Next Wave: Contemporary Stories

Next Wave at SFJFF37 showcases fresh stories and perspectives exploring contemporary life through a Jewish lens from around the globe, from the runway of famed fashion designer Zac Posen in House of Z, to the streets of New York City with Zosia Mamet (GIRLS) in The Boy Downstairs or pre-war Europe with Natalie Portman and Lily Rose-Depp in the stylish Planetarium

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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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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Gilbert

Gilbert

If you think you know Gilbert Gottfried, the brash, shrill-voiced (“Aflac!”), boundary-pushing comic, think again. In this surprisingly candid documentary portrait, director Neil Berkeley reveals the foul-mouthed comedian in a whole new light as a loving husband and father of two young children. Featuring interviews with comics like Whoopi Goldberg and behind-the-scenes glimpses of Gottfried’s performances, Gilbert separates the man from the act, and what emerges is unexpectedly tender.

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Saturday July 29, 2017
8:55 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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Love is Thicker Than Water

Love is Thicker Than Water

In this modern-day retelling of the story of Romeo and Juliet, Arthur is a bike messenger from a working-class Welsh mining town and Vida is a cellist and daughter of a wealthy Jewish family from London. Their hipster romance takes on gratifying depth when their families—and their divergent backgrounds—come into play. The film feels simultaneously polished and experimental as it delicately explores hard questions about faith, love and devotion.

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Friday July 28, 2017
1:35 p.m.
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Sunday July 30, 2017
8:25 p.m.
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Moos

Moos

Awkward but lovable single gal Moos is a young Jewish Dutch woman who has devoted the last seven years of her life to caring for her father after the death of her mother. When she finds herself suddenly entangled with two love interests at once, she has more to worry about than a new career on the road to independence. Will she follow the advice of her family or venture out on her own path?

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Thursday July 27, 2017
8:45 p.m.
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Monday July 31, 2017
8:45 p.m.
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Mr. Predictable

Mr. Predictable

Adi Levi is such a steady and reliable husband and father, everyone in his life takes him for granted—until he’s misdiagnosed with cancer and told he has only weeks to live. Everyone in his life continues to take him for granted, but in this endearing Israeli romantic comedy, he is finally forced to choose whether to stand up for himself or continue to let life push him around.

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Saturday July 22, 2017
8:55 p.m.
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Monday July 24, 2017
8:15 p.m.
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Wednesday August 2, 2017
6:00 p.m.
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Saturday August 5, 2017
8:55 p.m.
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Planetarium

Planetarium

Two séance-conducting sisters from America (the luminous Natalie Portman and Lily-Rose Depp) meet a silver-haired French film producer who vows to capture their communions with the dead on his own cinematographic medium. This handsomely reptilian producer, who is based on the real-life illustrious filmmaker who was executed at Auschwitz, Bernard Natan, may be enchanted by the young and beautiful sisters, but he casts a darker, stronger spell on them.

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Sunday July 23, 2017
2:00 p.m.
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Sunday July 30, 2017
5:30 p.m.
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Tuesday August 1, 2017
8:45 p.m.
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Friday August 4, 2017
8:35 p.m.
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Stranger in Paradise

Stranger in Paradise

This timely fiction/documentary hybrid plays with our minds as a European lectures, then interrogates refugees from Africa and the Middle East who are seeking asylum. He tells them they are not wanted, then that they deserve refugee status, then asks specific questions to weed out those who do not qualify. First-time helmer Guido Hendrikx uses innovative and provocative techniques to make us share in the emotions of the most powerless people in the world.

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Saturday July 22, 2017
12:00 p.m.
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Saturday August 5, 2017
12:40 p.m.
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The Young Karl Marx

The Young Karl Marx

Director Raoul Peck’s (I Am Not Your Negro) finely crafted period drama vividly brings to life the August, 1844 meeting between Karl Marx, a German philosopher and journalist exiled to Paris, and Friedrich Engels, the rebellious son of a wealthy factory owner. After Marx lobs a few barbs at the dandified Engels, a revolutionary bromance is born. Within a few years Marx and Engels founded the Communist League and created its defining document, the Communist Manifesto.

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Tuesday July 25, 2017
8:15 p.m.
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Thursday July 27, 2017
7:00 p.m.
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Friday July 28, 2017
6:00 p.m.
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Saturday August 5, 2017
2:05 p.m.
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Jews in Shorts: Documentaries

Jews in Shorts: Documentaries

Meet the fascinating subjects from this year's superb collection of doc shorts: a heavily tattooed Jewish prizefighter; a Holocaust survivor set for immortality as a 3-D digital projection; a legendary NYC mom and pop cafe struggling to keep the lights on; and the wild paintings of gun-toting Nazi-fighting wonder women and the artist who brings them to life.

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Wednesday July 26, 2017
2:00 p.m.
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Wednesday August 2, 2017
1:30 p.m.
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Jews in Shorts: Narratives

Jews in Shorts: Narratives

People aren't always what they seem. This year's collection of narrative shorts finds complex people grappling with even more complex relationships: a single mother unexpectedly alone on a sweltering summer day; a father and a daughters separate and profound encounters with the great composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein; a married couple testing their limits on a wild night out; and a gentle cantor who meets a lovely chanteuse while visiting a small Israeli seaside town.

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Tuesday July 25, 2017
12:30 p.m.
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A Study on Effort: A Duet Between Bobbi Jene and Keir GoGwilt

A Study on Effort: A Duet Between Bobbi Jene and Keir GoGwilt

SFJFF is thrilled to present a rare performance from Bobbi Jene Smith, the subject of Bobbi Jene, in partnership with ODC/Dance. She will perform her piece A Study on Effort on August 2.

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Wednesday August 2, 2017
8:00 p.m.
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SFJFF37 Next Wave Pass

$40 Members / General Public

Want to fest with flexibility? Our Next Wave membership-for film lovers ages 35 & under-includes a specially priced Festival pass ($40), offering tremendous access to special events, film screenings, artist talks and more at SFJFF and throughout the year.

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