Director of 1945, Ferenc Török, receives San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award. Photo by Pat Mazzera

The 37th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival inaugurated several new awards that furthered its position as a leader in the curation and presentation of Jewish film and media. In a partnership with the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, SFJFF37 presented the San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Narrative Feature to Ferenc Török’s 1945 and Andrei Konchalovsky’s Paradise, which tied for the top prize. The juried award was presented to Török by Bay Area journalist Michael Fox before the Centerpiece Narrative screening of 1945 at the Castro Theatre on July 26. The jurors were Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, Michael Fox, Mel Valentin, Randy Myers and Tim Sika Both films were recognized for their evocative cinematography, emotional nuance, and memorable performances, with the SFCCC stating that “our hope is these SFFCC Awards will encourage a broader audience to seek out these exquisitely made dramas.”

Director Alexandra Dean and Anthony Loder, Hedy Lamarr’s son, at the SFJFF37 Closing Night presentation of Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story. Photo by Pat Mazzera.

The inaugural SFJFF Audience Awards for the Best Narrative and Best Documentary Feature respectively, were awarded to Ferenc Török’s 1945 and Alexandra Dean’s Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story. “SFJFF has a famously opinionated audience, and what better way to thank our loyal attendees for their considered feedback than with an audience award from the mother of all Jewish film festivals,” said Rosenblatt.

Audience for Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story at SFJFF37 Closing Night at Castro Theater. Photo by Pat Mazzera

The winner of the Festival’s first juried award for Best Short Documentary was 116 Cameras, directed by Davina Pardo, who profiles an ambitious new project by the USC Shoah Foundation to transform Holocaust survivors into 3-D digital projections that will interact with future generations. The jury consisted of Bay Area filmmakers Andy Wilson, Sari Gilman and Sean Uyehara. The fifth annual SFJFF Film Movement Award honors achievements in short narrative filmmaking that expresses the Jewish experience in a unique, original, and meaningful way. This award went to Mr. Bernstein, directed by Francine Zuckerman. The award carries with it the option of a non-exclusive, DVD and distribution deal with Film Movement.

Read the full wrap release here.

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