August 31, 2015

JFI on Demand is the newest initiative from the Jewish Film Institute, making available archival films from the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the world’s first Jewish Film Festival and a leader in the field of Jewish independent cinema. Launched initially with 35 Festival favorites from our 35 year history, JFI on Demand will add new films to its online collection each month, to rent and download-to-own. To help you get acquainted with JFI on Demand, the Jewish Film Institute staff has compiled the following Frequently Asked Questions to help you get watching!

What is JFI on Demand?

JFI on Demand is the new online offering from the Jewish Film Institute to catapult the premiere curatorial vision of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival into the 21st century. With more and more media being consumed on personal devices and outside of the movie theater, the Jewish Film Institute staff recognized that in order to preserve and promote our archive of 1,600+ Jewish and independent films from our 35 year history, it was time to expand the ways in which those films could be accessed. With an initial offering of 35 Festival films from our 35 year history, chosen by past and present programmers and directors of the Festival — and with new titles added monthly — JFI on Demand promises to bring our stories to your screen, wherever you are.

Does this new online format mean that JFI will no longer be screening films in a live setting?

Of course not! In order to nurture and build connections within and beyond the Jewish community, JFI will continue to present the annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF), the first of its kind in the world, as well as a host of year-round screenings and events, including WinterFest, various co-presentations, sneak previews for JFI members and more!

We firmly believe that film as a collective experience will never die, and are working everyday in the Bay Area to make sure that this region’s and the Jewish people’s contributions to independent cinema continue to make an impact on the world. But in order to promote an evolving definition of what constitutes Jewish film and media, it was important for us to complement our signature live events with enhanced online offerings.

What kind of films will be available on JFI on Demand?

JFI on Demand will be used to present a portion of the 1,600+ films which have been shown at SFJFF over its 35 year history, thereby forever preserving and promoting these important contributions to Jewish cinema. Integrated with the JFI searchable online archive, viewers will benefit not only from being able to stream these films directly to their living rooms, but from the accompanying notes and supplementary materials which express the curatorial vision of the JFI and SFJFF staff. These films encompass narrative and documentary features, animation and experimental, domestic and foreign, and everything in between.

To watch short films from the JFI archive, we recommend checking out our Monthly Online Shorts program, which features a new short film to watch FOR FREE each month. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date with the newest additions.

New titles will be added to JFI on Demand monthly. To stay up to date with newly added films, subscribe to the JFI On Demand newsletter.

How can I watch films on JFI on Demand?

By visiting this link:, where you can find all of the available films to browse in an easy-to-read format. Just sign in or create an account with Vimeo, our affiliated partner, select the film you want to rent or buy, enter your billing information, and voila! Our stories, your screen.

Can I watch these films internationally?

International streaming rights vary on a film by film basis, and are set by either the filmmaker or distributor. JFI cannot guarantee at this time that all JFI on Demand titles will be available to watch internationally.

So I have to create a Vimeo account in order to watch a JFI on Demand film. What does this mean?

Vimeo is an online streaming platform used by millions of people to watch online content. Vimeo has agreed to partner with the Jewish Film Institute to launch this on demand service because both organizations value the role of the independent filmmaker and are dedicated to preserving these important works.

All that is required to make a Vimeo account is an email address, name and password. To rent or purchase a film, you will need to also provide your credit card information. All transactions are processed securely and email addresses will not be shared with outside parties.

How much does it cost to rent or download a film from JFI on Demand? The price varies, depending on the film and the agreement reached with that particular filmmaker or distributor, with streaming periods ranging between 48 hours and 1 year. All JFI on Demand titles are curated in the interest of the filmmaker/distributor, who receive the vast majority of the profits when someone rents or purchases the film.

Do I have to be a member of the Jewish Film Institute in order to use JFI on Demand?

No you do not — all that’s needed is to create a Vimeo account — but membership in JFI does have its privileges! Receive invites to sneak preview screenings of brand new titles throughout the year, early ticket-buying privileges for all JFI and SFJFF programs, and early notifications of special events and VIP programs taking place. Plus, when you become a member of the Jewish Film Institute, you can show off your wares with our new JFI tote bag!

To find out more about joining the JFI family, click here.

How can I find out about newly added titles to JFI on Demand?

The easiest way to learn about new additions to JFI on Demand is to sign up for the JFI On Demand newsletter. Each month, we will announce our new offerings via the newsletter and on our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Connect with us online and never miss a film you’ve been hoping to catch!

Inspiring communities to expand their understanding of Jewish life through film, media and dialogue. Presented by the Jewish Film Institute!

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