June 12 2018: SFJFF38 Freedom of Expression Award Recipient Announced



SAN FRANCISCO, June 12, 2018 - The Jewish Film Institute (JFI) is pleased to announce that Academy Award® nominated documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus will be the recipient of the 2018 Freedom of Expression Award. Garbus will be presented the award during the 38th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, which returns to the Bay Area July 19th to August 5th.

Since 2005, the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival has presented the Freedom of Expression Award annually to honor the unfettered imagination, which is the cornerstone of a free, just and open society. In these tumultuous political times, the Festival could not find a more timely recipient of the 2018 Freedom of Expression Award than Academy Award® Nominated documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus. Garbus will be honored for her work and a screening of her latest film THE FOURTH ESTATE will highlight the event. Award-winning filmmaker Bonni Cohen (An Inconvenient Sequel, The Rape of Europa) will moderate the conversation following the screening. Garbus will be presented the award Thursday, July 26th at 5:30PM at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. An additional screening of THE FOURTH ESTATE will take place Wednesday, August 1st at 4:00PM at the the Albany Twin Theatre in Albany.

"We are honored to present this year's Freedom of Expression Award to Liz Garbus," said JFI's Program Director Jay Rosenblatt. "Over a long and storied career, Liz has shown herself to be as talented in documenting life in a notorious prison (The Farm: Angola, USA) as in reintroducing audiences to the voice of one of our greatest cultural treasures (What Happened, Miss Simone?). With her riveting new project THE FOURTH ESTATE, Liz Garbus has crafted an essential viewing experience for the tumultuous times our nation finds itself in."

Liz Garbus has been at the forefront of nonfiction filmmaking for decades. The prolific two-time Academy Award® nominee, Grammy nominee, Peabody winner, Emmy winner and DGA- nominated director began her career with a searing look into prison life, The Farm: Angola, USA(1998). Co-directed with Wilbert Rideau and Jonathan Stack, the debut brought Garbus her first Best Documentary Oscar nomination and the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. Garbus continued to hone her directing and producing talents with the acclaimed The Execution of Wanda Jean(2002), Girlhood (2003) and an examination of the First Amendment featuring her father, attorney Martin Garbus, Shouting Fire: Stores from the Edge of Free Speech (SFJFF 2009). She then directed Bobby Fischer Against the World (SFJFF 2011), an entertaining and thoughtful retelling of the Cold War chess face-off between Fischer and Boris Spassky. Garbus quickly followed up this success with Love, Marilyn (2012), an elegiac biography of Marilyn Monroe with never-before-seen footage and leading Hollywood actors and actresses reading from the late star's writings. Garbus was again nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar in 2016 for What Happened, Miss Simone?. SFJFF is honored to bestow this year's award to Garbus, whose powerful and distinctive films are a true embodiment of this award.

THE FOURTH ESTATE takes an in-depth look at the journalists working at The New York Times at a time when President Donald Trump as declared the majority of the nations news outlets "the enemy of the people". Garbus witnesses the inner workings of journalism and investigative reporting from the front lines during the administrations first year in office. The film made its World Premiere as the Closing Night Selection at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.

Film & Award Presentation: $15 Members / $18 General
Other screenings of THE FOURTH ESTATE: $12 Members / $15 General


Entering its 38th year, the Festival is expecting an audience of over 40,000 moviegoers at the following theaters; the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, the Albany Twin Theatre in Albany, the Piedmont Theatre in Oakland, the CinéArts Theatre in Palo Alto, and the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael.

For general and ticket information, visit sfjff.org or email jewishfilm@sfjff.org. To contact the SFJFF Box Office directly, please email boxoffice@sfjff.org or call 415.621.0568. The full program for SFJFF38 will be revealed on June 19, 2018.   For Festival logos, photos and press materials, visit jfi.org/press or sfjff.org/press. To request interviews or screeners, contact Larsen Associates.

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About the Jewish Film Institute 
The Jewish Film Institute (JFI) is the premier curatorial voice for Jewish film and media and a leading arts and culture organization in the Bay Area. Presenter of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, JFI catalyzes and inspires communities in San Francisco and around the world to expand their understanding of Jewish life and culture through film, media, and dialogue. Year round, the Jewish Film Institute promotes awareness and appreciation of the diversity of the Jewish people through multiple mediums - including original online programming that reaches a global audience of over 2 million views. All of these services, along with artists' support and educational initiatives, give audiences around the world even greater access to Jewish culture and the visionaries who shape it.

About the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF), presented by the Jewish Film Institute, is the largest and longest-running festival of its kind and a leader in the curation and presentation of new film and media exploring the complexities of Jewish life around the world. Presenting more than 65 films and 135 individual screenings, performances and events in five Bay Area cities (San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Rafael, Oakland, Berkeley), SFJFF attracts more than 40,000 filmgoers and industry professionals to its 18-day program.

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 38 Sponsors

The Jewish Film Institute and San Francisco Jewish Film Festival wish to thank the 2018 Premier Festival Sponsors Sterling Bank & Trust and The Seligman Family Foundation.  

SFJFF38 wishes to thank its Premier Media Sponsors: the San Francisco Chronicle and SFGATE; its Grand Media Sponsors: J. the Jewish News of Northern California, KQED and The Forward; and its Major Media Sponsors: ABC7/KGO-TV, Berkeleyside.com and the SF Bay Times.  

The Festival wishes to thank its Business and Community Sponsors: Berkeley Film Foundation,
Britex Fabrics, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Craig Harrison's Expressions of ExcellenceTM,GoWatchIt, Ingeniux Web Experience Management, Schoenberg Family Law Group, Sinai Memorial Chapel Chevra Kadisha and Wareham Development and Where the Buffalo Roam.  

SFJFF38 also recognizes its Hospitality and Events Sponsors: Leftwich Event Specialists, Inc., Ba-Bite, Catch SF, Hagafen Wineries, the Hotel Carlton, Lagunitas Brewing Co., Landmark Theatres, L'Chaim Sushi, Frena Bakery, Little Star Pizza, Melons Catering & Events, Sullivan & Botello Party Rentals, Poesia, Salt & Honey, Saul's Restaurant and Delicatessen, Taste, Wise Sons and Zaytoon Mediterranean Restaurant & Bar.