8th San Joaquin International Film Festival
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Executive Office

Sophoan Sorn
Festival Director & Founder


Shane Williamson
Charter Member

Arlene Galindo

Emily Ballus
Board Member

Jeffrey F. Gamboni
Board Member

Jory Kusy
Board Member



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About the Film Society

San Joaquin Film Society, located in Stockton, a city in the heart of California's vast Central Valley, presents the annual San Joaquin International Film Festival (SJIFF), the benchmark annual celebration of the best in world cinema in the Valley. From 2009-2012, SJFS also presented the wide-ranging World Cinema Series of focused mini-festivals, that have included the San Joaquin Children's Film Festival and French Cinema Day. SJFS provides its local community an exclusive opportunity to experience some of the best of recent noteworthy films from around the world, therefore, encouraging multi-cultural appreciation, social dialogue and awareness of current events.

Since the first film festival in 2008 and the 2009 founding of the San Joaquin Film Society, over 200 screenings, featuring 350+ narrative feature films, documentary films, and short films from master directors, auteurs, and emerging filmmakers of 50+ countries have been presented at venues across the San Joaquin Valley.

View the list of films and events since 2008


Sophoan Sorn

Sophoan Sorn

Founder/Director Sophoan Sorn began the creation of the San Joaquin International Film Festival in 2007. SJIFF inaugurated on June 4, 2008 at the historic Bob Hope Theatre in downtown Stockton, California. Sophoan's collaborative spirit and innovative leadership led an unprecedented interest in independent, specialty and world cinemas for the people in the San Joaquin region. He founded the San Joaquin Film Society in 2009, expanding with unique series as the San Joaquin Children's Film Festival, Cinema Italia and French Cinema Days; while building strong collaborations with many institutions across the area, such as University of the Pacific, San Joaquin Delta College, The Haggin Museum and Modesto's State Theatre.

In 2010, Sophoan was invited to become Festival Director of San Francisco's Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, America's largest focus program of recent films from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Presented by Germany's official cultural center, the Goethe-Institut, Berlin & Beyond has run since 1996 at the legendary Castro Theatre, and has special series in Honolulu Hawaii and other cities in Northern California.

Now in his eight season as Director of SJIFF and his sixth year as Director of Berlin & Beyond, Sophoan continues to impact the cultural life and global perspective of audiences across Northern California. He resides in San Francisco and Stockton, California, and annually attends the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival in Germany along with many major festivals here in the US.


Our History

In December 2006, Sophoan Sorn began the creation of the the 1st San Joaquin International Film Festival (SJIFF). The cinematic endeavor inaugurated June 4 to 8, 2008 with a noteworthy selection of films from 14 nations - and was championed by civic and community leaders, the media, the local arts community and curious filmmakers from around the world. Since its June 2008 inauguration, is has presented over 150 screenings.

August 2015

Little England

Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet

Janey Makes a Play

August 1-2, 2015
Janet Leigh Theatre at University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA

This year’s festival structure is a two-day marathon, with screenings day and night. The 22 motion pictures, produced in 17 countries, empower our theme, Taking Chances, with stories of bravery, perseverance, wisdom, and wit, to overcome the obstacles of life. Pantelis Voulgaris’s familial drama, Little England, tells of two sisters on a Greek island, their love for one man, and their future stifled by secrets and tradition. In Claudio Marcone's feature debut, In the Grayscale, a Chilean man who is married with a wife and child, faces the challenging acknowledgment of his sexual identity. In Mark Nikolas’s Nefertiti’s Daughters, we gain insight into the lives of street artists who are fighting for women’s rights and freedom in Egypt today. In Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet - the passion project of Salma Hayek, directed by Roger Allers, and based on the famed and beloved book - we experience the power, the perseverance, and the struggles of the human expression.

