San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 37
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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. SFJFF attracts more than 40,000 filmgoers and industry professionals to its annual three weeks of inspiring films, events, panels and parties. Screenings take place at the historic Castro theatre in San Francisco and venues throughout the Bay Area during July and August.

KEEP THE CHANGE: Opening Night
Thursday, July 20, 6:30pm
Under the guise of a New York romantic comedy, Keep the Change does something quite radical: In a refreshingly honest way it portrays two adults on the autistic spectrum. David desperately wants to be seen as “normal,” but Sarah accepts who she is. Together they navigate the vicissitudes of a burgeoning relationship. Writer/director Rachel Israel has an obvious affection for her characters, which infuses this poignant and funny film from the first frame to the last. Director Rachel Israel and actors Samantha Elisofon and Brandon Polansky in person

Saturday, July 22, 12:00p
This timely fiction/documentary hybrid plays with our minds as a European lectures, then interrogates refugees from Africa and the Middle East who are seeking asylum. He tells them they are not wanted, then that they deserve refugee status, then asks specific questions to weed out those who do not qualify. First-time helmer Guido Hendrikx uses innovative and provocative techniques to make us share in the emotions of the most powerless people in the world. A highlight of SFJFF37’s sidebar of films about the 21st century’s refugee and immigration crisis. Post-film discussion with immigration experts moderated by Michael Krasny, KQED Forum

Followed by a live jazz performance by The Marcus Shelby Quartet
Sunday, July 23, 6:45pm
“Body and Soul” is the pinnacle of soulful jazz, the most recorded jazz tune ever. Contrary to expectations, it was composed, not by an African American, but by Johnny Green, a Jew. Filmmaker Robert Philipson uses the example of “Body and Soul” to make a larger case: For decades Jews and Blacks found a “bridge” between their cultures through songs about suffering, and the journey was an inspired collaboration.

Monday, July 24, 7:30pm
While many sequels do not live up to their predecessors, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power is a rare exception. A decade after An Inconvenient Truth, local filmmakers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk follow Vice President Al Gore as he continues his tireless efforts to alert the human inhabitants of this planet to the catstrophic consequences of climate change and the urgency to take action. Vice President Al Gore and directors Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk in person

DINA: Centerpiece Documentary
Tuesday, July 25, 6:10pm
Dina and Scott are in love and planning a wedding, a stressful time for most couples. But they are not a typical couple. Dina is a 49-year-old woman with a tragic past. Scott is a Walmart greeter who lives with his parents. Both are adults on the mental development spectrum for whom love, sexuality and independence are fraught with challenges. Dina chronicles this poignant time in their lives as they search for intimacy and acceptance. Director Antonio Santini and subject Dina Buno in person

1945: Centerpiece Narrative
Wednesday, July 26, 6:20pm
August, 1945. Two Orthodox Jews arrive at a remote Hungarian train station. When the town gets wind of their arrival, rumors and fears spread that they may be heirs of the village’s denounced and deported Jews and will want their stolen property back. Shot in elegant black and white with a minimal evocative score, 1945 is a subtle and nuanced study in collective guilt, paranoia and anti-Semitism in post-war Hungary. Director Ferenc Török in person

Joe Berlinger: Freedom of Expression Award
Thursday, July 27, 6:00pm
SFJFF presents the Freedom of Expression Award to filmmaker Joe Berlinger: Jewish-American author, journalist, photographer, storyteller and fervent believer in the documentary form as an instrument of change. For two and a half decades, Berlinger has imbued his documentary work with a compelling narrative drive resulting in a Peabody, two Emmy and an Oscar nomination. His latest, Intent to Destroy, is a complex exploration of the Armenian Genocide and will be screened as part of the program.

THE BOY DOWNSTAIRS: Next Wave Spotlight
Saturday, July 29, 6:25pm
Zosia Mamet of GIRLS fame stars in this twentysomething romantic comedy that borrows the aesthetic and location of the popular HBO show. Mamet plays Diana, an aspiring writer who moves back to New York City after living in London. Three years ago she left behind mensch and loving boyfriend Ben (Matthew Shear). Now she returns to discover that he lives in the apartment below hers. Things are about to get complicated. Director Sophie Brooks in person

Sunday, July 30, 8:00pm

Notorious for a nude scene in the 1933 film Ecstasy, Hedy Lamarr became a sex symbol for the ages and achieved top stardom in Hollywood. But her deeper passion had to do with mechanics and technology. She was obsessed with creating useful inventions to benefit mankind, and her inventions were predecessors of wi-fi, bluetooth and cell phones. Spurned as too beautiful to be smart, she nonetheless upended stereotypes and serves as a role model to this day. Director Alexandra Dean and subject Anthony Loder (Hedy Lamarr's son) in person



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