JFI Next Wave is a community of discerning, Bay Area film lovers as well as a platform for the showcase of emerging and established filmmakers whose work explores modern life and identity through a Jewish lens. Next Wave members receive all-inclusive Festival passes, attend private VIP receptions and parties with filmmakers, actors, and artists; experience programs and events that step outside the boundaries of film such as live music, comedy, art and, (of course), drink, eat, socialize, and network with other young leaders and fans of the independent arts community.
From art dealers and stealers in the West Bank to an unlikely duo of blues musicians in Harlem and a quirky buddy comedy built on Jewish burial customs, SFJFF38's Next Wave selections address the complicated, conflicting and empowering elements of contemporary life, Jewish identity and expression through a showcase of remarkable stories that touch on art, social justice, relationships, cuisine and more.
Purchase a $40 Next Wave Pass for extraordinary flexibility to attend everything at the Festival including Big Nights, for film lovers under 35.
NEXT WAVE SPOTLIGHT. In 2007 Banksy slips into Palestine to paint on the West Bank Barrier. Someone takes offense at a piece depicting an Israeli soldier checking a donkey’s ID. A local taxi driver decides to cut it off and sell it on eBay. What follows is a story of clashing cultures, art, identity, theft and black market. Like Banksy’s art would be meaningless without its context, so the absence of it would be meaningless without an understanding of the elements that brought his artwork from Bethlehem to a Western auction house, along with the wall it was painted on.Read More
Prolific documentarian Liz Garbus has been at the forefront of nonfiction filmmaking for decades. From The Farm: Angola, USA to Bobby Fischer Against the World (SFJFF 2011), What Happened, Miss Simone?, and now with The Fourth Estate, her latest documentary about The New York Times' coverage of the Trump Administration's first hundred days, the work of this two-time Academy Award nominee, Peabody winner and Emmy winner is a true embodiment of the Freedom of Expression Award.Read More
CENTERPIECE NARRATIVE. A Hasidic cantor (Géza Röhrig) and an under-equipped biology professor (Matthew Broderick) become blasphemously obsessed with the process of a human body’s decay. What follows are illicit dives into anatomy textbooks, outlandish homemade experiments, a road trip to a body farm, and the ever-lurking prospect of dybbuk possession. Röhrig and Broderick are an unholy match made in deadpan heaven as they embark on this increasingly literal journey into the underground.Read More
LOCAL SPOTLIGHT. On a street in Harlem in 1986, a young blond-haired Jewish kid who plays a first-rate blues harmonic struck up a musical friendship with a street musician named Sterling Magee, who calls himself Mr. Satan. The duo puts together an act that leads to music festivals and a successful record. Just as quickly, the act crashes when Satan mysteriously disappears. This documentary captures a fascinating journey of friendship, heartbreak and the transformative power of the blues.Read More
The preeminent jazz label of all time, which once boasted the great innovators of the great African American form—Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, for starters—was founded by a couple of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany who became aficionados and respected authenticity over profits. Sincere devotion to the art form resulted in a legacy that is still an influence on young musicians. A complete delight from beginning to end.Read More
“What would the world look like if we didn’t eat meat?” Answers touch on climate change, health, animal welfare, biodiversity and more, but it’s the wide scope and diverse characters that make this doc a must-see. From interviews with scientists creating meat in petri dishes, to lovers of seaweed that tastes like bacon, The End of Meat is not just for vegans and vegetarians, but also flexitarians—omnivores interested in simply eating less meat.Read More
Dutch filmmakers Stephane Kaas and Rutger Lemm create a delightfully surrealistic documentary about the beloved Israeli writer and humorist. Weaving animation, live action and interviews, the film takes us deep into the psyche of Keret, a son of Holocaust survivors, whose fiction explores the absurdities of daily life. Like friends Ira Glass and Jonathan Safran Foer, you’ll be charmed by Keret and be left with an intense desire to read (or reread) his stories.Read More
Carrie Goldberg, an internet privacy attorney; Anita Sarkeesian, a media critic and activist; and Tina Reine, a financial trader whose career was derailed by a vicious campaign of cyber harassment, are the three extraordinary subjects profiled. Coinciding with the #MeToo movement, as the internet becomes the next frontier for civil rights, the arc of the online moral universe may also be long, but here too, Netizens shows it bending towards justice.Read More
In East Jerusalem, Benny is an outsider. She has red hair and she chooses to indulge in poetry and pot. When beautiful newcomer Yael arrives in their small community, Benny smolders with a strange new fire and her life becomes undone. While remaining specific to its location and community, Red Cow highlights the universal desire of first lust and the feeling of being alive for the first time.Read More
Shadi, an architect who lives in Italy, returns to Nazareth for the wedding of his sister. He helps his father, Abu Shadi (renowned actor Mohammed Bakri), deliver 340 wedding invitations by hand, according to Palestinian custom. When Abu Shadi wants to invite a Jewish friend who Shadi believes is part of Israeli military intelligence, we see the conflict through the eyes of two different generations of Palestinians in this superbly acted film.Read More
The past is present in this collection of innovative animated short documentary films: rediscovered letters from lovers during World War II; the walls of a Tel Aviv building from 1924 that have seen it all; the personal objects of departed parents; the reemergence of an estranged father; and the true tale of the secret agent who caught Adolf Eichmann in Argentina.Read More
Truth can be found in the oddest places. This year’s collection of documentary shorts finds moments of epiphany whether it be in a fast food restaurant, performing in a death metal band, in a truck loaded with Israeli bananas traveling to Gaza, unexpected success in a Crown Heights ultra-Orthodox community, or contemplating loss while gazing at a sugar maple tree in Atlanta.Read More
How do we stand in the company of others? This year’s collection of narrative shorts presents defining moments when people are confronted with personal decisions, albeit in very public settings: a Rosh Hashanah dinner gathering; the rooms of an assisted-living center; an awkward bat mitzvah in England; the living room of an Israeli family home in the midst of a chemical attack; and, finally, in an idyllic summer camp in the Catskills.Read More