2020 JFI Completion Grant Recipients

The inaugural slate of JFI Completion Grants awarded $75,000 in 2020. The inaugural grant awards were presented as part of “Cinegogue Summer Days”, a four day cinematic event that took place virtually during what would have been the 40th anniversary San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

2020 JFI Completion Grant Recipients

A Crime on the Bayou

A Crime on the Bayou

Filmmaker Nancy Buirski (The Loving Story) tells the story of a lasting bond formed between an unjustly arrested Black man, Gary Duncan, and Richard Sobol, his young Jewish attorney.

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Irmi

Irmi

Irmi Selver was born into a comfortable Jewish family in Germany, in 1906, and passed in 2004, in New York City, at the age of 97. Susan Fanshel and Veronica Selver tell Irmi’s story in their sweet, engaging, and fascinating documentary, "Irmi."

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The Binding of Itzik

The Binding of Itzik

A middle aged Hasidic bookbinder searching for binding materials stumbles across an ad offering 'binding lessons for submissive women,' which he answers, becoming entangled in an online BDSM relationship that threatens to unravel his quiet life.

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The Wild One

The Wild One

A middle aged Hasidic bookbinder searching for binding materials stumbles across an ad offering 'binding lessons for submissive women,' which he answers, becoming entangled in an online BDSM relationship that threatens to unravel his quiet life.

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Those Who Heard and Those Who Saw

Those Who Heard and Those Who Saw

In 1940, Jewish refugees who had fled to the United Kingdom were sent to work in prison camps in Canada. Through a large archive of never-released audio interviews, "Those Who Heard and Those Who Saw" considers how their experiences connect to those of contemporary Syrian refugees in Canada.

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'Til Kingdom Come

'Til Kingdom Come

Pastors encourage an impoverished Kentucky community, “The forgotten people of America,” to donate to Israel in anticipation of Jesus’s impending return. The film exposes the controversial bond between Evangelicals and Jews in a story of faith, power, and money, revealing how Trump’s America is led by an End-Times apocalyptic countdown.

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2020 Completion Grant Jurors

Claire Aguilar is an award-winning film curator, film festival director and public television commissioning editor and broadcaster. Since 2017 she has served as Director of Programming and Policy at International Documentary Association (IDA). At IDA she oversees IDA’s professional development, education, mentorship and training initiatives and sets strategy around IDA’s policy and advocacy work supporting filmmakers around a range of issues. She serves as the primary programmer for IDA’s biennial “Getting Real” conference.

Alan Berliner is an independent filmmaker/media artist whose work has been exhibited throughout the world and is in the permanent collections of many museums, universities and libraries. A recipient of five Emmy nominations and two Emmy awards, he has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, NY State Council on the Arts, and fellowships from the Rockefeller, Guggenheim and Jerome Foundations, as well as the New York Foundation for the Arts. He is currently on the faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York City where he teaches a course entitled, "Experiments in Time, Light and Motion."

Shawn Snyder is a filmmaker and singer/songwriter. His short film, FESTUS, won the 2014 CINE Golden Eagle Award for Best Student Drama and later premiered on KQED’s Film School Shorts. His follow-up, LULU, premiered at the Palm Springs International ShortFest in 2015. And his first feature, TO DUST, co-written by long-time collaborator Jason Begue, premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the “Narrative Audience Award” and Shawn received the award for “Best New Narrative Director.” TO DUST was a part of IFP's 2015 Emerging Storytellers, the recipient of the NYU/Alfred P. Sloan’s $100K First Feature Award, the winner of TFI's 2016 Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize, and included in the NYU Production Lab's inaugural slate. Shawn is also a former IFP/Marcie Bloom Fellow and Sundance Institute Feature Film Fellow, and was one of Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2016.

Ferne Pearlstein is a prize-winning cinematographer, writer, director, and editor whose work has won numerous awards and been screened and broadcast around the world. Her most recent documentary, The Last Laugh-which she directed, produced, photographed, and edited-had its world premiere at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, beginning a run of over a hundred festivals in the US and abroad, including Hot Docs, BFI London, Traverse City, IDFA, Rome, Jerusalem, San Francisco Jewish, Traverse City, Chicago International, and many others. Critically acclaimed with a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, The Last Laugh was released in theaters in March 2017 and had its broadcast premiere in April 2017 on PBS's Independent Lens series where it was runner-up for the 2016-17 Audience Award.

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