The non-profit California Film Institute celebrates film as art and education through year-round programming at the non-profit independent CHRISTOPHER B. SMITH RAFAEL FILM CENTERpresentation of the acclaimed MILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL and DOCLANDS Documentary Film Festival, and cultivation of the next generation of film lovers and filmmakers through CFI EDUCATION programs.

Photo © Drew Altizer Photography


This beautifully restored, state-of-the-art, three-screen theater is one of few non-profit theaters in the United States. The venue exhibits independent documentary and narrative films, classics, retrospectives, features, international works and hosts special events with filmmakers from around the world year-round. The Film Center serves approximately 200,000 patrons annually.

Photo © Anita Su


Through innovative educational programs, 100 free annual screenings for school groups and their families, filmmaking workshops and a year-long cinema appreciation curriculum, CFI Education touches the lives of over 6,500 children annually through a broad range of activities, ranging from Q&A sessions with top international filmmakers to hands-on seminars with industry professionals CFI Education promotes tolerance and a sophisticated world view by expanding classroom topics across borders and disciplines.

Photo © Drew Altizer Photography


Founded in 1978 by California Film Institute director Mark Fishkin, the 11-day festival is held every October, screening over 200 innovative US and international films for over 60,000 film lovers. MVFF has established an impressive track record for launching new films and new filmmakers, and has earned a reputation as a filmmakers’ festival by offering a high-profile, prestigious, non-competitive environment for celebrating the best in independent and world cinema. The Mill Valley Film Festival is consistently rated one of the top film festivals in the nation.

THE CALIFORNIA FILM INSTITUTE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which relies on the generosity of its community to thrive.

Here are a few ways that you can support CFI:

Individual Giving
Become a Member
Corporate Sponsorship
Foundation Support

You can make a secure donation online by clicking on the donate button below or by contacting Liana Bender, Foundation and Individual Giving Director, at [email protected] or (415) 526-5838.

All donations to the California Film Institute are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.