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Sample Reel: Mikva Challenge

Click on the photos below to view excerpts from some of our work.


Developed by Citizen Film in a first look relationship with HBO, this feature documentary investigates the American idea(l) of equal opportunity across ideological, cultural and socioeconomic divides.


“Bridge of Books” 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. This film is an example of how a well crafted film that promotes the work of an organization can have a very long shelf life; it was produced for the Yiddish Book Center in 2001 and aired on public television in 2002. It is viewed by thousands of people every year in the Yiddish Book Center’s gallery on Hampshire College Campus.


Can green enterprise revitalize America’s most distressed communities?

We’re working closely with entrepreneur Tyrone Mullins and his peers in low-income urban neighborhoods to tell their stories. By showing documentary stories and organizing discussions with property managers, community leaders, public officials and policy makers, our work secures contracts and creates jobs, reducing landfill waste by 50%. Each Green Streets worker recycles approximately 20,000 gallons of waste per month, and becomes a steward of his or her community.


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 and KQED Presents was one of two Citizen Film co-productions with Paris-based Les Films du Poisson telecast on European public television (ARTE) and on PBS stations across the U.S. in 2012.


This is an example of the type of “A-roll” only production that is possible on a low budget. A similar video could be produced with Soapbox Participants about their experience participating in the Soapbox Challenge and building their leadership skills as a result.

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This playlist exemplifies Citizen Film’s highly collaborative technique for working with young storytellers. Each of the young storytellers portrayed in these films were storytelling agents, co-directors of their own stories, not passive “subjects.” These films produced with recent Jewish immigrants to San Francisco premiered at the Jewish Film Festival, the world’s premiere and largest event of its kind. Some of these films aired on public television as well.


Citizen Film’s Kate Stilley directed four short films for the San Francisco Symphony. Each of the films portrays a different participant in the Symphony’s work building a community of music-lovers and musicians.


“The Rifleman’s Violin” revisits an extraordinary intersection of history and music that took place at the Potsdam Conference in July 1945. The film is one of several media components in an ongoing collaboration between Citizen Film and the Hoover Institution Archive which has already reached more than 500,000 people thanks to a combination of online, radio, and live in–person programming at venues ranging from New York’s Lincoln Center to San Francisco’s New Mission Theatre. A similar strategy of story-sharing through radio, television and live event partnerships would be employed with Mikva Challenge.