, Ry Russo-Young, Liz Garbus, Tiffany Shlain, Michal Aviad, Jill Soloway, Hilla Medalia, Karin Albou, and Peter Forgacs have all found a wider audience for their work through screening at SFJFF. You could be our next big discovery!

The Jewish Film Institute provides services to both established and emerging filmmakers working in a variety of media platforms that promote the exploration and understanding of modern Jewish identity. Through the exhibition of new work live and online, training for young filmmakers, artists’ incubator programs, residencies, and awards, JFI supports filmmakers throughout their careers.

JFI Filmmaker Residency


The JFI Filmmaker Residency is awarded annually to a filmmaker(s) whose work promotes the exploration and understanding of Jewish identity. The residency includes support and mentorship by JFI staff; a private office in the Ninth Street Independent Film Center in San Francisco’s SOMA district, home to a myriad of start ups and innovative entrepreneurs; access to Ninth Street’s intimate 80-seat screening room; publicity through JIF’s social media marketing; and opportunities to network with many of the Bay Area’s film industry professionals.

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New Jewish Filmmaking Project

The New Jewish Filmmaking Program, in collaboration with Citizen Film, supports the next generation of Jewish filmmakers by providing training and a forum for youth ages 15-25 to create work that is exhibited in our Festivals. Since 2002, more than 300 young adult storytellers have worked with the NJFP to create sophisticated, authentically personal documentary projects that explore Jewish identity and culture.

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JFI honors emerging and established filmmakers with its Freedom of Expression Award and Film Movement Shorts Award, presented each year during the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

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