OY, HAVE I GOT A FILM FOR YOU A Preview of the 39th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, 2019

By Gary Meyer

One of the challenges for any film festival is finding the perfect opening night movie.

A curator wants a terrific movie first but also it must be a crowd pleaser— Not too experimental or heavily political. You don’t want to alienate the opening night audience who may not be as adventurous as those attending many other movies during the event. They need to leave the theater in a good mood and hopefully want to return for more shows. But you want it to be a movie that also means something to people and leaves them thinking as well as entertained.

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Opening Night photo by Pat Mazzera

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CHASING ELUSIVE PORTRAITS

by Elizabeth Rynecki

I grew up surrounded by my great-grandfather’s painting; images documenting the life of Polish-Jews in between the two World Wars. I understood from an early age that my great-grandfather, Moshe Rynecki (1881-1943), perished in the Holocaust, but I knew little about how Dad and his parents survived.gyc_wedding (1).jpg Continue reading

Watch ARENA’s “Night and Day”

(updated April 21, 2019)
The San Francisco Film Festival gave the Mel Novikoff Award  to the great BBC series ARENA and its producer Anthony Wall. 
The award is named after the much loved San Francisco art cinema owner whose Surf Theatre was legendary. Novikoff saw the potential of taking the run down and all-but-forgotten Castro Theatre and making it a true destination for movie lovers. The Award is given “to an individual or institution whose work has enhanced the film-going public’s appreciation of world cinema.” Image result for arena bbc video logo

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AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL WRAPS ITS TOUR IN BERKELEY AND ST. LOUIS

by Frako Loden

Screen Shot 2019-03-20 at 11.21.58 PM.pngThe African Film Festival National Traveling Series stops at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive this spring for its 25th year, acquiring some other film-festival notables on its way. True to its mission to present the best of recent films from Africa and the African diaspora, this year’s edition features dramas and documentaries from Burkina Faso, Senegal, Niger, Tunisia, Europe, the UK and the US.

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