Snitow-Kaufman Productions
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Snitow-Kaufman Productions was formed in 1993 to produce film, video and educational media for the general public on social issues from race relations to globalization. We are a non-profit, tax-exempt organization based in Berkeley, California.


New Release

In Production

"Drones in my Backyard"
2013, 13 minutes

Drones in My Backyard is a funny and scary video mash-up about the coming of aerial drones to the United States. One day a drone appears in the filmmaker’s backyard, hovering over his head. It’s the catalyst for an extended meditation and free association on the presence of drones in war-making, the role of drones in surveillance, and the thrill of flying when you put on goggles to see what the drone sees. Whether it’s the Predator, The Argus, or cute little Hummingbirds, drones of all shapes and sizes are flying to a rock and roll beat. We see them following us… and listen to the incessant buzzing of cameras overhead.

World Premiere: Mill Valley Film Festival, 2013

"Do Not Track"
2014, feature length

Do Not Track examines new threats to privacy in the digital age. We have come a long way from Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis’ concept of privacy as “the right to be let alone.” Today, with data aggregation, facial recognition, and location tracking, we live on a see-saw between a magical, frictionless world of connectivity on the one hand, and on the other, a dystopian, surveillance state in which privacy and anonymity are forbidden. Oil companies track the location of their environmental critics, Google and Facebook aggregate data on the intimate details of billions of people, the NSA taps into our Internet providers, and the government plans to use surveillance drones to watch our movements from 17,000 feet in the sky. What does this mean for free speech and dissent, for anonymity and freedom? Activists and scholars, tech leaders and hackers all weigh in as we confront one of the most urgent issues of our time.

In Distribution

"Between Two Worlds - The American Jewish Culture Wars"
2011, 70 minutes

Who speaks for a divided community at the crossroads? “Between Two Worlds” is a groundbreaking personal exploration of the community and family divisions that are redefining American Jewish identity and politics. The filmmakers’ own families are battlegrounds over loyalty to Israel, interpretations of the Holocaust, intermarriage, and a secret communist past. Filmed in the U.S. and Israel, this first person documentary begins with a near riot at a Jewish Film Festival in San Francisco, reveals the agonizing battle over divestment from Israel on a university campus, and shows the crackdown on dissent in Israel itself. “Between Two Worlds” has the exhilarating energy and fierce commitment of Jewish conversation itself.

For more information and the trailer: www.btwthemovie.org
To preview or purchase the film: www.bullfrogfilms.com
Institutional, community group, and home video rates available

Cine Golden Eagle Award
World Premiere: Toronto Jewish Film Festival, 2011
U.S. Premiere: IFC Theater, New York, 2011
In Competition: Jerusalem International Film Festival, 2011

“One of the best films I’ve ever seen about the contradictions of American Jewish life.”
—Peter Beinart

“Fascinating...provocative...candid...involving.”
—Critic’s Choice, Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

thirst documentary film

“Thirst”
2004, 62 minutes

Global corporations are rapidly buying up local water supplies. Communities suddenly lose control of their most precious resource. “Thirst”, a character-driven documentary with no narration, reveals how water is the catalyst for explosive community resistance to globalization. A piercing look at the conflict between public stewardship and private profit.
Shot in Bolivia, India, Japan and the USA.

Cine Golden Eagle Award
The Chris Award, Columbus International Film Festival
First Place, EarthVision Environmental Film Festival

clappingman“A provocative look at the current and upcoming water wars. After seeing ‘Thirst’, it will be hard to ever take water for granted.” – San Francisco Chronicle

"See this film and be inspired to act." Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute

With Companion Study Guide
PBS "P.O.V.", 2004
www.pbs.org/pov/thirst

To preview or purchase the film – www.bullfrogfilms.com
Institutional, community group, and home video rates available

Thirst, the book

Thirst: Fighting the Corporate Theft of Our Water

A Book By Alan Snitow & Deborah Kaufman, with Michael Fox. Jossey-Bass, an imprint of Wiley & Sons, 2007, Cloth, 275 pages

Beginning where the documentary film leaves off, Thirst investigates eight recent high-profile controversies over the corporate takeover of water in the United States and illuminates how and why ordinary people are fighting back both here and abroad. Engrossing and alarming, these character-based stories focus on citizen battles to maintain public control of local water systems and on struggles to challenge the bottled water industry.

