Press Release


Media Contact: Julia Solomon

Marketing and Communications Manager


Phone: (805) 957-1115



Santa Barbara, California (February 7, 2019) — The Fourth Annual Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival is pleased to announce an impressive lineup for its 2019 Festival which will be held from March 6-10 at the New Vic Theatre.


The lineup includes critically acclaimed feature films, documentaries, and shorts from Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Israel, Mexico, United Kingdom and the United States, including World and American premiers. Films cover a range of topics from the life of a well-known author to the mysteries of the ritual bath, from the unexpected triumph of an Israeli baseball team to the darkest hours of our history. Numerous films and programs will also feature invited directors, actors and experts in the field to supply personal information and context. 


Highlights include the 1924 silent movie, City Without Jews, with an original music score and performance by San Francisco based Composer Sascha Jacobson and his string quintet (Saturday, March 9th at 7:15 pm).  Believed to have been lost until a copy was discovered in a Paris flea market in 2015, this silent gem was painstakingly restored by the Austrian national film archive. The sometimes ironical and humorous tale foretells a future that became all too frighteningly real less than ten years later.  Other highlights include the opening night film Promise at Dawn by renowned French director Eric Barbier, which tells the story of Jewish writer Romain Gary who twice won the Goncourt Prize for French literature. On Friday March 8th at 1:00 pm, the Festival will show Dear Fredy, which tells of a proud and openly gay Jew in a time of great peril, and who yet found love in the most unlikely of places before his mysterious death. Preceding it, the Festival will screen the American premier of the Australian movie Outback Rabbis, in which two indefatigable Chassidic Rabbis go to the hinterlands of Australia to find lost Jews. On Sunday March 10th there will be three programs of note: A FREE program Heading Home tells the story of the formation of the Israeli baseball team and its entry onto the world stage. (10:30 am); a shorts program with a wide variety of takes on the Jewish experience (1:00 pm), and the Festival concludes with a delightful yet thought provoking movie from Mexico, Leona, that explores the issue of assimilation in its large Sephardi community. Awards for best feature, documentary and short will be announced prior to this showing at 7:00 pm.


SBJFF co-chair Mashey Bernstein sees the key word for the festival as “community.” “Our films reach out not only to the Jewish community, but the Santa Barbara community as a whole. We want EVERYONE who attends to come away with a positive feeling; one that they can only get by sharing the warmth and joy of shared community in the darkness and warmth of a movie theater.”


For a listing of films, sponsors, the Festival schedule, film trailers, and to purchase passes, please visit:



Organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara, the 2019 Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival includes five days of high quality, unique films that showcase a wide range of documentaries, dramas, comedies, and shorts by American, European, and Israeli filmmakers.

Mission Statement: The Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara produces the Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival specifically to celebrate the diversity of Jewish history, culture, and identity, while hoping that the films and their stories will resonate beyond these settings and speak to universal experiences and issues that confront our common humanity.


The 2019 Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival is chaired by Mashey Bernstein and Ron Zonen.
Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, The Luria Foundation.


The 2019 SBJFF is a proud recipient of an Events and Festivals Grant from the City of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture.


High resolution photos available upon request.


Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival

March 6-10, 2019

The New Vic Theatre

33 W. Victoria Street, Santa Barbara