Festival Director Profile


© Barak Shrama
© Barak Shrama

Cambodian-American Sophoan Sorn was born in 1985 in a refugee camp on the border of Cambodia and Thailand. He and his family emigrated to the US in 1991, and he became a naturalized US citizen in 1999.

He is an executive director and program curator of contemporary film festivals. He is currently in his 10th season as Director of San Francisco's Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, presented by the Goethe-Institut San Francisco. The 24th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival will run February 7-13, 2020 in San Francisco. He also directs the San Joaquin International Film Festival (SJIFF), which he founded in 2008, and will have its 11th anniversary edition in 2020.

Since 2008, his exuberant leadership, curatorial experience, and community and international industry connections have produced film festivals that have welcomed over 500 motion pictures from over 50 countries around the world to audiences of over 200,000 people in Northern California and beyond.

His curatorial specialties are the current cinemas of German-speaking countries. An avid cinéaste, he watches over 500 films per year, and attends major international film festivals, including the Berlinale, Cannes, and Sundance. He studied at San Francisco's Academy of Arts University and has traveled to 70 countries around the world.