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. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the 44th festival will be held in locations around the San Francisco Bay Area.

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival is an Academy Award® qualifying film festival in the Documentary Short 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 category. The recipient of SFJFF's Best Short Documentary Award qualifies for consideration in the Documentary Short 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 2024 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. In 2023, the Freedom of Expression recipient was Lisa Edelstein, the actor and activist known for her work on House and Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce. Previous honorees include Sergei Loznitsa, Kirk Douglas, Liz Garbus, Lee Grant, Agnieszka Holland, and Norman Lear.


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 screeners must be provided in the form of a video link. We strongly encourage preview screeners to be submitted with English closed captions available. Screeners of foreign-language works are required to 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, 2024 or earlier.

By submitting your film, you are affirming that you are authorized to submit this film to the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. If your film is accepted, your submission to the Festival 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 14, 2024.

For further information contact

Overall Rating
  • Lex Gillespie

    What a great experience screening a sneak peek of my film "The Catskills" at the July 2023 festival! It was actually the second film I've screened there; "The Mamboniks" (2019) was the first. Lexi, Jay and the staff are wonderful and the events I attended were all first rate. The festival is super supportive of filmmakers, and it's been a true honor to screen there. Thank you, SFJFF!!!

    January 2024

    The SFJFF is a beautifully run operation. You can tell that it’s an event run largely by filmmakers because of where they put their emphasis. They structure the screenings and meetings and social events for maximum impact and enjoyment of the people who are presenting their work. This is true not only for the curators and top officers but of the entire staff. The Castro, Vogue and Piedmont venues are first rate. And the city, well it’s economically challenged these days -- but it’s still SF.
    -- Ralph Arlyck

    August 2023
  • Elan Golod

    Thank you Jay and Lexi! We were extremely happy with the warm reception "Nathan-ism" received from the Bay Area audiences and we were honored to have our U.S. premiere at the SF Jewish Film Festival. The hospitality team did a great job. All the staff was very communicative. Would definitely return here with future films.

    August 2023
  • I really appreciated the warm welcome I received at the festival. It was well organized and a pleasure to attend.

    August 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Tom! We were so pleased to screen your film for our very appreciative audience, and wonderful to have you there for the Q&A.