Filmmaker, 'Trembling Before G-d'
Sandi DuBowski is the Director/Producer of Trembling Before G-d, which had a World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and Berlin Film Festival, received twelve awards, released theatrically in the United States, Israel, Canada, Germany, South Africa, and UK and is airing on BBC, The Sundance Channel, ZDF-Arte, Israel’s Keshet, PBS "America ReFramed," HBO Latin America, Australia’s ABC, Poland's Canal Plus, and other TV stations worldwide. Feature stories on the project have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Filmmaker Magazine, The Jerusalem Post, The Globe and Mail, CNN, and BBC News.
DuBowski has conducted over 800 live events with the film across the globe and the film has been seen by over 9 million people. At the World Premiere of Trembling at the Sundance Film Festival, director DuBowski and Rabbi Steve Greenberg, the first openly gay Orthodox rabbi, hosted the first-ever Shabbat at Sundance and with partner Working Films, an unprecedented Mormon-Jewish gay dialogue. DuBowski and Rabbi Greenberg launched an Orthodox Community Education Project in the U.S., Israel and the U.K. with the film (already over 25 Orthodox synagogues have invited the film to screen). They trained 11 facilitators in Jerusalem who held screenings and led dialogues for 2,000 principals, teachers, school counselors and therapists across the nation, breaking the taboo on discussing the issue of homosexuality in the country's Orthodox (and secular) school systems. They conducted a Public Screenings International Tour engaging Jewish leaders, families, and communities in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Canada, Israel, UK, Germany, Holland, South Africa, Australia, Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, and Czech Republic. And they convened the first Orthodox Mental Health Conference on Homosexuality. DuBowski created Trembling on the Road, a dramatic 40-minute featurette that captures the dialogues, protests, and reactions - poignant, funny, angry, inspiring - of Trembling Before G-d's life-changing movement around the world for the DVD. He launched www.filmsthatchangetheworld.com to engage people through film and global events. Its first initiative was to spotlight, share and landmark the 5th Anniversary Celebration of Trembling on the Road by engaging people through global house parties and online events. In 2006, the Conservative Jewish movement, in part catalyzed by Trembling Before G-d, changed the law for the first time in history and commenced ordaining openly gay and lesbian rabbis and allowing same-sex marriage. In 2012, the movement fully endorsed same-sex marriage in Jewish law.
Before Trembling Before G-d, DuBowski directed an award-winning short, Tomboychik, which received the Golden Gate Award for Best Short Documentary at The San Francisco International Film Festival, was broadcast on WNET, and has screened at The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Rotterdam Film Festival, and The Jewish Museum's "Too Jewish?" show among other museums and festivals worldwide.
DuBowski is the Producer of A Jihad for Love, which premiered at The Toronto International Film Festival and The Berlin Film Festival, is a co-production with ZDF-Arte, Channel 4, LOGO, SBS-Australia, was funded by The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Cinereach, broadcast on India’s NDTV, and has screened publicly across the Muslim world in Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Egypt, and privately in Iran and Saudi Arabia and other countries. DuBowski is the Co-Producer of Budrus, which had a Gala Premiere at the Dubai Film Festival, and won multiple prizes including the Audience Award, 2nd Prize at The Berlin Film Festival, Audience Award at The San Francisco International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival Special Jury Prize, PUMA.Creative Impact Award, and The King Hussein Leadership Prize presented by Her Majesty Queen Noor. Budrus had a U.S. and UK theatrical release in Fall 2010.
DuBowski has been funded by numerous foundations including The Creative Capital Foundation, The Steven Spielberg Righteous Persons Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation Film/Video/Multimedia Fellowship, and The Walter & Elise Haas Fund. He is U.S. Outreach Director for The Good Pitch, which has featured over 90 documentaries, created over 600 partnerships with funders, non-profits, technology, UN, and brands, and raised over $8M for documentaries and campaigns. Some of the films he has worked on include The Interrupters, Hell and Back Again, The Invisible War, Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry, The Bully Project, A Small Act, Monica & David, The Island President, Detropia, Love Free or Die, An American Promise, Brooklyn Castle, Budrus, Solar Mamas, Crime After Crime, Cooked, Give Up Tomorrow, Gideon’s Army, God Loves Uganda, How to Survive A Plague, To Be Heard, and Out in the Silence.
He is a media strategist with The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, was a media strategist at The 2010 Skoll World Forum with The Sundance Institute DFP, attended TEDIndia, and was a Mentor at BAVC Producers Institute for New Media Technologies, Crossover Labs in Australia, and True/False Film Festival. He participated in The White House 21st Century Innovators and Communicators Summit Series. He has served on juries at Silverdocs, The Hamptons Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, and The Independent Feature Project (IFP). Peter Broderick and he lead Seize the Future workshops for filmmakers in partnership with Sheffield Doc/Fest and he speaks, consults, sits on panels, and leads workshops on turning movies into movements at Tribeca, Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, Sheffield, Silverdocs, IFP, and Docaviv. DuBowski signed with Keppler Associates, one of the country's largest agencies specializing in professional speaking engagements. He has been featured at Yale University, University of Chicago, Harvard University, and over 50 universities nationwide.
Over the past decade, DuBowski has been a part of a wave of innovative philanthropic initiatives that foster the next generation of Jewish leadership – Reboot, Selah and The Conversation at The Aspen Institute.