In Focus: Women's Directorial Debuts

According to one recent study, women directors account for only 29% of all films selected at over 23 top U.S. film festivals. SFJFF37's lineup proudly displays 41% of its selections as directed by women, with a significant number being directorial debuts (including our Opening and Closing Night films.) We honor these women in the director's chair who are taking the film world by storm.

Opening Night: Keep the Change

Opening Night: Keep the Change

Under the guise of a New York romantic comedy, Keep the Change does something quite radical: In a refreshingly honest way it portrays two adults on the autistic spectrum. David desperately wants to be seen as “normal,” but Sarah accepts who she is. Together they navigate the vicissitudes of a burgeoning relationship. Writer/director Rachel Israel has an obvious affection for her characters, which infuses this poignant and funny film from the first frame to the last.

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Sunday July 23, 2017
6:40 p.m.
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Sunday July 30, 2017
6:15 p.m.
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Saturday August 5, 2017
6:45 p.m.
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The Boy Downstairs

The Boy Downstairs

Zosia Mamet of GIRLS fame stars in this twentysomething romantic comedy that borrows the aesthetic and location of the popular HBO show. Mamet plays Diana, an aspiring writer who moves back to New York City after living in London. Three years ago she left behind mensch and loving boyfriend Ben (Matthew Shear). Now she returns to discover that he lives in the apartment below hers. Things are about to get complicated.

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Saturday July 29, 2017
6:25 p.m.
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Saturday August 5, 2017
6:50 p.m.
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Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

Notorious for a nude scene in the 1933 film Ecstasy, Hedy Lamarr became a sex symbol for the ages and achieved top stardom in Hollywood. But her deeper passion had to do with mechanics and technology. She was obsessed with creating useful inventions to benefit mankind, and her inventions were predecessors of wi-fi, bluetooth and cell phones. Spurned as too beautiful to be smart, she nonetheless upended stereotypes and serves as a role model to this day.

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Wednesday July 26, 2017
6:10 p.m.
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Sunday July 30, 2017
8:00 p.m.
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Saturday August 5, 2017
4:45 p.m.
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Sunday August 6, 2017
4:15 p.m.
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House of Z

House of Z

This chronicle of the fascinating career of fashion designer Zac Posen, known to many as a celebrity judge on Project Runway, shows how Posen began designing as a teen. With his family’s support, he enjoyed a meteoric rise. Friendships with famous women (Claire Danes and Natalie Portman) helped catapult him to fame. But when his career stalls, Posen struggles with depression. His plans for a comeback will have audiences cheering for the likeable and talented artist.

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Friday August 4, 2017
8:55 p.m.
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In Between

In Between

Sex, drugs, techno, and . . . Arab traditions? What sounds like an unlikely combination exerts a strong emotional attraction in this female dramedy about friendship, love and the search for independence by three young, hip, Palestinian women. When the Muslim—and religious—Nour moves in with hard-partying Laila and Salma, all three begin their own journeys of self-discovery and gain an understanding of the male-dominated society in which they live but refuse to reconcile themselves to.

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Sunday July 23, 2017
8:55 p.m.
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Monday July 31, 2017
6:35 p.m.
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Personal Affairs

Personal Affairs

In this dry, bitingly funny satire set in Nazareth, Ramallah and Sweden, a long-married Palestinian couple communicates through an elaborate series of mutually inflicted micro-aggressions. An official selection for the Cannes Film Festival, writer/director Maha Haj’s deftly insightful debut is both a timeless portrait of domestic discontent as well as a thoroughly contemporary and droll look at the bemusing indignities of border checkpoints, communications technology and impulsive romance.

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Tuesday July 25, 2017
1:30 p.m.
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Sunday July 30, 2017
3:10 p.m.
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Thursday August 3, 2017
6:00 p.m.
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Friday August 4, 2017
6:30 p.m.
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Supergirl

Supergirl

Adolescence is hard enough without having to worry about maintaining a world record. But for Naomi Kutin, shopping for a bat mitzvah dress, keeping up with homework and lifting nearly three times her weight is just another day. What started as a hobby turned awe-inspiring when Naomi set a world record in powerlifting. But as the young Orthodox Jewish girl approaches adolescence, the competition is getting fierce and unexpected health issues may jeopardize her future.

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Tuesday August 1, 2017
4:10 p.m.
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Red Trees

Red Trees

The Willers were one of only 12 Jewish families to survive the Nazi occupation of Prague. More remarkably, they survived openly as Jews. Red Trees is an exquisitely filmed essay that chronicles the family’s life in the Czech Republic, their narrow escape from the death camps and eventual emigration to Brazil; it is both a testament to the human will to survive as well as a celebration of diversity and acceptance.

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Tuesday July 25, 2017
4:20 p.m.
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Friday August 4, 2017
2:15 p.m.
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32 Pills: My Sister's Suicide

32 Pills: My Sister's Suicide

In this heartfelt documentary director Hope Litoff struggles with her own demons as she explores the life and death of her sister, Ruth Litoff. A gifted photographer, Ruth was as lovely as the artwork she created, but she struggled with mental illness throughout her life. The film charts Hope’s excavation of the belongings that Ruth left behind and Hope’s journey of exploration to learn more about her older sister.

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Monday July 31, 2017
4:35 p.m.
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Little Stones

Little Stones

This inspiring documentary profiles four women, each putting tremendous effort into helping women around the world in unique ways. A Brazilian graffiti artist speaks out against domestic violence; a Senegalese hip-hop musician educates young women about the perils of genital mutilation; a classically trained dancer in India helps heal victims of sex trafficking through movement therapy; and a young American finds high-end U.S. markets for poor Kenyan women’s hand-sewn clothing.

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Monday July 24, 2017
2:15 p.m.
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Thursday August 3, 2017
2:00 p.m.
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SFJFF37 All-Festival Pass

$275 Members / $310 General Public

An All-Festival Pass is the best way to experience everything on offer at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. Enjoy Big Nights, special events, matinees, and more, along with priority access to all venues! Some restrictions apply. Purchase online or contact the Box Office at 415.621.0523

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