The Jewish Film Institute awarded $100,000 to six projects in 2021, ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 per project. The announcement was made at the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the 41st San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.
The brilliant David Strathairn gives a mesmerizing one-man performance as Jan Karski, a WWII Polish resistance fighter, whose testimony was emotionally given in Claude Lanzmann’s "Shoah."Read More
Two brothers flee home during the Nazi regime. Generations later, their granddaughter weaves a dreamlike story of the untold past crossing into the present.Read More
While digging in an Israeli archive, a film researcher stumbles across never-before-seen footage from a long-lost Palestinian Liberation Organization archive seized by Israel in the 1982 Lebanon war.Read More
The story of a family forged in 1970s Detroit. Two boys — one white, one black — raised as cousins. As the city teeters on the edge of economic collapse, the boys’ lives take radically different turns, each shaped by violence, opportunity, and race. Now, more than 20 years later, they each return to the city to reckon with the loss of home and family — and their roles in the destruction.Read More
Part mystery story and part comedic heist, “The Liegnitz Plot” is the surprising tale of how Gary, a risk-averse father of four and an original “Seinfeld” writer/producer, drops everything, enlists the help of a team of adventurous friends and filmmakers, and flies halfway around the world to attempt to find and rescue a priceless stamp collections collection the Nazi stole from concentration camp victims, buried somewhere in Poland.Read More
With unique access to an extraordinary archive of over half a million negatives and documents spanning from 1930’s Germany to today, 1341 Frames of Love and War tells the story of Israel’s most celebrated war photographer, Micha Bar-Am.Read More
Jannat Gargi is an award-winning creative producer and film executive. Prior to joining Westbrook Inc., as Senior Vice President of Documentaries, she was Vice President of Documentaries for VICE Studios overseeing development for a slate of premium documentaries and series including ESPN's 30 For 30 series about the American Gladiators and Executive Producer of three time Academy Award nominated documentary FLEE (2022).
Rick Goldsmith is a two-time Academy Award nominee. He co-produced and co-directed (with Judith Ehrlich) The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009), an Academy-Award nominee for Best Feature Documentary, an Emmy nominee, and winner of a George Foster Peabody award (for its POV nationwide broadcast on PBS). He is the Producer/Director/Editor/Co-writer of Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press (1996), which was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. This acclaimed film on the pioneering muckraking journalist was broadcast nationwide on public television and has become a staple in college and high school journalism programs across the country. Born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, Goldsmith came west in 1975 and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area ever since. Trained in architecture, music and community activism, he started working in films in 1979 and made his living for years as an editor. Goldsmith is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS); and Writers Guild of America, West.
Lisa Leeman is an award-winning filmmaker best known for her social-issue documentaries that are driven by powerful character-driven narratives. Her directorial debut, METAMORPHOSIS: MAN INTO WOMAN, follows a transgender animation artist’s transition. The film is thought to be the first American film to chronicle a gender transition and was awarded Sundance’s Filmmakers Trophy (1990). Leeman’s work has been seen on PBS, HBO, Discovery, ARTE, and in theaters and festivals worldwide. She is a frequent juror, moderator, and panelist at documentary and independent filmmaking events. In addition, she is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), and has served as a judge at the Sundance Film Festival, president of the International Documentary Association, and on the boards of the IDA and the National Coalition of Independent Public Broadcasting Producers.
Micha Peled is a San Francisco-based documentary filmmaker. He was born in Israel and is one of the few who ever emigrated to the U.S. by hitchhiking. After making his first film “Will My Mother Go Back to Berlin?” he quit his day job and never looked back. Micha’s “Globalization Trilogy,” filmed in the U.S., China (clandestinely) and India, comprised of “STORE WARS”: “When Wal-Mart Comes to Town,” “China Blue” and “Bitter Seeds.” Micha’s films premiered at the Toronto and San Francisco International Film Festivals, Telluride, SXSW and IDFA. They aired on 33 television channels, had theatrical releases in Europe, Japan and the U.S. and were pirated countless times. He is the recipient of 20 international awards, including Amnesty International Human Rights Award, the Oxfam Global Justice Award, the PBS/Independent Lens Audience Award and the Golden Gate Award.
Veronica Selver has been an award-winning documentary editor for over 20 years, with credits on such highly regarded films as On Company Business, the Academy Award-nominated Berkeley in the Sixties (POV 1991), Harry Bridges: A Man and His Union, Absolutely Positive, Coming Out Under Fire and, most recently, Blacks and Jews, which premiered at Sundance and aired on POV. in 1997. She also produced and directed an episode of the 1996 ITVS series, Positive. Her co-directing credits include You Got to Move, First Look, and the duPont-Columbia awardwinning Word Is Out, the first feature documentary on growing up gay in America.