Film Festivals
American Sephardi Federation Film Festivals

  March 10-16, 2011
15th NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival

The 15th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival was held March 10-16, 2011 at the Center for Jewish History, presented by the American Sephardi Federation (ASF) in association with Yeshiva University Museum (YUM). The 2011 slate of films includes six U.S. and six New York premieres. The Festival is an exciting cultural event, drawing a diverse, international audience, the participation of notable personalities, scholars, diplomats, and many filmmakers themselves.

At the Opening Night Gala, ASF bestowed its Pomegranate Award on acclaimed Sephardi actor/filmmaker Ronit Elkabetz, for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. The Award was accepted on her behalf by Mrs. Renee Schreiber of the Consulate General of Israel in NY. Ms. Elkabetz filmed a 4-minute video of appreciation which was seen that evening as well as throughout the Festival.

Since its inception in 1990 – the first Jewish film festival in New York - the NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival has continued to expand its audiences, attracting over 30,000 guests and becoming one of the largest Sephardic Jewish film festivals in North America, and the only annual festival of its kind.

Press Release

Film Sources

The Forward

Huffington Post


  February 4 - February 11, 2010
14th NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival

Since its founding in February 1990 as a biennial event, the NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival has become the only annual Film Festival dedicated to showcasing Sephardic history, tradition and culture through film.  Join us on Opening Night in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Festival as we honor its founders –
Dr. Janice Ovadiah, Mr. Morrie Yohai
and Israeli filmmaker, Haim Shiran - and present the ASF ‘Pomegranate Award.’ The ceremony will be followed by the NY premiere of COCO and a post-screening reception.

Press Release  

  February 5 - February 12, 2009
13th NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival- An Extraordinary Success!

The Festival’s Bar Mitzvah Year broke attendance and box office records, attracting nearly 3,000 ticket buyers!  Fifteen films (nine documentary and six features) were screened during the week of February 5-12, 2009, and a selection was presented as part of the 12th Miami Jewish Film Festival and at The JCC in Manhattan.  They included two World premieres, three U.S. premieres, and three New York premieres.  The films portrayed the cultural heritage, traditions, inter-generational struggles, and search for identify, of Jewish communities in 14 countries.  Most films were followed by post-screening discussions with international filmmakers and scholars.  Guests included dignitaries from the Consulate General of Israel in NY, Consulate General of Spain in NY, Consulate General of Turkey in NY, Consulate General of The Kingdom of Morocco, as well as Board members, journalists, artists, and an enormously diverse and appreciative audience.  First-time Israeli-Ethiopian filmmaker, Shmuel Beru, led a joyful discussion following the NY Premiere of his film, Zrubavel, with a performance by the unique talent of singer/actress Meskie Shibru-Sivan.  Zrubavel  was also presented at the Washington DCJCC to a sold-out house supported and attended by the Ethiopian Embassy and Ambassador, and a presentation the following day at the Library of Congress.  We thank all the filmmakers, our sponsors, donors and all who attended.

Press Release  
Print Sources

  February 7 - February 14, 2008
12th NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival

Since its debut at Lincoln Center over a decade ago the NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival (NYSJFF) has continued its commitment to create a unique platform for quality films with distinctively Sephardic themes created by up-and-coming, as well as renowned filmmakers from around the globe.

The NYSJFF is one of the best expressions of ASF’s mission for cultural inclusiveness, and its determined efforts to preserve and support the rich cultural heritage, spirit and history of all Sephardic communities as an integral part of the Jewish experience.  This annual exploration of Sephardic Jewry presents the audience with an extraordinary breadth of lands, languages and traditions, revealing the “other” within the Jewish tradition.

The Festival line-up is very exciting, with our main themes of Sephardic Music in Film; Sephardic Heritage in Inter-Generational Relations; and tributes to Israel at 60.

Learn more about the 12th NY Film Festival
Press Release Print Sources

10 Years of Cinematic Exploration

February 1 - February 8, 2007

The NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival recently celebrated its 11th season this past February 2007. The film festival, a centerpiece of the public programming presented by the American Sephardi Federation with Sephardic House, continues to explore the varied and rich cultures, identities and widespread historical roots of the Sephardic Jews.

As in past years, this year’s film festival offered international and New York premiers, post-screening panel discussions moderated by filmmakers and scholars, and actors and directors from around the world.

Recognizing the growing impact and influences of Sephardim in the Israeli film industry, the 2007 festival spotlighted Sephardic Voices in Israeli Cinema featuring works of prominent as well as up and coming Israeli filmmakers.

Over the past three years, the NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival has gained unprecedented critical and public recognition and has become a one-of-a kind and important event in the world of Jewish film festivals.

In 2007 the Sephardic Film Festival expanded its reach three distinct venues: the Center for Jewish History in the Chelsea Neighborhood and the Manhattan JCC on the Upper West Side in New York, and for the first time showcased outside of the New York area as part of the Miami Jewish Film Festival in January.

View Film Festival Brochure  
View Press Release  

View Print Source

  February 2 - February 8, 2006

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival, featuring thought-provoking and entertaining films and documentaries with distinctively Sephardic themes. The goal of the Festival is to raise the public consciousness about Jewish Sephardic culture and history through cinematic exploration, while providing a unique platform for filmmakers and scholars.

The 2006 slate of films includes critically acclaimed and award-winning premieres as well as classic feature films and documentaries that examine the past and explore contemporary Sephardic identity around the globe. This year’s timely themes include a special focus on the courage and valor of Sephardic women and their efforts to reshape their role in today’s society.

View Film Festival Brochure [10MB PDF]
View Press Release [PDF]

Ninth International Sephardic Jewish Film Festival Icon
  February 9, 2005
The 9th International Sephardic Jewish Film Festival

View Film Festival Brochure
8th International Sephardic Film Festival Icon
  October 24, 2003

Read the press release [PDF]
    December 10 - December 17, 2002

The 2002 festival featured a retrospective of the celebrated French film
director of Algerian descent, Alexandre Arcady who is celebrated for his mastery
of the French policier film - the "cop" flick. His Sephardic sensitivity and
Jewish heritage is not forgotten in his cinema.

View Film Festival Brochure [PDF]

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