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Jewish films to go online

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival is launching a project to put hundreds of Jewish movies online.

In addition to films, the festival’s Web site, www.sfjff.org, will offer other streaming media, educational materials, social networking resources and a forum for new Jewish stories and films created specifically for emerging media platforms.

The first $200,000 in funding for the project, called the New Media Initiative, will come from Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation and the New York-based Charles H. Revson Foundation. The Spielberg foundation pledged $100,000 and Revson provided a matching grant.

The initial phase will launch in June in advance of the 29th annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. Starting with some 1,200 titles from its 28-year history, the festival will provide online clips from hundreds of rare and independent Jewish-themed films and offer a select number of titles for full viewing.

“We’re extremely excited to bring what SFJFF has always been recognized for in our theaters – excellence in filmmaking, engaged and diverse audiences, rich educational content, and bridge-building through film – to the boundless channels of online media,” festival executive director Peter Stein said. “We’re thrilled to have the support of such forward-looking philanthropic foundations as we start our work.”

The festival will partner with Reframe, a project of the Tribeca Film Institute, to begin showcasing its offerings, and the Web site will include the Jewish Heritage Video Collection, which consists of hundreds of videos and educational resources that explore Jewish history and culture through film.

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