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 a director and program curator of contemporary film festivals. He is currently in his ninth season as Festival Director of San Francisco's Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, presented by the Goethe-Institut San Francisco. He also directs the San Joaquin International Film Festival (SJIFF), which he founded in 2008, and will have its 10th anniversary edition in 2018.

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 150,000 people in Northern California and beyond.

His curatorial specialties are the current cinemas of Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland. An avid cinéaste, he watches over 300 films per year, and attends major international film festivals, including the Berlinale, Cannes, and Sundance.

He received his education at Lodi Academy High School and San Joaquin Delta College in California's Central Valley, and San Francisco's Academy of Arts University. He enjoys traveling, piano playing, photography, running, and gardening.