Open Festival Website


January 2014

A River Changes Course

Hank and Asha

The Great Beauty

January 3-6, 2014
Janet Leigh Theatre at University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA

Fifteen motion pictures, produced in 20 countries, told stories of adventure, history, love, relationships, struggles, and success–relatable on a global scale. We Are Connected was the theme of the festival. Kicking off was the Hometown Premiere of A River Changes Course, directed, produced and shot by Stockton-raised, Edison High School graduate, Kalyanee Mam. In her film, we see a Cambodia today with the modern world encroaching on people striving to maintain their traditional ways of life. Hank and Asha from James E. Duff and Julia Morrison, is about two strangers in Prague and New York City searching for connection in a hyper-connected world. Michael Mayer’s Out in the Dark tells of two gay men living and loving across cultural and political barriers in Israel and Palestine. Paolo Sorrentino’s Rome-based masterpiece, The Great Beauty, takes us into the heart and soul of an older man reflecting on the life he’s lived and the city he’s loved.

Open Festival Website


January 2013

Caesar Must Die


Mona Lisa Missing

Golden Slumbers

January 4-8, 2013
Janet Leigh Theatre at University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA

"The 2013 selections include some of the best of recent World and independent American films making their first screenings in California's Central Valley in Stockton: official entries from Germany (Barbara), Italy (Caesar Must Die) and Switzerland (Sister) vying for the 2013 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film consideration; highly-acclaimed winners from leading festivals of the world; first feature-length works from both up-and-coming and seasoned directors; groundbreaking surveys of contemporary societies and current issues. In addition, the festival is showcasing the newly-restored, complete Director's Cut of Volker Schlöndorff's 1979 masterpiece, The Tin Drum.

The thematic strand of the 2013 festival was Life on the Edge. Humans on the margin of society: a boy stealing ski equipment from rich tourists to make ends meet in the Swiss Alps; a female doctor living under meticulous Stasi control in East Germany; an Israeli anti-terrorist policeman clashing with young radicals; a debt-ridden yet hopeful Chinese immigrant mother saving funds to reunite with her son. Young people discovering their identities: a Belgian teenage lad falling in love with his male best friend; a drum-pounding toddler refusing to grow up and to accept adult society. Our planet on the brink: The gifted photographer James Balog capturing ancient glacial mountains melting in moments instead of decades, further proving the reality of global warming. Documentarians piecing together broken history: discovering why Vincenzo Peruggia stole the Mona Lisa; finding remnants of the lost cinema of Cambodia; reflecting on of the fall of Motor City Detroit. Following the heart, finding the art: small-town guitarist running to Guadalajara to join a mariachi band; inmate actors staging Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar' while contemplating their own personal destiny.These films tell of immediate needs, urgency and bravery. From the first shot to the final moment - these cinematic stories portray unique experiences of living on the edge."
--Festival Director/Curator Sophoan Sorn

Open Festival Website


April 2012

A Cat in Paris

Play by Play

April 21-22, 2012
Janet Leigh Theatre at University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA

A festival for the young and young at heart. Three internationally-successful animated films from France in recent years - Academy Award-nominated "A Cat in Paris," the English version of "Mia and the Migoo," and Michel Ocelot's masterpiece "Tales of the Night" - led the seletions, with films from master directors and new talents of over nine nations. Directors of the films in "It's a Small World" shorts program are seasoned talents and promising up-and-coming filmmakers highly-regarded in their respective countries and the international festival circuit - such as Director Carlos Baena and Screenwriter Bob Roden's "Play by Play," which won three awards in the Short Films Competition.

Open Festival Website
Photos from Day #1
Photos from Day #2


January 2012

The Sandman

Le Havre

Carol Channing Larger than Life

January 12-15, 2012
Stockton Empire Theatre in Stockton, CA
Janet Leigh Theatre at University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA

