Comedian, actor, and activist Rain Pryor headlines the new San Luis Obispo Jewish Film and Learning Festival on Saturday, March 11 at the Palm Theatre. Her talk will be followed by a showing of her documentary, That Daughter’s Crazy.

Pryor was raised bi-racial and Jewish in Beverly Hills as the daughter of legendary comedian Richard Pryor. She uses humor to provide insight into how intersectionality has defined her role as an author (Jokes My Father Never Taught Me, 2005) and writer/producer of her one woman show, Fried Chicken and Latkes.

This year’s festival, a collaboration between the long-established SLO Jewish Film Festival and the Cal Poly Jewish Festival of Learning, includes guest speakers, a panel discussion, and a history-based exhibit at the Kennedy Library. All events are free and open to the public.

A tradition of the festival has been the presentation of movies from around the world that celebrate the wide range of Jewish experience. A showing of five award-winning short films will be held Sunday, March 12 at 10 a.m., also at the Palm Theatre, followed by a filmmaker Q&A.

Sunday afternoon, Jews of the Wild West, a new documentary, spotlights the role that Jewish pioneers played in American expansion. Following the film, Director Amanda Kinsey will discuss with a local historian how a handful of determined Jewish families set their roots on the Central Coast.

“The Festival of Learning is only a few years old,” according to Hillel Executive Director Lauren Bandari. “Uniting with the established Jewish Film Festival into one wonderful learning experience is exactly what should happen.”

Muara C. Johnston, director of the SLO Jewish Film Festival, agrees. “We could not be happier with this partnership. It is an opportunity to reach a wider community audience and impact the students at the university.”

The SLO Jewish Film and Learning Festival is supported by JCC Federation of SLO, Hillel, the City of San Luis Obispo, Certified Auto Repair, and other sponsors and volunteers.