SFJFF 2012

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

32nd Edition  July 19 - August 6

The Festival offers this year a selection with 63 movies from 12 different countries.


And the good news is that projections will take place all around the Bay from San Francisco to Berkeley, Palo Alto and San Rafael. Oakland is the new venue this year with the Piedmont Theatre and an outdoor screening on the Great Wall of Oakland Art Murmur.


The selected movies and documentaries are naturally getting onto tragic, dramatic and painful themes with the Holocaust and the Middle East conflict, with emotion and decency. Yet, humour of course and irony are amazing tools to talk about life, love, religion, immigration, history, society, politics, family...



Special events and our short selection of movies...


Opening Night:

At the Castro Theatre, on Thursday, July 19 @ 7pm with Hava Nagila (the movie).

It is a documentary about a song, so renowned, so famous, so emblematic of a people. It started as a prayer and is now played everywhere in the world from bar mitzvahs, weddings and even late at night in bars of Reykjavik.





Closing Night :

At the Castro Theatre also, on Thursday, July 26 @ 8:15pm with the documentary A.K.A. Doc Pomus that presents the life of the legendary Brill Building songwriter.

The screening will be followed by a live performance of different artists (including Sonny Smith of Sonny and the Sunsets) interpreting some hits of Doc Pomus as an hommage to the iconic songwriter.



Some French movies amidst the selection :


The day I saw your heart

The movie by Jennifer Devoldère features Mélanie Laurent (already in the Festival last year with the Round up. She also performed in Inglorious Basterds and Beginners.) and Michel Blanc. They're father and daughter, and their complex relationship is the starting point of this entertaining comedy.

Castro Theatre - Saturday, July 21

Cinearts - Saturday, July 28

Roda - Thursday, August 2

San Rafael - Saturday, August 4

To buy your tickets




This movie by Alain Tasma stars Anaïs Demoustier (we could see her recently in many different movies like The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Elles, Belle Epine). She is a young teacher  starting her carreer in a school in the low-income suburbs of Paris. Miscommunication, despair and the feeling of those kids that they're doomed somehow to menial position or even jail whatever they may do, dramatically prevail in this poignant movie.

JCCSF - Sunday, July 29

Roda - Monday, July 30

Cinearts - Tuesday, July 31

To buy your tickets




A Bottle in the Gaza Sea

A movie by Thierry Benisti based on the novel written by Valérie Zenatti.

This modern-day Romeo-and -Juliette tale is set in Israel and Gaza during the conflicts in 2007 and 2008. After witnessing a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, Tal, a 17-year-old French-Israeli girl, writes a letter to Gaza seeking understanding. She has her older brother throw the message in a bottle into the Mediterranean (he’s performing his military service nearby.) The bottle washes ashore at the feet of 20-year-old Gaza resident Naïm, who overcomes his initial repugnance and emails back as “Gazaman.”

 Castro Theatre - Wednesday, July 25

Roda - Saturday, July 28

Cinearts - Tuesday, July 31

To Buy your tickets



In case I never win the Golden Palm

A movie by Renaud Cohen with Julie Gayet and Frédéric Pierrot (who preformed recently in Polisse, Sarah's Key and also I've loved you so long).


After losing a bet to a friend, he shaves his head, only to discover a strange cranial lump that may or may not mean his life is ending. On the way to an existential crisis—Can he ever make another film? Will he never win the top prize at Cannes?—he bucks the advice of skeptical collaborators and goes into production on the only film he knows he can make: the one about the life he is living. 

JCCSF - Sunday, July 29

Cinearts - Tuesday, July 31

Piedmont - Monday, August 6

To buy your tickets






A movie by Lorraine Lévy with Emmanuelle Devos and Pascal Elbe. When he turns 18 and is getting prepared for his military service, Joseph discovers  that he was switched at birth with Yassin, the child of a Palestinian family on the West Bank.

This bombshell is the base for the movie where Lorraine Lévy manages to avoid sentimentality and focus on familial and human relationships. It is all about identities, values and beliefs that all of sudden have to be reconsidered!

Castro Theatre - Tuesday, July 24

To buy your tickets




Joann Sfar draws from memory

This documentary follows the carreer and life of Joann Sfar, young French comics artist, who also asserted himself in the movie industry: he received the Cesar for best first movie with Gainsbourg, a heroic life, and a second one for best animated movie for his adaptation of The Rabbi's Cat.

Castro theatre - Saturday, July 21

Cinearts - Sunday, July 29

To buy your tickets


For more information about the Festival and to buy your tickets:

The SFJFF's website

Screenings calendar



The venues:

Castro Theatre - San Francisco

JCCSF - 3200 California @ Presidio San Francisco

Roda Theatre - 2015 addison Street Berkeley

Cinearts - 3000 El Camino Real Bldg Palo Alto

Rafael Film Center - 1118 4th Street San Rafael

Oakland Art Murmur - The Great Wall of Oakland