By J. Gefiltefish
Today makes the launch of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival’s New Media Initiative. Backed by Stephen Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation, along with the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the New Media Initiative (to be renamed later), will be one of the largest online resources for Jewish film in the world—almost like the IMDB of Jewish film.
As if the Birthright and JDate networks weren’t enough for tech-savvy Semites, this new website will offer Jewish filmmakers, film lovers and critics alike easy access to hundreds of film titles, streaming media, historical and contextual footage, viewer recommendations, panel discussions, educational and curriculum materials and social networking opportunities.
“We want to ensure that the audience of tomorrow can find and enjoy three generations of the best in Jewish film,” says executive director Peter Stein.
So you might wonder, in addition to all the Woody Allen any self-loathing, neurotic person can handle, what else will the website feature in terms of Jewish film?
“Any film that’s made in New York is a Jewish film,” says Stein. “Jewish film” addresses Jewish culture, heritage and identity as well as anything that can be viewed in a Jewish context. While a documentary on mikvahs or the Barry Sisters is a no-brainer, films about refugees from Darfur or Hurricane Katrina would also have connections to Jewish film, he says.
“In short, they’re Jewish because we say they are,” Stein adds.
Unfortunately, not all films are available for viewing on the website—SFJFF doesn’t have the rights. Still, this site is sure to lead lost tribes of people in the right direction.
Check out the new site here.