Peter Stein to step down as S.F. Jewish Film Fest head

After eight years on the job, Peter Stein will step down as executive director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival following this year’s festival. A filmmaker himself, Stein said he is departing in order to “begin the next chapter of my professional life, including a return to developing film and performance projects of my own.”

Stein joined the festival in 2003. Two years ago, the festival was included in IndieWire’s list of the top 50 film festivals worldwide, and among the 50 most innovative Jewish organizations in the U.S. by the Slingshot Fund.

His tenure was not without controversy. In 2009, a screening of a documentary about the late pro-Palestinian activist Rachel Corrie, and the inclusion of her mother on a follow-up panel, sparked outrage among many in the local Jewish community.

According to festival board President Dana Doron, Stein will continue to serve the festival as an adviser and consultant on selected projects, including a planned series of film conversations in partnership with the Contemporary Jewish Museum. A search committee to find a new executive director has been established.