Over 1,000 people flocked to the 5th Anniversary San Joaquin International Film Festival for three nights of screenings at the Empire, and - for the first time in four years - Pacific's Janet Leigh Theatre. SJIFF opened with the sensational original comedy from Switzerland, "The Sandman" by Peter Luisi, who was present at Opening Night. Festival founder Sophoan Sorn opened the program with a piano solo performance of the classic "What a Wonderful World," while Director Luisi engaged in a candid Q&A with the audience. A festive Opening Night Party was held at the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel in Downtown Stockton. Centerpiece films were Aki Kaurismäki's "Le Havre" (Finland's national entry to the 2012 Academy Awards) and Sundance favorite "Being Elmo - A Puppeteer's Journey." Other films were New Zealand cross-cultural romantic comedy "My Wedding and Other Secrets" by Roseanne Leang, John Sayles' Philippine-American war drama "Amigo," the 2012 Academy Award nominated "Chico & Rita" from Spain's Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal, Daron Ker's "Rice Field of Dreams" about Cambodia's first national baseball team, Yossi Madmony's fatherhood drama "Restoration" from Israel, German-Polish father-daughter story "Winter's Daugther" by Johannes Schmid, and Anna Justice's time-spanning love and reunion story "Remembrance." The eclectic shorts program featured Hallvar Witzø's 2012 Academy Award nominated "Tuba Atlantic." The festival ended on high notes with the brilliant documentary profile "Carol Channing: Larger than Life," a journey through the life and love of a Broadway legend.

Open Festival Website
Photos from Opening Night Premiere "The Sandman"
Photos from Opening Night Party
Photo memories from the rest of the festival


March 2011

The First Beautiful Thing


March 17-26, 2011
Stockton Empire Theatre in Stockton, CA
The State Theatre in Modesto, CA

The 4th San Joaquin International Film Festival opened with Italy's official entry to the 2011 Oscars, "The First Beautiful Thing" by Paolo Virzi. Special screenings included Peru's 2011 Oscar bid "Undertow," Israel's 2011 Oscar bid "The Human Resources Manager," the lauded documentary profile "Bhutto," Tribeca favorite "Road, Movie" and the Oscar-nominated animated feature "The Illusionist." The Closing Night film was Ralf Huettner's road movie "Vincent Wants to Sea."

Open Festival Website


May 2010

Fantastic Mr Fox

The Call of the Wild

Saturday, May 1, 2010
Stockton Empire Theatre 1825 Pacific Ave. Stockton, CA 95204

The San Joaquin Film Society, in association with the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library, celebrated National Endowment for the Arts' THE BIG READ with Cinema and Literacy Day, celebrating the power of storytelling through film arts and reading. Featuring: Director Ken Annakin's classic cinematic adaptation of Jack London's "The Call of the Wild" starring starring Charlton Heston; Wes Anderson's internationally-celebrated adaptation of Roald Dahl's "Fantastic Mr. Fox" featuring the voices of George Clooney and Meryl Streep; "Short Stories on Film", a riveting shorts collection; and the global phenomenon "1000 Journals", with the presence of international director, Andrea Kreuzhage.

Open Festival Website


March 2010

The Girl on the Train

Hymen - Shorts 2010

March 27-28, 2010
Stockton Empire Theatre, 1825 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA 95204
The State Theatre, 1307 J Street, Modesto, CA 95354

The San Joaquin Film Society opened its invigorating Spring 2010 season with the 2nd French Cinema Days, a captivating rendez-vous with new, celebrated and award-winning works from France and beyond! Featuring: New French Shorts 2010 with new short films from emerging directors making international and American premieres; a special screening of Philippe Lioret's 10-time French Academy Award-nominated drama "Welcome"; the Spotlight film presentation of "The Girl on the Train" from master director André Téchiné; and the presence of Parisian writer-director, Cédric Prévost.

Open Festival Website


February 2010

The Secret of Kells

Walt and El Grupo

The Young Victoria

The Messenger

They Came to Play

Cherry Blossoms

Rite of Passage


February 19-27, 2010

Stockton Empire Theatre, 1825 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA 95204
The State Theatre, 1307 J Street, Modesto, CA 95354

The San Joaquin International Film Festival (SJIFF), the annual flagship festival of the San Joaquin Film Society and California Central Valley's most prestigious festival of cinema, is: a showcase of new, innovative, and award-winning works from emerging talents and seasoned artists from the Americas and the World. The 3rd San Joaquin International Film Festival takes place February 19-27, 2010 in the homebase of Stockton and two days in Modesto.

