Israeli director Amos Gitai ("Kippur") will be honored by the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival with its Freedom of Expression Award, the event has announced. Gitai will receive the honor at the historic Castro Theatre on July 23 for being a "leader in using contemporary independent film to expand notions of Jewish identity." In addition, the festival will screen his two newest films, the narrative feature "Free Zone," starring Hiam Abbass, Hanna Laslo and Natalie Portman and the documentary "News From Home"/"News From House." The 26th SFJFF will take place July 20 - August 7 in San Francisco, Berkeley, Mountain View and San Rafael. [Brian Brooks]