The Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center is more than a movie theater, it is a gathering place for our community to come together around engaging conversations, it is a classroom for thousands of Bay Area students, and it is the home of the Mill Valley Film Festival and DocLands Documentary Film Festival.

When we had to shutter the Smith Rafael Film Center doors in March, we did not know what that would mean for our community. We moved quickly to pivot our programs online ensuring that we could still fulfill our mission and enrich our community with vital film and education programs.

As we head into the final weeks of 2021, we need your help covering a portion of the costs of the Rafael being closed for so many months.

Our goal is to raise $100,000 to support the expenses of operating the Rafael through the end of the year and to ensure the theater’s limited, gradual, and safe reopening.

Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to CFI today.

Your support will help bridge this gap ensuring the sustainability of the California Film Institute and keep the lights shining brightly on this historic community arthouse theater for years to come.

To donate by phone, please contact Liana Bender, Director of Development: [email protected] or (707) 363-5403, or you can mail a check payable to “California Film Institute” 1001 Lootens Place, Suite 220, San Rafael, CA 94901. Staff with essential duties are checking mail weekly.


If you would like to join a culturally involved community of members, please contact [email protected] | (415) 526-5869.

For current sponsorship packages that are customized to meet marketing, advertising and sales objectives, please contact Beau Blanchard, Corporate Development Manager, [email protected] | (310) 367-7331.

If you would like to support through a private or family foundation, please contact Liana Bender at [email protected] | (707) 363-5403.

If you would like to strengthen the future of the California Film Institute and are considering making a legacy gift, please contact Liana Bender, Director of Development, [email protected] | (707) 363-5403.

The California Film Institute’s Federal Tax ID is 94-2498062