Stories She Tells: Jewish Film Institute Celebrates Women in Film

In honor of the 40th Anniversary of the Jewish Film Institute and its signature program, the San Francisco Film Festival, JFI kicks off Stories She Tells, a new 2-year initiative that shines an investigative and exploratory spotlight on the contributions of Jewish women in front of and behind the lens in Hollywood, TV and Independent film. 

The Jewish Film Institute’s DNA is intertwined with the history of pioneering female filmmakers. In 1980 - as six women directors (known as the Hollywood Six) were challenging the male-dominated status quo, - Deborah Kaufman founded the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the first festival of its kind at a time when it was rare for a woman to be an independent filmmaker let alone the the Maverick founder of a pioneering Jewish organization. 2020 brings an opportunity to reframe and set new sights, as JFI looks back 40 years and ahead to the future to ask where do we stand now and where do we want to go from here? Through in-depth conversations, panels, tributes, and a variety of screenings and events, this two-year series of programs takes a deep dive into how Jewish women are shaping the story. 

Guest Curator, Caroline Libresco, the founding director of the Sundance Women's Initiative and Sundance Catalyst, a Senior Programmer of the Sundance Film Festival for the last 18 years and the former Associate Director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival will return to JFI to present the following three programs in spring and summer 2020. Fall and winter 2020 programs will be announced in the coming months.  

Stories She Tells programs are generously supported by the San Francisco Jewish Women's Fund, a program of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund.

Upcoming Events

The Politics of Representation: Where Women Stand in Hollywood and Independent Film

The Politics of Representation: Where Women Stand in Hollywood and Independent Film

An illustrious group of creators and leaders take the temperature on where women stand in Hollywood, weighing in on where we’ve come from, where opportunities lie, and what needs to happen to maintain momentum. Panelists include Producer Stephanie Allain Bray (The 2020 Oscars, Juanita, Hustle & Flow, Dear White People), Screenwriter-Director-Novelist Susanna Fogel (The Spy Who Dumped Me, BookSmart, Utopia, Life Partners), Writer-Producer Elisabeth Holm (Jenny Slate Stage Fright, Obvious Child, Landline), Kirsten Schaffer (Executive Director, Women in Film), Anne Lai (Executive Director, SFFILM), and Susan Nimoy, one of the “Original Six,” [pictured] a group of women directors who banded together in 1979 to challenge the male-run Hollywood machine.

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Engines of Truth: Women Documentarians On The Forces Driving Their Work

Engines of Truth: Women Documentarians On The Forces Driving Their Work

Leading Jewish women non-fiction filmmakers discuss the role of Jewish values, identity, and culture, as well as feminism, as engines and subjects for their groundbreaking documentary films.

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Unruly Women: Jewish Female Characters on TV  - A conversation with Emily Nussbaum, New Yorker staff writer and Pulitzer Prize-winner

Unruly Women: Jewish Female Characters on TV - A conversation with Emily Nussbaum, New Yorker staff writer and Pulitzer Prize-winner

When we look at current and near-recent TV offerings is it fair to say there's a "boom" of female Jewish characters afoot? In what ways are stereotypes morphing and evolving and, in pondering this, what can we learn about ourselves and the culture in which we live? Join the nation’s most illustrious and insightful television critic—New Yorker writer Emily Nussbaum—for a conversation that delves into never before charted territory.

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