The first Jewish Film Festival started in San Francisco 38 years ago. Each year has grown as audiences make discoveries filled with controversy, laughter and tears.
EatDrinkFilms is proud to co-present five films at this year’s San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 38, July 19- August 5, 2018 in San Francisco, Albany, Oakland , Palo Alto and San Rafael.
We offer our readers a discount on all regular priced $15 screenings.Use the promo code: EATDRINK38 for $13 tickets.
Clicking on the film’s title will take you to the SFJFF link for that film and to purchase tickets.
More than a food documentary, The End of Meat dares to ask the question, “What would the world look like if we didn’t eat meat?” The answer, of course, is an incredibly complex one touching upon climate change, human health, animal welfare, global biodiversity and more. And with 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions coming from farming, and nearly half of the globe’s land dedicated to it, director Mark Pierschel’s question is more than philosophical, it’s practical, and, many would argue, downright urgent. Sociologists, philosophers, activists, vegan revolutionaries and scientists building better meat weigh in on the future, but also the past and present, including the relationship between meat and masculinity and the dissonance created when steaks and heifers are simply called hamburgers.
On the way, we get to know the people and animals behind the movements, from online sensation Esther the Wonder Pig to groundbreaking scientists creating meat in petri dishes and lovers of seaweed that tastes like bacon. But perhaps most appealing, The End of Meat steers (no pun intended) clear of a preachy hard line approach to animal products and instead considers a future not only for vegans and vegetarians, but also for flexitarians—those of us who would like to continue an omnivorous lifestyle, but reduce our meat consumption. —Alexis Whitham
This inspiring documentary brims with optimism derived from the boundless curiosity and ambition of young people eager to improve the world through innovations in science and engineering. Set aside antiquated notions of science fairs dominated by baking soda volcanoes and batteries made from lemons. To make it to the premier event of its kind, Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair’s (ISEF) students are more likely working on curing cancer than making model volcanoes froth.
Filmmakers Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster deftly weave together the physical and emotional journeys of nine high schoolers as they strive to earn the right to join 1,700 other students from around the world at the 2017 edition of ISEF. While not all of them are winners in the eyes of the judges, viewers cannot help but be impressed with the students as they tirelessly pursue their dreams. In a time when the world often seems paralyzed by division and the upper echelons of government are held hostage by science-deniers to an astonishing degree, it’s heartening to see a shared passion for knowledge and scientific advancement transcend cultural and political divides. —Mark Valentine
Winner, Festival Favorite Award, 2018 Sundance Film Festival
Directors Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster in person in San Francisco and the East Bay
Read an interview with Costantini about finding the perfect subjects for SCIENCE FAIR.
Since it was invented in 1945, Teflon has been immensely popular with consumers. Its uses cover everything from nonstick pans to Scotchgard, rainproof jackets and microwave popcorn bags. So when it became public knowledge that Teflon contained a toxic chemical known as C8, it caused major shock waves. But even more disturbing was the revelation that 3M, the company that manufactures C8, and Dupont, the company that makes Teflon, continued to use C8 and tried to cover up its poisonous effects.
This documentary tells the horrifying story of this incalculable human tragedy and the victims centered in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where Teflon is made, who are suing the company. Women who worked around the chemical while pregnant have given birth to terribly disfigured children. One farmer in the area where Dupont dumped its waste, had his entire herd of cattle slowly disfigured and killed. In fact, tests show that 99 percent of the American population has traces of C8 in its blood. When 3M discontinued making C8, Dupont decided to manufacture it themselves, calling the problems “the devil we know.” You would think that, aware of the effect of C8, the bosses at Dupont would get rid of it, because it even affects them. But apparently the lust for profits has already made them blind. —Miguel Pendàs
THE DEVIL WE KNOW website
Meet Stephanie Soechtig, director.
Many children fantasize about having an identical twin, a perfect carbon copy of themselves. Imagine finding out as an adult that you had been born an identical twin and were purposefully separated to be in a secret study to determine the impact of nature vs. nurture. Weaving interviews, archival footage and animation, filmmaker Lori Shinseki creates a moving and artistically rendered portrait of several families from New York whose lives are forever impacted and at times shattered as they discover that the Jewish adoption agency they used was covertly separating and studying twins.
There is both tremendous joy at seeing how some of the twins discover each other and profound grief as they explore the toll this unknown loss had taken on their lives. The bond shared between these identical siblings is palpable as is the anger that builds at the academics who cavalierly chose to destroy that connection. It is particularly troubling that the adoption agency behind the study was Jewish, given the WWII Nazi experiments on twins, leading the viewer to ask how far scientists should be allowed to go to study human behavior. —Stephanie Rapp
Preceded by On My Way Out: The Secret Life of Nani and Popi
TWINNING REACTION Website
Screening as part of JEWS IN SHORTS: NARRATIVES
(Read Hannah Jannol’s review of the entire program in J.)
A portrait of four generations of the Fattals as they gather for their annual feast in Mama’s house on Rosh Hashanah. The story takes place in a Regent’s Park townhouse furnished in gilded tissue-box covers, ivory statuettes, marble fruit decorations, and enough Persian rugs to stock a small vendor. Midway through a grueling Orthodox conversion, Daniel and his fiancée Katherine are eager to gain the blessing of his intimidatingly large and loud Iraqi Jewish family. Katherine’s natural elegance and ‘English English’ heritage immediately endears her to them, but it soon becomes apparent that beneath the warm and welcoming atmosphere, some are not as ready as others to accept her newly acquired Jewish status.
Inspired by writer & director Adam Baroukh’s personal experience growing up as a British Iraqi Jew.
THE OUTER CIRCLE Kickstarter website
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HASHTAGS: #SFJFF, #SFJFF38 and #SFJEWISHFILM / @sfjewishfilm
Website: www.jfi.org / www.sfjff.org
The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival Founder Deborah Kaufman remembers filmmaker and Festival guest Aleksandr Askoldov who recently passed away.
His banned film THE COMMISSAR can also be screened at the end of her article or here.