open festival website

Pre-Festival at the Pacific Theatre

Friday, February 19

3:00PM "A Conversation with Alyssa and Athena Lobit" - View Details

FESTIVAL In Stockton at the Empire Theatre

Friday, February 19

7:00PM Opening Night Film: "The Secret of Kells" - View Details
9:00PM "Shorts 2: Pursuit of Love" - View Details
9:30PM Opening Party (at La Palma) - View Details

Saturday, February 20

2:00PM "Shorts 1: Discovery" - View Details
4:30PM "Shorts 3: Rite of Passage" - View Details
7:00PM Centerpiece Film: "The Messenger" - View Details
9:30PM "The Things We Carry" - View Details

Sunday, February 21

1:00PM "Shorts 2: Pursuit of Love" - View Details
3:00PM "Dancing Across Borders" - View Details
5:00PM "Soundtrack for a Revolution" - View Details
7:30PM "Yang Yang" - View Details

Wednesday, February 24

6:30PM "They Came to Play" - View Details
8:45PM "Cherry Blossoms" - View Details

Thursday, February 25

5:30PM "Shorts 3: Rite of Passage" - View Details
7:30PM "Ajami" - View Details

FESTIVAL In Modesto at The State Theatre

Friday, February 26

7:00PM Closing Night Film: "Walt & El Grupo" - View Details

Saturday, February 27

3:00PM "The Young Victoria" - View Details
6:00PM "The Messenger" - View Details
8:30PM "Shorts 1: Discovery" - View Details


Celtic Family Festival

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Haggin Museum at Victory Park, 1201 N. Pershing Avenue, Stockton, CA 95203

In conjunction with SJIFF3 Opening Night film "The Secret of Kells," The Haggin Museum presented Celtic Family Festival on Saturday, February 13th, 1:30-4:00 p.m. as part of its 2nd Saturdays for Families series. The event featured storytelling, games, dance, "manuscript" illumination and other hands-on art activities focusing on Celtic arts and culture Featuring music by Black Irish Band and guest animator-director Joaquin Baldwin.

More Information
Visit The Haggin Museum website


December 2009

Love of Siam

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 7:00PM
Holiday Film: LOVE OF SIAM

Pacific Theatre, University of the Pacific 3601 Pacific Ave. Stockton, CA 95211

The Film Society celebrated the Holiday Season with a special screening of Love of Siam, the groundbreaking teen love story that became of Thailand's biggest box office hits and Thailand's national entry to the 2009 Academy Awards.

More Information


November 2009

Ver Llover

The Window

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tillie Lewis Theatre, San Joaquin Delta College, 5151 Pacific Ave. Stockton, CA 95211

Latino Cinema Day (el Día del Cine Latino) featured new and celebrated films from Argentina and México, exploring contemporary Latino experiences. Featuring: the Forum on Mexican Cinema by film scholar Misha McLaird; Mexican Shorts Program featuring Festival de Cannes winner "Ver Llover" and Adam Taub's "La Quinceañera"; and closing with the poetic, Argentine masterpiece "The Window" by Carlos Sorin, preceded by "Kid" by Miguel Alvarez. Made possible by grants from: Cultural Awareness Programs (CAP) and Associated Student Body Government (ASBG) of San Joaquin Delta College

Open Official Site

Children of Invention

Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 2:00PM
In partnership with the 2010 Chinese New Year Celebration

Pacific Theatre, University of the Pacific 3601 Pacific Ave. Stockton, CA 95211

The San Joaquin Film Society celebrated a special screening of Tze Chun's "Children of Invention" benefitting the 2010 Chinese New Year Celebrations. "Children of Invention" was the most-celebrated and most-awarded Asian-American film of 2009! Producer Trevor Sagan was in Attendance.

