June 20 2017: SFJFF37 Exodus Sidebar on Immigration Release



SAN FRANCISCO, CA - The Jewish Film Institute (JFI) is pleased to announce that in collaboration with The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF) is pleased to present Exodus: A Sidebar on the Refugee Experience as part of the 37th edition of the festival.

The sidebar will screen films that examine the experience of refugees and underscore the similarities between past and contemporary xenophobia, populism and extreme nationalism. Films in the program include:   

An official selection 2017 Sundance Film Festival, THE GOOD POSTMAN is Tonislav Hristov's absorbing documentary, which follows a postman in a small town in Bulgaria who runs for mayor under the platform of welcoming Syrian refugees. The outcome of the election (decided by less than 50 voters) soon takes on the trappings of a high drama campaign and shows the uneasy confrontation of a small village with the wider world during a time of humanitarian crisis.

In a year that saw over one million refugees arrive in Germany, filmmaker Pia Lenz follows the families of Djaner, a 7-­‐year-­‐old Roma boy, and Ghofran, an 11-­‐year-­‐old girl from Syria, as they settle in their adoptive home of Hamburg, Germany. But settled their lives are not, as revealed in this longitudinal portrait of coming of age while one's homeland is coming apart. I'M OKAY examines conflicts writ large and small, tender and tragic, over the course of a year, while the brave young protagonists gamely search for themselves in their new world, brought about by dissolution.  

LEVINSKY PARK tells the stories of residents, refugees and activists in the Levinsky Park neighborhood of Tel Aviv, Israel. Through the lens of an asylum seeker from Darfur, long time residents of the community, and a human rights activist, director Beth Toni Kruvant explores the contours and nuances of the refugee story. Particular to Israel's refugee history, the film examines the subtle ways in which unrest exacerbates community tensions uncovering the global crisis pervading the
world today.  

The Opening Night film of IDFA 2016, STRANGER IN PARADISE offers three takes on immigration in Europe from an aggressive right-­‐wing tabloid, a more human liberal stance and finally, a classroom of real-­‐life migrants who are told how their cases may be handled. Operating at the intersection of fiction and documentary, STRANGER IN PARADISE reflects on the power relations between Europeans and refugees in a candid fashion.  

VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED, the 1976 Hollywood classic starring Faye Dunaway, Orson Welles, Lee Grant, Malcolm McDowell, Jonathan Pryce, Max Von Sydow and Katharine Ross was inspired by the true story of the MS St. Louis ocean liner carrying Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany to Cuba in 1939.

Entering its 37th year, the Festival is expecting an audience of over 40,000 moviegoers at the following theaters; the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, the Landmark Albany Twin in Albany, the CinéArts Theatre in Palo Alto, the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, and the New Parkway Theater in Oakland.   For ticket information, please visit the Jewish Film Institute online at www.jfi.org or the Festival website at www.sfjff.org or contact the box office at 415.621.0568.

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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. 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. SFJFF attracts more than 40,000 filmgoers and industry professionals to its annual three weeks of inspiring films, events, panels and parties. Screenings take place at the historic Castro theatre in San Francisco and venues throughout the Bay Area during July and August.

Ticket Information, Festival Dates and Public Contact Numbers
The 37th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival will take place July 20th - August 6th, 2017. For more information, visit the SFJFF website at www.sfjff.org or contact jewishfilm@sfjff.org. For Box Office information, please contact boxoffice@sfjff.org or call 415.621.0568. The complete lineup of films will be announced on June 20, 2017 along with a full complement of discussion programs, international guests, awards, and celebrations.

The 37th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival is supported by: Premier Festival Sponsors - Sterling Ban & Trust and the Seligman Family Foundation; Premier Hospitality Sponsor - The Orchard Hotel; Grand Media Sponsors - The Forward, KQED, J. the Jewish News of Northern California and SF Weekly.