The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution dedicated to presenting the best of independent, documentary, and world cinema; promoting 21st century literacy; and making film a vibrant part of the community. Housing a state-of-the-art theater complex, a 27,000 square-foot Media Arts Lab, and a residence for international filmmakers, the JBFC campus provides opportunities for people of all ages to discover, explore, and learn through the power of film, media and 21st-century technology.
Since we opened our doors to the public in 2001, more than a million people from the tri-state area have come here to see over 4,500 films from every corner of the globe. Over 65,000 students in grades 3-12 and college have participated in our education programs, more than 50% of them from underserved communities throughout the tri-state area. Their participation, including transportation, is funded entirely by the JBFC, thanks in part to support from individuals, foundations, and corporations.
The JBFC Theater houses three screens and is open to the public 365 days a year. Exhibitions include first-run independent features, previews, classic films, and documentaries from around the world. Each month, we present two to four curated series including annual and monthly programs, as well as special one-time events and retrospectives on important film artists. More than 150 directors, actors, authors, scholars, and other remarkable guests come to speak with our audience each year.
The JBFC presents a number of popular annual and monthly series including "Global Watch," a documentary series dealing with human rights and social justice; "German Cinema;" "The Wide World of Animation," exploring the vitality of the medium from classic cartoons to the avant garde; "Dance on Camera;" "Classic Italian Cinema;" "FrameWorks," dedicated to the visual arts; "Westchester Jewish Film Festival;" "Jazz Sessions;" and "Rarely Seen Cinema" curated by filmmaker and JBFC Board member, Jonathan Demme.
The JBFC is a leader in the international movement to raise a generation of students equipped and inspired to express themselves using visual and aural media. All of our programs are grounded in 21st century literacy skills. As communication and technology continue to evolve, it is vital that we provide students of all ages with the skills and tools needed to fully participate, engage, and succeed in a global society. Programs take place in schools, in after-school settings, at our campus in Pleasantville, and at community organizations throughout the region. Virtually every school district in Westchester County takes advantage of our offerings, with more than 50% of the participating students coming from underserved communities.
We offer classes for students of all ages at our Media Arts Lab, a 27,000-square foot building down the street from the JBFC Theater. Housing an animation suite, a fully equipped sound stage, recording studio, workshop space, 60-seat screening room, and 16 editing suites, the Media Arts Lab is a hub for national and international learning. Classes are held after school, in the evening, on weekends, during the summer, and during school vacations. Programs range from film and new media production to claymation – each course helping students master the tools of 21st century communication while fostering intellectual curiosity and creative exploration. A portion of enrollment in every class offered at the Media Arts Lab is reserved for scholarship students. In our work with schools and community organizations throughout Westchester, we fully subsidize the participation costs of over 6,000 students from underserved districts each year, while serving as a model for K-12 education nationally.
Family Films and Matinees for Seniors are just a few of the outreach programs that we offer throughout the year. We also give hundreds of complimentary tickets to local nonprofit groups. We have developed strategic partnerships with a wide range of community organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs of Mt. Vernon and Northern Westchester; Ossining Children’s Center; Carver Center, Port Chester; RSHM LIFE Center, Sleepy Hollow; Coachman Family Center, White Plains: CLUSTER, Yonkers; Elm Street Neighborhood Center, Yonkers; Pleasantville Cottage School; Little School at Hawthorne Cedar Knolls; Chappaqua Summer Scholarship Program for Bronx students, and the BOCES Incarcerated Youth Program.