Sandi DuBowski is a filmmaker and writer based in New York.
He is the Producer of A Jihad for Love, directed by Parvez Sharma, about the global struggle of Islam and homosexuality. A Jihad for Love had a World Premiere at The 2007 Toronto International Film Festival, a European launch at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival as the Opening Film of Panorama Dokumente, and a U.S. theatrical release with First Run Features which launched in May 2008 at IFC Center. The film features stories from Iran, Egypt, Turkey, France, Pakistan, South Africa, and India and is a co-production with France-Germany’s ZDF-Arte, LOGO, UK’s Channel 4, Australia’s SBS, Realise, The Katahdin Foundation, and The Sundance Documentary Fund. It has been featured on Al-Arabiya, CNN, BBC News, Daily Star Egypt, The Guardian, NPR: Talk of the Nation, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.
DuBowski is the Director/Producer of Trembling Before G-d which was in theatrical release in the United States, Israel, Canada, Germany, UK, and South Africa (in the U.S. with New Yorker Films). Trembling Before G-d was launched at New York's Film Forum to incredible audience, critical, and box office response and opened in over 80 U.S. cities. Trembling had a World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and has been the recipient of twelve awards including The Teddy Award for Best Documentary at the Berlin Film Festival, The Mayor's Prize for the Jewish Experience at the Jerusalem Film Festival, The GLAAD Media Award for Best Documentary, The Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at OUTFEST Los Angeles, and The Council on Foundations Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film and Media. The film was nominated for the Independent Spirit Awards for the IFC/Directv Truer Than Fiction Award. The L.A. Weekly named it one of the 10 Best Films of the Year. It was broadcast on BBC, ARTE, Israel's Keshet/Channel Two, The Sundance Channel, HBO Latin America, Australia's ABC, Poland's Canal Plus, Canada's The Documentary Channel, and other TV stations. An estimated 8 million people saw the film 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 among other print and media outlets.
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. Since then, DuBowski has traveled to 100 cities around the world to conduct over 800 dialogues and events with 200,000 individuals across faith, sexuality, age, racial, and Jewish denominational lines. Steven Spielberg's Righteous Persons Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, The Creative Capital Foundation and other foundations awarded Greenberg and DuBowski seed funding to launch an Orthodox Community Education Project in the U.S., Israel and the U.K. with the film (already eighteen 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. 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. It is included on the Trembling Before G-d DVD, which contains three hours of original films about the making of the movie and its movement, and was nominated for Best Documentary DVD of 2003 by the International Press Academy. In August 2007, DuBowski launched www.filmsthatchangetheworld.com. Its first initiative was to spotlight, share and landmark the 5th Anniversary Celebration of Trembling on the Road by engaging 10,000 people through global house parties and online events. He will launch another series of global DVD house parties with multiple films in Spring 2009.
DuBowski has begun directing a new film, Soul Trainer, featuring Amichai Lau-Lavie.
DuBowski is a recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation's Film/Video/Multimedia Fellowship. In addition, his work has received support from Skywalker Sound - a division of Lucas Digital, Ltd. as well as over sixty foundations including The Creative Capital Foundation, The Steven Spielberg Righteous Persons Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, Artslink, The Jerome Foundation, The Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media, The H. van Ameringen Foundation, and The National Foundation for Jewish Culture's Fund for Jewish Documentary Filmmaking.
DuBowski has spoken on numerous panels at conferences and festivals - The Toronto International Film Festival, The Sundance Film Festival, The Berlin Film Festival Talent Campus, The Sheffield Documentary Film Festival, The Hot Docs Film Festival, BritDoc, Silverdocs, AIDC (The Australian International Documentary Conference), Doc Summit New Zealand, The Creative Capital Foundation, Prague’s One World International Human Rights Film Festival, International Documentary Association, Greenhouse, ShowBiz Expo, The Open Society Institute, numerous film schools from Sao Paulo to Johannesburg, and IFP. He is a Consultant for The Good Pitch at Silverdocs, a new initiative for a selected group of filmmakers to pitch both their film and its associated outreach campaign to an invited audience of participants, comprising foundations, NGOs, campaigners, advertising agencies, brands and media in order to maximize their impact. He was selected to be an International Mentor for Crossover Australia, a multi-disciplinary initiative that hosts a week-long lab for the nation’s leading film directors, theater directors, new media and video game producers. Peter Broderick and DuBowski have teamed up to lead two-day workshops on film funding, distribution, online platforms, outreach and audience engagement – their first one is a special program of Docaviv, Israel’s leading documentary film festival. He has served on juries for Silverdocs, The 10th Anniversary Hamptons Film Festival, The IFP/ Independent Feature Project’s Fledgling Fund Award for Socially Conscious Documentaries, The National Foundation for Jewish Culture, The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (The Webby Awards), The Council on Foundations Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film and Media, and the McKnight Filmmaking Fellowship. He has written for Filmmaker Magazine, The Huffington Post, and International Documentary Magazine.
DuBowski was selected to participate in ReBoot: A Network in Jewish Innovation, The Rockwood Leadership Program's Art of Leadership, and The Conversation at the Aspen Institute. 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.