Posted by Larry Gleeson



SAN FRANCISCO, CA – January 27, 2021 – The Jewish Film Institute (JFI) returns to the Sundance Film Festival for its third annual official partnership to expand its understanding of the Jewish experience through film, media, and dialogue. The three events, part of the reimagined Sundance Film Festival, will kick off a new year of hybrid programming for JFI and announce the call for entries for JFI Completion Grants Program.

Continuing a strategic partnership with the Sundance Institute that began in 2019, JFI will present a series of 3 events hosted through the virtual venue, THE CINEGOGUE

The first event of the Sundance 2021 partnership will be HOW TO COMPLETE A FILM DURING A PANDEMIC. This panel discussion will feature the inaugural JFI Completion Grant awardees, discussing trials and tribulations of finishing a film during a pandemic. The Completion Grantee panelists include A CRIME ON THE BAYOU director Nancy Buirski, IRMI directors Veronica Selver and Susan Fanshel, THE BINDING OF ITZIK director Anika Benkov, THE WILD ONE director Tessa Louise-Salomé, THOSE WHO HEARD AND THOSE WHO SAW director Nate Lavey, and ‘TIL KINGDOM COME directors Maya Zinshtein and Abie Troen. This discussion will take place 11 am PST on Friday, January 29th.

The second event ENGINES OF TRUTH features leading female Jewish non-fiction filmmakers discussing the role of Jewish values, identity, culture, and feminism, as drivers and subjects for their groundbreaking documentary films. The panel features Nancy Buirski, Judith Helfand, Roberta Grossman, Amy Ziering, Jennifer Fox, and moderator Caroline Libresco. This panel is scheduled for 4:30 pm PST on Friday, January 29th. The final signature event CINEGOGUE/DIALOGUE will feature an intimate conversation with filmmaker Sam Hobkinson of MISCHA AND THE WOLVES, hosted by Sundance Senior Programmer, Harry Vaughn. The discussion will be streamed to coincide with the films’ premiere on Sunday, January 31st at 2 pm PST.

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. JFI inspires communities in San Francisco and around the world to expand their understanding of Jewish life and culture through film, media, and dialogue. JFI each year produces its signature summer Festival, the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, in four Bay Area counties, the largest Jewish cultural event in Northern California, and the first and largest festival of its kind worldwide. The annual festival provides a suite of awards, some with cash prizes, including the Freedom of Expression Award (recent recipients include Norman Lear, Lee Grant, Kirk Douglas, and documentary filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Liz Garbus); Audience Award for Best Narrative and Best Documentary; the Film Movement Award for Best Narrative Short; a juried award for Best Documentary Short (the winner is eligible for the Oscars); and the SF Film Critics Award for best international fiction feature.

Additionally, JFI provides a number of Filmmaker Services to help provide support for emerging and established filmmakers working with Jewish themes and create a continuum of support for filmmakers at various stages in their careers. The JFI Completion Grants program provides finishing funds to filmmakers working with Jewish themes. JFI’s Filmmaker Residency Program has provided office space and support for independent producers since 2012 (current filmmakers in residence include documentary filmmakers: Malena Barrios, Andrew Garbus, Lauren Greenhall, Holden Kepecs, Rebecca Pierce, Ken Paul Rosenthal, and Deborah Schaffner), and the Jerusalem Film Workshop a program in which JFI sends two emerging documentary student filmmakers to a 6-week documentary film workshop in Jerusalem to make films that screen at the Jerusalem International Film Festival.

Finally, JFI provides a number of online programs including the JFI Film Archive, the largest database of Jewish cinema online today, with over 40 years of curatorial history and more than 2000 films to investigate; JFI On Demand, more than 350 films of its greatest hits can be accessed anytime, anywhere; and the Monthly Online Shorts, in which every month JFI releases films for free to a global audience of 2.4 million since 2009.

(Press release from Jewish Film Institute)



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