SAN FRANCISCO - Judith Helfand will receive the Freedom of Expression Award from the 39th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF), announced The Jewish Film Institute (JFI). The Award, presented annually at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival since 2005, honors the unfettered imagination, which is the cornerstone of a just, free and open society. Past recipients include Norman Lear, Kirk Douglas, Liz Garbus and Lee Grant.
At the Castro Theater in San Francisco, on July 22 at 5:30pm, filmmaker and activist Judith Helfand will receive the Award, along with a screening of her new film COOKED: Survival by Zip Code, followed by a conversation between Helfand and award-winning filmmaker Nico Opper.
Judith Helfand is able to synthesize complex scientific ideas, issues of corporate greed, and environmental injustice into highly personal films that entertain as well as inform. Her films include A Healthy Baby Girl (SFJFF 1997), in which the director reveals her exposure in-utero to the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES), and Blue Vinyl (SFJFF 2001) which investigates the potentially toxic effects of vinyl. Three of her films premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and had national broadcasts on PBS (POV), HBO and The Sundance Channel. Helfand co-founded Working Films, a non-profit that mentors' filmmakers, NGOs and foundations on the use of documentaries for social change. She is also the co-founder of Chicken and Egg Films, a non-profit film fund dedicated to supporting women documentary directors with strategic grants and creative mentorship.
Helfand's new film is COOKED: Survival by Zip Code, in which she takes audiences from the deadly 1995 Chicago heat disaster deep into one of our nation's biggest growth industries - Disaster Preparedness. Along the way she forges links between extreme weather, extreme disparity, and the politics of 'disaster.'
Entering its 39th year, the Festival is expecting an audience of over 40,000 moviegoers at the following theaters; the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, various locations in the East Bay, the CinéArts Theatre in Palo Alto, and the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael. For general and ticket information, visit jfi.org/sfjff and sfjff.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact the SFJFF Box Office directly, please email email@example.com or call 415.621.0568. The full program for SFJFF39 will be revealed on June 18, 2019. 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, Albany), SFJFF attracts more than 40,000 filmgoers and industry professionals to its 18-day program.