Welcome to SFJFF44

Welcome to the 44th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Jewish Film Institute! It is our great privilege to reveal this extraordinary lineup of films, events, and conversations that will take place from July 18 through August 4, 2024 across venues throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Jewish Film Institute champions bold films and filmmakers that expand and evolve the Jewish story for audiences everywhere. Our vision for this work is to create a more informed and empathetic world where these stories are made, watched, shared, and treasured.

We acknowledge that we are preparing to bring our communities together for the 44th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (July 18 – August 4, 2024) at a time of devastating international conflict and humanitarian crisis in Israel and Gaza, as well as in Ukraine. A divisive presidential election is approaching in the United States amid rising levels of polarization in our society. These issues have enveloped the global community, among them the artists and audiences that are at the core of JFI’s work. 

Throughout SFJFF's 44-year history, our programs have been presented against the backdrop of complex and emotionally charged world events. Each time, we have been fortunate enough to expose our audiences to transcendent films that remind us of what can be learned from the unique perspectives of independent filmmakers who, in times like these, help make sense of our world and imagine a better future, no matter how challenging it may seem.

SFJFF has presented many groundbreaking films that probe the unexpected and nuanced corners of history, identity, and artmaking to create opportunities for audiences and artists alike to look closely at the complexity all around them. As we prepare to celebrate these stories at SFJFF44, we remain committed to the universal right of freedom of expression and to connecting audiences and filmmakers in vibrant spaces that foster discussion, understanding, empathy, and reflection.

At SFJFF44, JFI is dedicated to maintaining a respectful environment for filmmakers and audiences from different cultures and diverse perspectives, many of whom may be impacted by tragic loss. We take this responsibility seriously: our staff and Board have engaged in conversations with stakeholders throughout the Jewish and filmmaking communities for months on how best to wrestle with these issues through our programs.

One of JFI’s core values, informed by Jewish tradition, is that learning is a lifelong pursuit. Throughout this year’s Festival, we invite audiences and filmmakers alike to learn from one another with curiosity and respect and to join us in celebrating the full spectrum of Jewish identity around the globe.

In Community,

Lexi Leban
Executive Director

Ralph Guggenheim
Chair, Board of Directors