The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival presents two awards: the Freedom of Expression Award honoring an individual who has made a significant contribution to a just, free, and open society; and the Film Movement Award for best achievement in short filmmaking.

Both of these awards highlight our commitment to excellence, originality, innovation and expression in filmmaking. The filmmakers and artists recognized in these categories reflect our emphasis on that which prizes complexity over formula, provides multiple platforms for open dialogue, and champions freedom of expression.

Freedom of Expression Award

The Jewish Film Institute’s Freedom of Expression Award, inaugurated in 2005, honors the unfettered imagination, which is the cornerstone of a free, just and open society. An award unique to the Jewish Film Institute and uniquely suited to its mission, the Freedom of Expression Award is given annually to a champion of artistic and creative vision who has made a lifetime impact on the arts and Jewish culture.

Past Award Recipients Include

Theodore Bikel | Alan Berliner | Elliott Gould | Kirk Douglas | Sayed Kashua | Aviva Kempner | Péter Forgács | Dani Levy | Amos Gitai | Norma Barzman | Walter Bernstein | Jay Rosenblatt | Lee Grant

See All Freedom of Expression Awardees

Film Movement Short Film Award

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival’s Film Movement Award honors achievement in short filmmaking that expresses the Jewish experience in a unique, original, and meaningful way, or provides a fresh perspective on diversity within the Israeli or Jewish community. Shorts of any genre or style – live action, animation, documentary, etc. – are eligible for the award.

The award-winner will receive the option of a non-exclusive distribution deal with Film Movement, for their project to be released on DVD and via streaming, paired with a feature selected by the distributor.

Film Movement is proud to boast a diverse array of international films – but especially pleased to consider themselves a home for Jewish and Israeli cinema in North America. Acquiring at least six titles per year from Israel and the Jewish diaspora, Film Movement is dedicated to gathering the best films from around the world that explore what it means to be Jewish and to be part of Jewish culture. It is a primary goal of Film Movement to spread the wonder, richness, and diversity of Jewish and Israeli identity, as expressed through motion pictures. A partnership with the Jewish Film Institute only serves to solidify this commitment.