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25th Anniversary! Now Virtual: June 16 - July 2, 2020!

A cornerstone Arts+Ideas program of the Stroum Jewish Community Center

Laugh.Cry.Love.Debate.Celebrate.Gather: To Life!

SJFF is the largest Jewish event in the Pacific Northwest, one of the largest and longest-running film festivals in the Puget Sound region and Jewish film festivals nationally, and is a vital cornerstone of the Stroum Jewish Community Center's Arts + Ideas season. Central to SJCC's community-building mission, SJFF brings people together of all stripes to showcase the vibrancy and diversity of global Jewish and Israeli life through cinema. Audiences cast ballots for Best Narrative, Best Documentary, and Best Short Film; and 2020 brings a new juried award, the Golden Or (Hebrew for "light), for Best Independent Film which includes a cash prize. 

SJFF attendees also cast their ballots for the festival's Audience Choice Awards for Best Narrative Feature Film, Best Documentary Feature Film and Best Short Documentary and Narrative Short Films. Every other year, SJFF names a REEL Difference and REAL Difference Award to distinguished filmmakers, producers, artists and agents of arts philanthropy and change. Past recipients include: Academy Award nominated German director Michael Verhoeven, Israeli filmmaker Eran Riklis and documentary filmmaker Aviva Kempner, festival co-founder Deborah Rosen, Tiffany Shlain, and producer Michael Benaroya of Benaroya Pictures. Festival Founding chair Deborah Rosen was the first recipient of the REAL Difference Award in 2016, followed by longtime presenting sponsor Martin Selig who will be honored this year with the award.

SJFF Facts

  • Founded in 1995 by AJC Seattle after attending a humble upstart Jewish film series at the 100-seat Grand Illusion Theatre.
  • 30-35 films from 15 countries in 11 days at 5 venues, supplemented by guest artists, performers, speakers, parties, family and special events.
  • Since its inception, SJFF has screened over 600 films for over 100,000 attendees
  • SJFF screens films year-round at the Stroum JCC in our state-of-the-art cinema: Join us for encores, sneak-peeks, extended dialogue forums and premieres
  • 7,000 Patrons: SJFF has grown dramatically in size and reputation into the largest and most highly anticipated Jewish cultural and arts event in the Pacific Northwest at Seattle's best downtown venues, such as the 800-seat Cinerama Theatre, 600 seat AMC Pacific Place and the 500- and 300-seat seat SIFF Uptown Cinema, and our own Dolby Digital 358-seat cinema on Mercer Island
  • The Seattle Weekly praised SJFF "the best ethnic film festival in our region," with a breadth and quality second only to the Seattle International Film Festival.
  • Only 20% of our operating costs are raised from ticket sales. Support this community gem, volunteer and get involved, make a donation, help spread and encourage friends to join you! Attend!