New Jewish Filmmaking Project


Source: New Jewish Filmmaking Project


The New Jewish Filmmaking Project (NJFP), a program of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, produces documentary films that reflect the perspectives of the generation of Jews coming of age in America today. Since 2002, 48 teens have participated in the NJFP under the tutelage of the noted film professionals at San Francisco's Citizen Film documentary production company.


The young people turn their cameras on themselves, their families, their friends and their surroundings. They interview one another and explore issues that are important to them in their own way and in their own voices. The process is carefully guided to yield moving, tightly crafted documentary films.


While the main focus of each film is different (ambivalent feelings towards religious observance, the problems and possibilities for new immigrants, interethnic dating, etc.) the overriding concern is the tension between holding onto a distinctively Jewish identity and assimilating into mainstream American life—a topic of great concern for many thoughtful Jews in America today.


NJFP films premiere at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, a major event on the summer calendar for filmmakers and some 20,000 cinephiles. The films reach thousands more through local television stations – PBS and CBS affiliates in the Bay Area have shown them – and in classrooms across the country.


At this summer’s San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, running July 23 to Aug. 10, NJFP participants will create blogs and vlogs (video blogs), take part in discussions and generate content distributed through the festival’s New Media Initiative, which will stream NJFP shorts online.


The program has received an additional grant from The Covenant Foundation to create digital platforms to deliver films, tool sets and curriculum guides to teachers, enabling them to use the films and the issues they present as starting points for classroom discussion.

Years after co-directing “Four Short Films About Love“, Sophia reflects
on the impact of the NJFP and her relationships with her grandparents.

Updated: Aug. 02, 2009