More Information


October 2009

Disturbing the Universe

Speaking in Tongues

October 2 to 4, 2009

Main Venue: Stockton Empire Theatre 1825 Pacific Ave. Stockton, CA 95204
Additional Venue: Atherton Auditorium 5151 Pacific Ave., Stockton, CA 95207

The San Joaquin Film Society's California Documentary Festival (CalDocFest) was the Valley's first international focus on nonfiction cinema. It opened with the Valley premiere of "William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe" directed by sisters Emily and Sarah Kunstler. Part of the memorable evening was the conversation with Emily Kunstler live via telephone. The exhilarating roster featured new works, new directors, distinguished American and international documentaries, a spotlight on California documentarians and educational Q&A's with guest artists. The Fashion Program at San Joaquin Delta College presented the festival's centerpiece "Valentino: The Last Emperor," with the presence of director Matt Tyrnauer. Other directors in person were: David Silberberg ("Oh My God! It's Harrod Blank!"), Marcia Jarmel ("Speaking in Tongues"), Jonathan Joiner ("Claiming the Title: Gay Olympians on Trial"), Shane Williamson ("Teen Truth") Jon Wilkman (Closing Night's "Chicano Rock! The Sounds of East Los Angeles"). The festival also launched the Society's new Compassion for Humanity Initiative, an on-going educational campaign to educate and promote social consciousness, social justice and humanity through film.

Open Official Site


August 2009

The Beaches of Agnes

Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 1:00PM - 9:00PM
Stockton Empire Theatre 1825 Pacific Ave. Stockton, CA 95204

An illuminating World Cinema Series with new and award-winning films from France, a nation rich with cinematic tradition and stories of family, romance, friendship, cultural exchange, globalization, history, coming-of-age and ethical issues. French Cinema Day presented: two New French Shorts programs featuring the works of new directors; a special screening of Claude Miller's award-winning drama "A Secret"; and the 2009 French Academy Award-winning film "The Beaches of Agnés" - the magnificent autobiography of Agnés Varda - as the Spotlight Film.

Open Official Site


July 2009

Beau Jest

Sunday, July 19, 2009 at 1:00PM - 9:00PM
Stockton Empire Theatre 1825 Pacific Ave. Stockton, CA 95204

A World Cinema Series featuring new works from American and International filmmakers, sharing contemporary Jewish culture, history and experiences. Four captivating screenings showcased three feature films and one shorts program, with eclectic stories of family, romance, friendship, cultural exchange, globalization, history, coming-of-age, and ethical issues. Jewish Cinema Day finished with the Northern California Premiere of the unforgettable Spotlight Film James Sherman's "Beau Jest," starring Lainie Kazan!

Open Official Site


July 14, 2009

Margaret K. Troke Library, Stockton

Presented by the Adult Service Committee of the Stockton San Joaquin County Public Library: "Create: Imagine the Possibilities." Experience a fascinating and intimate conversation - along with surprises - with Sophoan Sorn, the Creator of SJFS. Free Event.



May 2009

Marcello Marcello

Cherry Blossoms

Para Asia


May 14 to 24, 2009

Screening venues: Bob Hope (Fox) Theatre, the Stockton Empire Theatre, The Haggin Museum, Faye Spanos Concert Hall and Pacific Theatre at University of the Pacific, and the Matinée Movie Lounge