2008 Nautilus Book Awards Gold Winner – Conscious Media/Journalism

“A riveting and engaging account.”
Carl Pope, Sierra Club

“Passionate…every American should read it.” Maude Barlow, United Nations Senior Advisor on Water

To purchase the book visit - www.amazon.com or
www.powells.com

ezekiels wheels

"Ezekiel’s Wheels”
2007, 15 minutes

Poet Shirley Kaufman gives a tour-de-force reading of her new work in the short film “Ezekiel’s Wheels”. The poem, a contemplation of loss, longing, and the nature of true seeing, was inspired by her experience of losing her sight. Emerging from eye surgery, Kaufman had visions like those of the exiled Biblical prophet Ezekiel. Apocalyptic fires in the sky, wheels within wheels, and a valley of bones are encountered on a journey that leads from destruction towards revelation. Kaufman, an American who has resided in Jerusalem since 1973, is the author of eight books of poetry, and is an award-winning translator.

World Premiere: Jerusalem Film Festival, 2007
U.S. Premiere: San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, 2007

For more information contact – secrets@igc.org

secrets of silicon valley

“Secrets of Silicon Valley”
2001, 60 minutes

A one hour documentary film revealing the hidden downsides of the Internet revolution. “Secrets” is also a funny and moving meditation on America’s love affair with technology. Told without narration, the film chronicles a tumultuous year in the lives of two young activists, Magda Escobar and Raj Jayadev, grappling with temporary work, the digital divide, toxic waste, and the growing gap between the haves and the have nots in the New Economy.

“‘Secrets of Silicon Valley’ is a hit.”
– The New York Times

With Companion Study Guide
PBS “Independent Lens”, 2001
To preview or purchase the film – www.bullfrogfilms.com
Institutional, community group, and home video rates available

blacks and jews

“Blacks and Jews”
1997, 85 minutes
Co-Produced with Bari Scott

An 85 minute feature length documentary film – made collaboratively by Jewish and Black filmmakers - examining key contemporary conflicts between the Black and Jewish communities. An invaluable tool for increasing mutual understanding and building coalitions for social justice, not just between Blacks and Jews, but among all groups.

"Provocative and absorbing...'Blacks and Jews' will undermine stereotypes, inspire discussion and help repair a wrongly damaged relationship." Roger Ebert

"This 85 minute film will ignite you!" Mandy Patinkin

With Companion Study Guide
Sundance Film Festival, 1997
PBS “P.O.V”, 1997
www.newsreel.org/films/blacks.htm

Ambivalent Allies publicity still photo of Bari Scott, Alan Snitow and David

“Blacks and Jews: Ambivalent Allies”
1994, Four 1 hour shows
Co-Produced with Bari Scott and KPFA/Pacifica Radio

A four hour radio series looking at ethnic identity, stereotypes, racism and anti-Semitism, the Civil Rights Movement, and the potential future cooperation and conflict between the two ethnic groups. A cultural journey through music, storytelling, poetry and interviews throughout the U.S. With Cornel West, Michael Lerner, Henry Louis Gates, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Anna Deavere Smith, Steven Spielberg, and Patricia Williams.

Available from Pacifica Program Service – 800-735-0230

 


whoweare

“Snitow and Kaufman bring a fair-minded skepticism to everything they film.” – The New Yorker

alan
deborah

alan snitow

Alan Snitow's films include the award-winning "Between Two Worlds," "Thirst", "Secrets of Silicon Valley", and "Blacks and Jews." Snitow was a producer at the top-rated KTVU-TV News, the Bay Area Fox affiliate, for 12 years. Before that, he was the News Director for eight years at the Bay Area’s Pacifica Radio station, KPFA-FM, winning the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Gold Award for Best Local Newscast. Snitow was a Board member of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, the Film Arts Foundation, and President of the Board of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. He is currently a Board member of the California Media Collaborative, and a member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. He is a graduate of Cornell University.

deborah kaufman

Deborah Kaufman's films include the award-winning "Between Two Worlds," "Thirst", "Secrets of Silicon Valley", and "Blacks and Jews." She founded and for 13 years was Director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the first and largest independent Jewish film showcase in the world. Kaufman has been a Board member of the California Council for the Humanities and Amnesty International USA. She has been a consultant, programmer, lecturer, and activist with a variety of human rights, multicultural and media arts organizations. Kaufman is a graduate of University of California Hastings College of the Law and a member of the California Bar.

 


donate

Snitow-Kaufman Productions, a 501c3 tax-exempt organization, is supported by foundation grants, public funding, and individual donations. All contributions are tax-deductible. Past funders have included: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Ford Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, The Park Foundation, The Panta Rhea Foundation, The California Council for the Humanities, and the Fund for Documentary Film of the Foundation for Jewish Culture.

Contributions of any size are welcome and will be acknowledged. Make checks payable to “Snitow-Kaufman Productions” and send to: Snitow-Kaufman Productions, 2600 10th St. #603, Berkeley, CA 94710.

Snitow-Kaufman Productions
2600 10th St. #603
Berkeley CA 94710 USA
Tel: 510-841-1068
Fax: 510-841-9141
Email: secrets@igc.org
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