June 5 2018: SFJFF38 Opening Night Film Announced



SAN FRANCISCO, June 5, 2018 - The Jewish Film Institute (JFI) announced today that the 38th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF) will open on Thursday, July 19th at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco with the West Coast premiere of LOVE, GILDA, Lisa D'Apolito's touching tribute to late comedian Gilda Radner. Director Lisa D'Apolito and subject and original Saturday Night Live cast member Laraine Newman will be in attendance. Tickets are now on sale for the film and the Opening Night Bash which will be held at the Contemporary Jewish Museum following the film. The complete lineup of films at the 38th edition of the Festival will be announced Tuesday, June 19th.

"SFJFF38 is proud to open with a woman filmmaker's directorial debut about the iconoclastic Gilda Radner, a Jewish girl from Detroit who became not only an emblem of American comedy's golden age but made incredible contributions to raising awareness about early cancer screenings for women in high risk groups, including Ashkenazi women. Equal parts nostalgic and poignant, Love, Gilda is an exciting Opening Night choice sure to appeal to those that grew up with Gilda's work and those that are being introduced to it today," said Jay Rosenblatt, JFI Program Director.  

Opening Night Film - LOVE, GILDA

Following its World Premiere as the Opening Night Film at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, SFJFF will open with LOVE, GILDA, director Lisa D'Apolito's touching tribute to comedian Gilda Radner. It has been more than 40 years since this brilliant, fearless and uproarious performer burst onto the scene, but Gilda Radner's enduring impact on our culture can still be felt in myriad ways. Her wacky and quirky recurring characters such as the crabby Roseanne Roseannadanna, the hard-of-hearing Emily Litella and the nerdy Lisa Loopner still delight. Radner was the first person cast by Lorne Michaels for Saturday Night Live and her celebrity was instant. When she died after an epic battle with ovarian cancer, a piece of us left with her.

Lisa D'Apolito's endearing, exuberant and intimate tribute uses rare personal recordings and clear-eyed journal entries to bring Radner back into our lives as we learn of her early struggles, meteoric rise and very human journey to find the love of her life (Gene Wilder). Home movies throughout her life and interviews with current and former SNL cast members such as Amy Poehler, Cecily Strong, Laraine Newman and Martin Short help us remember Gilda as they share their fondest memories of this iconic comedy legend. Clips from some of her famous routines reveal how Radner poured her heart and soul into every character she created and take us back to a time when this woman enchanted us with her passion, childlike wonder and inventiveness. Ultimately the heartfelt and poignant LOVE, GILDA accomplishes what every great film aspires to: making you want to see more.  

Following LOVE, GILDA, the party continues at the Contemporary Jewish Museum to celebrate the opening of SFJFF38, where film and art come together. Dance to tunes inspired by SNL's 1970s heyday, nosh and sip on refreshments from Hagafen Wineries and Lagunitas Brewing and feast on tasty treats from Wise Sons, L'chaim Sushi and more.

Film & Party: $65 Members / $75 General
Film Only: $30 Members / $35 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.