VIDEO: Sacramento film fest has new partner, purpose

The Sacramento Jewish Film Festival has a new home: the California Museum. After losing its previous venue (Sacramento’s Crest Theatre) and taking a hiatus in 2015, the festival will mark its 18th year with the museum as its new partner.

Four films will be shown over the weekend of March 5-6.

“The museum is thrilled to be a partner in presenting the Sacramento Jewish Film Festival this year,” Amanda Meeker, executive director of the California Museum, said in a statement. “It’s a great match with the museum’s dedication to celebrating California’s rich cultural diversity.”

Ticket sales have been brisk, and festival organizers anticipate that the four screenings (“In Search of Israeli Cuisine,” “Dough,” “Rosenwald” and “Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict”) will sell out the museum’s 256-seat theater.

Proceeds will benefit the Unity Center, a 4,000-square-foot gallery in the museum. It is set to open in 2017 and will feature exhibits about California’s diverse cultures. Seeds for the center were planted after two white supremacist brothers firebombed three Sacramento synagogues and an abortion clinic and murdered a gay couple in Shasta County in 1999.

“The community came together and decided that we needed someplace where there could be discourse about our differences and our commonalities,” said Sid Garcia-Heberger, festival curator.

The first day of the festival is themed around Jewish food and culture, while the second day focuses on Jewish philanthropists. Festival organizers pride themselves on trying to highlight the best Jewish films out there during the festival cycle. “While we do want to educate people about the Jewish experience, we’re looking for films that are entertaining,” Garcia-Heberger said.

The California Museum is located at 1020 O St. in Sacramento. Advance tickets are $15 per film or $25 for a day pass; $20 per film at the door. Tickets are available at the museum store or www.californiamuseum.org/jewish-film-fest.

Drew Himmelstein
Drew Himmelstein

Drew Himmelstein is a J. parenting columnist and former staff writer. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons.