June 7 2018: Closing Night Film Announced

THE 38TH SAN FRANCISCO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL TO CLOSE WITH "SAMMY DAVIS JR.: I'VE GOTTA BE ME"

6/07/2018

SAN FRANCISCO, June 7, 2018 - The Jewish Film Institute (JFI) announced today that the 38th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF) will close with Sam Pollard's exploration of the life and career of legendary Rat Pack member Sammy Davis Jr., SAMMY DAVIS JR.: I'VE GOTTA BE ME. The screening is the centerpiece of a strategic partnership between the Festival and the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) to promote dynamic engagement about issues of identity and representation in the arts.

The film will screen Sunday, July 29th at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco with Pollard in attendance. The film will also screen Sunday, July 22nd at the CinéArts Theatre in Palo Alto, Saturday, August 4th at the Piedmont Theatre in Piedmont, and Sunday, August 5th at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael. Tickets are now on sale for the film and the complete lineup of films at the 38th edition of the Festival will be announced Tuesday, June 19.
"Sammy Davis Jr.'s complex identity and his insights and experiences that come from seeing the world through multiple lenses will raise exciting questions to ponder at the SFJFF38 Closing Night party," said JFI Executive Director Lexi Leban. "We are excited about this new partnership with the Museum of the African Diaspora to present this incredibly revealing film."


"Sammy Davis Jr.'s complex identity and his insights and experiences that come from seeing the world through multiple lenses will raise exciting questions to ponder at the after party hosted by the Museum of the African Diaspora and The Jewish Film Institute. We are excited about this new partnership to present this incredibly revealing film."
"The Museum of the African Diaspora is excited to partner with SFJFF to present this film covering such an important, controversial figure as Sammy Davis Jr. The film aligns with MoAD's mission of igniting challenging conversations, and inspiring learning," said MoAD's Director of Communications Mark Sabb.


The Festival will return to the Bay Area July 19th to August 5th, 2018. Now in its 38th year, the festival, the first and largest of its kind, will welcome an audience of over 40,000 attendees at the Castro Theater 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 Landmark Piedmont Theatre in Piedmont.


Closing Night Film - SAMMY DAVIS JR.: I'VE GOTTA BE ME


At the age of three his immense talent was already on display as he sang and tap danced his way across the country performing with his father and godfather. In the 1950s, he notoriously dated Hollywood star Kim Novak prompting Columbia Pictures bigwig Harry Cohn to order him to stick to Black women. Following a serious car accident in which he lost an eye, Davis converted to Judaism. In the 1960s, the only African American member of the legendary Rat Pack, he supported John F. Kennedy's candidacy, marched in Selma with Martin Luther King and became a prominent activist in the civil rights movement. And then in 1972 he shocked the country by supporting Richard Nixon for reelection, giving him a famous hug on stage during the Republican convention. It's hard to imagine a more talented and groundbreaking performer who led a more complicated and contradictory life than Davis. He did not shy away from controversy and was not afraid to use his name and talent for a good cause. Featuring excerpts from his exhilarating performances and interviews with the likes of Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Jerry Lewis and Whoopi Goldberg, director Sam Pollard's riveting documentary unpacks the apparent contradictions and presents a very full and very human portrait of this complex, courageous and conflicted man. The film made its World Premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.


After the screening July 29th at the Castro Theatre, SFJFF and its Closing Night partner MoAD will host the Closing Night Reception on the Castro Theatre's Mezzanine. Enjoy tasty drinks and dishes while toasting to the end of the festival's  San Francisco run.


Closing Night: $22 Members / $25 GeneralOther screenings of SAMMY DAVIS JR.: I'VE GOTTA BE ME: $12 Members / $15 General
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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 415.621.0523. 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.

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