Founded in 1980, 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. Presenting more than 70 films, performances and events over 18 days, SFJFF's highly anticipated program typically attracts over 40,000 filmgoers and industry professionals to venues in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area.
SFJFF presents dramatic and documentary features, television and web series, experimental, and animated features and shorts about Jewish history, culture, and identity as well as films that reflect life through a Jewish lens. The programming staff takes a broad view of what makes a film Jewish and have been known to curate films that are Jew(ish) as well as films about issues that are relevant to Jewish communities and resonate with other cultural communities across the globe. Over the course of more than four decades, SFJFF has discovered and nurtured international cinematic talents sometimes long in advance of their discovery by mainstream international festivals. Filmmakers exploring Jewish themes often start out their career by having a short film in the SFJFF; many of them return to the SFJFF with feature length documentaries and narratives.
The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival is an Academy Award® qualifying film festival in the Documentary Short Subject category.
SFJFF Audience Award
The SFJFF audience award is chosen by ballot from San Francisco Jewish Film Festival attendees. All feature length films are eligible for consideration. Audience Award categories include Best Narrative and Best Documentary.
SFJFF Best Short Documentary Award
This juried award honors achievements in short documentary filmmaking. All selected short documentaries in the Festival are eligible. The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival is an Academy Award® qualifying festival in the Short Documentary Subject category. The recipient of SFJFF's Best Short Documentary Award qualifies for consideration in the Documentary Short Subject category of the Academy Awards® provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.
San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle Award
This Award is a partnership between the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival and the influential community of Bay Area film critics. The 2023 SFJFF San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle Award will be presented for Best Narrative Feature.
SFJFF Film Movement Award
The SFJFF Film Movement Award, co-presented with distributor Film Movement, honors achievement in short filmmaking that expresses the Jewish experience in a unique, original, and meaningful way, or provides a fresh perspective on diversity within the Israeli or Jewish community. SFJFF narrative shorts are eligible for this award. The award-winner is announced at the close of that season's San Francisco Jewish Film Festival and receives the option of a non-exclusive, DVD and streaming distribution deal with Film Movement.
The Freedom of Expression Award
Since 2005, the Jewish Film Institute and San Francisco Jewish Film Festival have presented an artist with the Freedom of Expression Award to honor the unfettered imagination, which is a cornerstone of a free, just and open society. The 2022 recipient was acclaimed director, Sergei Loznitsa. Previous honorees include Kirk Douglas, Liz Garbus, Lee Grant, Agnieszka Holland, and Norman Lear.
You may submit your film to the 2023 SFJFF beginning on October 3, 2022.
There is only one deadline for the Festival: February 17, 2023.
All entries must be RECEIVED by this date.
The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival showcases new independent American and international Jewish-subject cinema. Now in its 43rd year, the Festival is the oldest and most prestigious Jewish Film Festival in the world, typically with a total attendance of over 40,000. The Festival presents dramatic, documentary, television, experimental, and animated features and shorts about Jewish history, culture, and identity. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the 43rd festival will be held in locations around the San Francisco Bay Area.
Deadline and Fees
All entries must be RECEIVED by February 17, 2023.
$35 - Shorts (under 40 min)
Exhibition Formats and Subtitling
The Festival screens DCP only. All non-English language films must be subtitled in English.
Feature length narratives and documentaries should not screen or broadcast in San Francisco Bay Area prior to or during the Festival. Please note that the San Francisco Bay Area includes San Jose, Contra Costa, Napa/Sonoma Valleys, as well as the San Francisco Bay Area.
We prefer films to have been completed within two years of the current Festival dates to fit with our mission to showcase new independent American and international Jewish-subject cinema.
Preview Screener Format
Preview screeners must be provided in the form of a video link. Screeners of foreign language works must be subtitled in English.
The SFJFF accepts rough cuts of almost completed films as Festival entries. Rough cut entries must have an expected completion date of May 1, 2023 or earlier.
You must affirm with your signature on the entry form that you are authorized to submit this film to the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. If your film/video is accepted, your signature also authorizes us to retain a copy of the submitted work in our non-circulating Festival archive and to use a two-minute promotional excerpt from it for festival promotion and on the web in perpetuity.
You will be notified of the outcome by email by June 16, 2023.
For further information, contact:
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
145 Ninth Street, Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94103