The 37th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival kicks off this week with the delightful narrative feature Keep the Change with director Rachel Israel and actors Samantha Elisofon and Brandon Polansky in person, and to celebrate our 37th anniversary, we’re looking back at five years of Opening Night films, guests performances and parties.
2017 — Keep the Change
2016 — The Tenth Man
SFJFF36 opened with the Argentinian narrative feature The Tenth Man, about a man living in New York who reluctantly returns to his Orthodox neighborhood of Buenos Aires and ends up falling for a woman his father Usher has slyly set him up with through a laundry list of tasks. Director Daniel Burman attended the screening and delighted audiences with tales from the film set. Following the film, guests headed over to the Contemporary Jewish Museum for the Opening Night Bash and exclusive viewing of Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition.
Watch The Tenth Man on JFI On Demand
SFJFF35 got off to a rollicking start with Dough, starring Jonathan Pryce, about an aging Jewish baker who receives some help with his business from a Darfur refugee who introduces marijuana into the recipes. Audiences were delighted withe heartfelt and humorous film, which went on to a stellar theatrical run based off of its reception at SFJFF35. Following the film, guests headed over to the Contemporary Jewish Museum for the Opening Night Bash and exclusive viewing of Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait.
Watch Dough on JFI On Demand
2014 —The Green Prince
In one of the most memorable Opening Nights in recent SFJFF editions, 2014 kicked off with a screening of the electrifying documentary thriller The Green Prince. Audiences responded with a prolonged standing ovation when the subjects from the film, Palestinian Mosab Hassan Yousef and Israeli Gonen Ben-Yitzhak, made a surprise appearance for the Q&A.
Watch The Green Prince on JFI On Demand
2013 — The Zigzag Kid
SFJFF33 opened with the Bay Area premiere of The Zigzag Kid a twist and turns plot through Europe and the coming of age story of Nono, a 13 year-old with a rich imagination. Director Vincent Bal and actor Jessica Zeijlmaker were in attendance to present the film.
Watch The Zigzag Kid on JFI On Demand
2012 — Hava Nagila (The Movie)
A fan favorite from the very start, Robert Grossman’s Hava Nagila (The Movie) is the definitive history of one of Jewish culture’s most beloved and ubiquitous dances. The 2012 Opening Night film remains one of the most memorable programs in the Festival’s history
Watch Hava Nagila (The Movie) on JFI On Demand