SAN FRANCISCO, The Jewish Film Institute (JFI) announces the music-oriented films in the 39th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF), which will return to the Bay Area July 18th to August 4th, 2019. Tickets are now on sale for all programs.

 Army of Lovers in the Holy Land by Asaf Galay The band Army of Lovers, famous for its mix of disco, camp, and messages of sexual liberation, embarks on a new chapter when frontman Jean- Pierre Barda uproots his existence to emigrate from Sweden to Israel under the Law of Return.  

Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles by Max Lewkowicz The Festival's Opening Night film tells the story behind the beloved Broadway musical Fiddler on The Roof and its sweeping, inimitable score, focusing on the films[1]  creative roots in early 1960s New York.  

It Must Schwing! The Blue Note Story by Eric Friedler Building on the success of last year's SFJFF smash hit Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes, the festival presents this new film on Blue Note Records, which centers on the story of its founders Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, two young émigrés from Berlin, united by a love for jazz, and in their belief in equality and freedom for all.  

The Mambonicks by Lex Gillespie The story of the Jewish love affair with Latin music and dance. This uplifting documentary tells the story of a group of mostly Jewish dancers from New York City who fell in love with the mambo, a new dance from Havana, Cuba. With an infectious soundtrack including Tito Puente, Celia Cruz and mambo king Pérez Prado, this film explores a mostly unexamined aspect of Jewish life and culture.  

Seder-Masochism by Nina Paley This new animated musical from the director of Sita Sings the Blues loosely follows the Passover Seder story, with events from the Book of Exodus retold by Moses, Aharon, the Angel of Death, Jesus and even the director's father. With a fantastic soundtrack, the film puts a twist on the traditional Biblical story by including a female deity perspective - the Goddess in a struggle against the forces of patriarchy.  

Shut Up and Play the Piano by Philipp Jedicke The story of Chilly Gonzales, provocateur, professional Jewish MC and classical savant, and his journey from the Berlin punk scene to symphony orchestras. Also featuring Daft Punk, Drake, Feist, and Jarvis Cocker.


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 jewishfilm@sfjff.org. To contact the SFJFF Box Office directly, please email boxoffice@sfjff.org 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.