It’s time to get ready for one of the Bay Area’s top cinema events: the 37th annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF37), which opens July 20, and runs through August 6 at five locations throughout the Bay Area. The SFJFF is the world’s oldest Jewish film festival, and, with a 2016 attendance figure of 40,000, still the largest.
Here’s an early peek at the fest highlights:
- A pre-release screening of the environmental documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power with an appearance by former Vice-President Al Gore (the screening is currently at rush).
- Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, the riveting biopic of a glamorous movie star who invented and patented the precursor to wireless technology; that’s amazing enough, but Bombshell delves deeply into how Lamarr’s stunning face, her Jewish heritage, and mid-century gender roles shaped her career, marriages and parenting. Top notch.
- The especially strong slate of documentaries, always a rich trademark of the SFJFF.
- Scores of feature films from around the world (I’ll be recommending movies from the US, Israel, Germany and Argentina).
- And the always popular program of short films, Jews in Shorts.
One of the most appealing features of the SFJFF is that, wherever you live in the Bay Area, the fest comes to you. SFJFF will present film events at the Castro Theatre 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 New Parkway Theater in Oakland.
You can peruse the entire program and buy tickets and passes at San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. This weekend I’ll be posting my top picks for the fest.