Ilya Tovbis became the director of the Washington Jewish Film Festival Director in September 2012. He has extensive programming experience in both the Jewish and broader film worlds, having previously worked with the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF), The Picture House, The JCC of NY’s Israel Film Center and the Mill Valley Film Festival.
Prior to coming on as the WJFF Director, Ilya was the Director of Programming at The Picture House, a historic arthouse cinema located in Southern Westchester. The theater annually attracted over 25,000 people to a varied selection of programming with a focus on international, documentary and independent film.Complementing an ongoing series of theatrical runs, the cinema routinely hosted in-depth panels, filmmaker Q&As and community screenings.
Before his tenure with The Picture House, Ilya worked at two of the nation’s most prestigious Jewish film programs — the SFJFF and The JCC in Manhattan’s Israel Film Center (IFC). The SFJFF is the country’s oldest and largest Jewish Film Festival, while the IFC is the preeminent US body focused on the promotion of Israeli cinema.