Click on the photos below to view excerpts from some of our work.
THE RIFLEMAN’S VIOLIN
“The Rifleman’s Violin” revisits an extraordinary intersection of history and music that took place at the Potsdam Conference in July 1945. With wit and verve, 90-year-old virtuoso violinist Stuart Canin recounts how, as an 18-year-old GI, he deployed to the German front with his rifle, and his violin on his back, “because you never know.”
“The Rifleman’s Violin” is one of the videos in our multimedia project Potsdam Revisited: Overture to the Cold War, a collaboration with the Hoover Institution Library & Archives at Stanford University.
SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY’S 2ND CENTURY CAPITAL CAMPAIGN STORIES
Citizen Film partnered with Studio B Productions to produce four short films for the Symphony. Each of the films portrays a different aspect of the Symphony’s work building a community of music-lovers and musicians.
NATIONAL YIDDISH BOOK CENTER CAPITAL CAMPAIGN STORY
“A Bridge of Books” is an engaging, often funny documentary film produced by Sam Ball for the National Yiddish Book Center. It chronicles the adventures of an enterprising 23-year-old named Aaron Lansky, who rallied together an international network of volunteers and set out to rescue the world’s Yiddish books.
SAN FRANCISCO FOUNDATION COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARDS
The San Francisco Foundation recognizes individuals and organizations whose leadership makes a significant impact in Bay Area communities.
Citizen Film has created many short documentaries distilling these extraordinary stories into resonant documentary films. Organizations and their leaders then utilize those films for years as a way to communicate the need for and impact of their work.
COMMUNITY MUSIC CENTER CAPITAL CAMPAIGN STORIES
“Music saved my life, and so I know it can do the same for other young people,” says nationally renowned Jazz bassist Marcus Shelby in one of Citizen Film’s newest shorts.
We worked closely with CMC’s visionary leaders and artists to celebrate one of San Francisco’s most-revered and longest-running community arts programs.
The mission of Community Music Center is to make high quality music accessible to all people, regardless of financial status.
JOANN SFAR DRAWS FROM MEMORY
Take a journey with master graphic novelist Joann Sfar as he finds inspiration in his Algerian-Jewish heritage and the lively streets and cafes of his current home in France.
This collaboration between Citizen Film, KQED Presents and Paris-based Les Films du Poisson was telecast on PBS stations around the U.S. in 2012.
WENDY MACNAUGHTON DRAWS CASTRO COMMONS
“Wendy MacNaughton Draws the ‘Castro Commons’– A Temporarily Permanent Space” was produced for our 2012 collaboration with the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco on a “digital sukkah” multimedia installation for the center’s atrium.
Produced by Citizen Film in association with 3200 Stories, a program of the JCC SF.
“EL CAMINO” BY MONA CARON
Mona Caron, a native of Ticino, now works as a muralist in California, creating large-scale paintings on walls. She’s the daughter of Swiss theatre and opera set designer Peter Bissegger, and attended the San Francisco Academy of Art in Illustration. Citizen Film’s Kate Stilley Steiner caught up with the artist in San Francisco.
JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL TRAILERS
Citizen Film partnered with SFJFF, the first and largest Jewish film festival in the world, to create their festival trailers.
BALANCING ACTS: A JEWISH THEATER IN SOVIET UNION
This documentary, written and directed by Sam Ball, narrated by Ed Asner, captures a fleeting moment when avant-garde performers, musicians and artists—including Marc Chagall and the great Yiddish actor Solomon Mikhoels—risked everything to create a Jewish theater with unprecedented mass appeal.
“Balancing Acts” was the centerpiece film in the Jewish Museum New York and Contemporary Jewish Museum San Francisco multimedia exhibition Chagall and the Artists of Russian-Jewish Theatre, 1919-1949. “Balancing Acts” will also be on display in Paris’ Musée de la Musique in the exhibition Marc Chagall and Music, Oct. 13, 2015–Jan. 30, 2016.
PLEASURES OF URBAN DECAY
Pleasures of Urban Decay is an offbeat film about Ben Katchor, who has been hailed as the creator of the last great American comic strip. Katchor’s Yiddish-inflected voice guides us through a vast and shadowy landscape of old skyscrapers, neglected warehouses, lay-away stores and all-night cafeterias. This documentary premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and has been exhibited around the world, from MoMA-NY to Jewish Museums all over Europe, the U.S. and Latin America.