The Schmooze

What Makes Jewish Film Accessible?

On May 15, Speakers’ Lab and the Forward will present a moderated town hall-style event called “Now What? The Future of New Jewish Culture” at the 14th Street Y in downtown New York City. In preparation for the event, each panelist was asked to respond to a question related to his or her work. The Forward will publish one panelist’s response every Tuesday leading up to the event, and a second panelist’s response will be published on Speakers’ Lab’s website that same day.

This week Peter L. Stein, former Executive Director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, writes about cultivating a wide audience for Jewish film. And on Speakers’ Lab, Dan Sieradski, co-organizer of Occupy Judaism, writes about the lack of support for Jewish innovation.

Speakers’ Lab: The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, which is the oldest and largest Jewish film festival in the world, has made it its mission to draw audiences from other cultures and faiths. People who aren’t Jewish might feel excluded or uninterested, but the festival is managing to draw them in anyway. We’d like to know what you think makes a film interesting to a wide audience. What is the fundamental difference between an insider film and something more accessible?

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What Makes Jewish Film Accessible?

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