The 2nd San Joaquin International Film Festival (SJIFF2), the flagship annual exhibition of the San Joaquin Film Society took place May 14 to 24, 2009, with a glorious world showcase of 21 feature-length films and 101 short films from 40 countries. SJIFF2 opened with the red carpet Northern California Premiere of "Marcello Marcello" at the Bob Hope Theatre with Italian actor Francesco Mistichelli in person. Mistichelli was honored that evening with the Film Society's inaugural Discovery Award. Fran Borgia's unforgettable short film "Para Asia" screened before the Opening Night film. Indie Animation King Bill Plympton screened his latest film "Idiots and Angels," taught a Master Class and was honored with the Film Society's inaugural El Dorado Award. Rising star Maiara Walsh graced the festival at the screening of her first feature film "Lullabye Before I Wake," while engaging the audience in a winsome Q&A. The distinguished jury honored seven films, including "Cherry Blossoms" by Germany's leading director Doris Dörrie for Best Narrative Feature and Jim Granato's "D Tour" for Best Documentary Feature. The multi-layered, Austrian music drama "Universalove" by Thomas Woschitz captivated the festival as its Centerpiece. Stockton-born filmmaker Jason Turner premiered "Veer," his vibrant film on bicycle culture. Other festival favorites included the Annecy winner "Sita Sings the Blues" by gifted animator Nina Paley, the Filipino blockbuster "Baler" from Mark Meily, the music doc "The Young Romantic: A Portrait of Yundi Li" from Barbara Willis Sweete. Animania, a special focus on the endless world of animation and animated cinema, brought fourth two extraordinary short series and a Family Festival at The Haggin Museum that featured Annie Award-nominated Joaquin Baldwin, local artists, educational conversations, and hands-on activities and crafts for kids of all ages! The festival brought the world’s most celebrated short films and latest cinematic discoveries in A World of Shorts. 14 collections of short films curated by Sophoan Sorn featured winners of the Festival de Cannes Palm d’Or to Academy Awards and Sundance honorees. Many films were national, continental or world premieres. This diverse collection features the work of film veterans, cinema visionaries, student filmmakers, and new directors from over 30 nations. The festival closed with an emotional screening of "Like Dandelion Dust" based on the best-selling novel by Karen Kingsbury, starring Mira Sorvino and Barry Pepper, directed by Jon Gunn, produced by brothers Bobby and Kevin Downes. Gunn, in attendance, was honored with the Film Society's inaugural Independent Award.

Open Festival Website


March - April 2009

March 5 and 12 and April 1 and 2, 2009

at the Matinée Movie Lounge

The Cinema Room program focused on films on African experiences. It opened on March 5th at the Matinée with the Valley Premiere of the multiple award-winning film "Kassim the Dream," from Executive Producer Forest Whitaker and Director Kief Davidson. (more details) On March 12th was the presentation of Laurent Salgues' "Dreams of Dust" (more details). The My Africa programmed on April 1st presented "The Power of Art: Women Voices in Africa" (details) and "Anita's Africa." On April 2nd, Cinema Room welcomed the six award-winning short films from the 2008 San Joaquin International Film Festival.

open cinema room site


February 2009

Days and Clouds

Cinema Italia

February 21 to 23, 2009

at the Stockton Empire Theatre

Cinema Italia, an SJFS World CInema Series, featured the works of gifted new Italian directors. Opening Night featured the announcement of the first 100 films of May 2009's San Joaquin International Film Festival, along with edible treats and a presentation of Silvio Soldini's "Days and Clouds." Three feature films and six short films lit up the exciting program, sharing stories of family, immigration, romance, friendship, cultural exchange, the economy, history, coming-of-age, sports and ethical issues. Il Film Corto Italian Discovery Programme showcased a rare and riveting collection of short films making their North American, USA and California premieres. New Italian director Andrea Lodovichetti was in attendance. Ferzan Ozpetek's celebrated "Facing Windows" touched many hearts on a rainy Sunday afternoon, while the multi-cultural music film "The Orchestra of Piazza Vittorio" from Agostino Ferrente closed the festival with a bang.

Open Official Site

February 20, 2009 | 7:30PM

Presented by the San Joaquin Film Society and the Pacific Italian Alliance, an exclusive VIP reception welcomed new Italian director, Andrea Lodovichetti, the special guest artist at Cinema Italia, at the private residence of Mr. and Mrs. Basso.


January 2009

Azur and Asmar


January 16 to 18, 2009

at the Stockton Empire Theatre

The Film Society introduced the international 2009 San Joaquin Children's Film Festival, a new film festival for kids of all ages. Opening Night featured the California Premiere of the English language version of "Azur and Asmar: The Prince's Quest," a new film by the acclaimed, French animator Michael Ocelot. A unique, vibrant and dynamic collection of 21 feature and short films from around the world included the vibrant award-winning documentaries "Darius Goes West" and "Going on 13." The memorable World of Shorts collection of 18 shorts included Student Oscar® winner "Zoologic," "His Good Will" and "Papiroflexia." These 21 films have screened at over 300 festivals around the world, collectively. Kids of all ages were inspired through the Young Filmmakers' Workshop, engaged in the Young Actor's Studio with San Joaquin actress Brieanne Jansen, and welcomed directors Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and Dawn Valadez of "Going on 13" on Closing Night.

