Sophoan Sorn, 38, is a Cambodian-American film festival director, curator, and programmer. Born in a refugee camp in 1985, he emigrated to the US with his family in 1991. He is in his 13th season as Director of San Francisco’s Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, America’s leading festival of contemporary German cinema, which will present its 27th edition this March 23rd-27th, 2023.
He expanded Berlin & Beyond’s programming with the Autumn Showcase series, the Honolulu tour, the Career Achievement Award, the Spotlight Award in Acting, and the international Youth 4 German Cinema initiative, which celebrates its 10th Anniversary at the 2023 Festival.
Amidst the current COVID-19 global pandemic, he produced the virtual Berlin & Beyond in Focus (November 2020), the hybrid 25th Anniversary Berlin & Beyond Film Festival with drive-in, in-cinema, and virtual programming (May 25-June 6, 2021), the in-person Berlin & Beyond Autumn Showcase (November 15-17, 2021), and the return to the Castro Theatre for the 26th edition (March 11-16, 2022). The 2023 Festival will open a new era for the festival as the 27th edition (March 23-28, 2023) heads to San Francisco’s vibrant Mission District and the Rialto Cinemas Elmwood in Berkeley.
He was also the Founder and Director of 10 editions of the San Joaquin International Film Festival in Stockton.
Through the years, he has worked as a portrait photographer, documentary videographer, and graphic designer. He also studied cinematography at the Academy of Arts University, was a classically trained pianist, is an avid flower gardener, and has traveled to 80 countries around the world.