Joan Micklin Silver, the acclaimed director of Crossing Delancey with Amy Irving, Hester Street with Carol Kane, and TV movies In the Presence of Mine Enemies and Hunger Point will be the filmmaker-in-residence at the 6th annual Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival, April 7-10, 2011.

Ms. Silver is currently in production on two documentaries, one tracing the history of the bagel and the other recounting the history of the Catskills, that great incubator of Jewish entertainers. In addition to her work in commercial film and television, Ms. Silver pursued a wide-ranging career in educational shorts, theater, and radio, opening the doors for others who were seen by movie studios as “outsiders.”

“We are delighted to bring an entertainment industry figure of the caliber of Joan Micklin Silver to Santa Barbara,” said SBJFF President Barbara Greenleaf. “She not only has a wealth of experience making films, but also a deep love and respect for her Jewish heritage that shines through her work.”

Silver will narrate a program of her own choosing, deliver the keynote address at Sunday Morning Live! and visit with patrons and donors throughout the four-day festival.

Joan Micklin Silver was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and received a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. After living in Cleveland she moved to New York, where she wrote and directed the award-winning documentary, The Immigrant Experience. When her success in live theater failed to bring her work in feature films, she decided to make her own. Her husband, Ray Silver, became her producer and raised the $400,000 necessary to make Hester Street, which went on to earn $5 million and garner a best screenplay Academy Award nomination for Silver and a best actress nomination for Kane. Seen worldwide by a diverse group of moviegoers, Hester Street sparked new interest in the lives of immigrant Jews.


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