Open Official Site


December 2008

December 11, 2008
Holiday Film: "CAROL'S JOURNEY"

at the Stockton Empire Theatre at 7:00PM

A special, holiday screening of Imanol Uribe's "Carol's Journey," winner of the Crystal Bear at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival. A preview of the 2009 San Joaquin Children's Film Festival opened the show.

More Information


November 2008

November 24 and 25, 2008

at the Pacific Theatre at University of the Pacific

Presented by Pacific's International Programs and Services. Selected films, curated by SJFS, from SJIFF08 were: "Vanaja"; "To Touch the Soul"; "Kuna Ni Nanang"; "Overnight, A Rose"; "Edmund"; "Hero, Wings Are Not Necessary to Fly."

More Information


June 2008

Nonnas Trip

The Clown and the Fuehrer

Love and Dance

June 4 to 8, 2008

Screening venues: Bob Hope (Fox) Theatre, the Stockton Empire Theatre, The Haggin Museum, Faye Spanos Concert Hall and Pacific Theatre at University of the Pacific, and the Matinée Movie Lounge

Making History was the theme of the inaugural Festival, with its bold collection of 54 films from 18 countries, with many events across the city of Stockton, California. The Spotlight on Latin Cinema included the Opening Night film "El Viaje de La Nonna / Nonna's Trip." In a unique partnership with The Haggin Museum, "Celebrate! Mexico" Family Festival vibrantly celebrated arts, music, film, dance and crafts for children and adults. The Spotlight on Jewish Cinema celebrated the 60th Anniversary of Israel. Co-presented with the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival and the Consulate General of Israel Pacific Northwest, the program showcased the Israel Academy Award-winning documentary "Souvenirs" and the Closing Night film "Love and Dance." Other showcased films were the American Indie "The Garage" by Carl Thibault, John Sayles' "Honeydripper" starring Danny Glover, and Steve McClure's "Rain Falls from Earth" featuring narration by Sam Waterston. Opening Night Party grand opened the restored sky terrace at the historic Hotel Stockton. Two short films from the Youth Video Vision project, "Saving San Joaquin" and "Stage Left," premiered. Valley-born director Erahm Christopher was honored with the inaugural Ambassador Award; and Emmy-winner Almudena Carracedo was honored with the inaugural Spirit of Humanity Award with her film "Made in L.A." An international jury panel selected: "The Clown and the Führer" as Best Narrative Feature; "To Touch the Soul" as Best Documentary; "The Golden Voice" as Best Narrative Short, "My Mother Said" as Best Documentary Short, "My Happy End" as Best Animated Short; "The Drift" as Best Experimental Short; "Aquarium" as Best Student Short; and "The Piano Lesson" as Best Local Short. The San Joaquin Film Society wishes to thank the Stockton Arts Commission for being the first funding partner of this project through the City of Stockton's Endowment for the Arts grant.

Open Official Site


March 2008

March 27, 2008

At the Bechtel International Center, University of the Pacific

Sponsored by the Bechtel International Center and The Jacoby Center at Pacific, this event brought together the community in an engaging event to announce the latest of the San Joaquin International Film Festival and the first 40 films of the Official Selections. This celebration opened with dance performances by Los Danzantes del Puerto Ballet Folklorico and a stirring rendition of the USA National Anthem by Gabriel Castellanos. Remarks were given by Pacific's Provost Dr. Phillip Gilbertson; Dr. Robert Benedetti, Dr. David Schmidt, and Festival Founder Sophoan Sorn. The audience took part in a Q&A session with festival organizers.


October 2007

October 19, 2007

at the Bob Hope (Fox) Theatre

Founder Sophoan Sorn publicly announces the inaugural San Joaquin Film Festival to the arts and cultural community at this special event.




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