Important COVID-19 Update: Festival Postponed

We are disappointed to announce that, due to the uncertain conditions related to the COVID-19 crisis, this year’s Dr. Saul and Dorothy Kit Film Noir Festival will not be taking place as scheduled at the end of March. We will be rescheduling the event to a later date to be determined.


We would like to extend our gratitude to our invited lecturers – Vincent Brook, Ann Douglas, Noah Isenberg, and Steven J. Ross – as well as to the festival’s donor, Gordon Kit, for their support and understanding. We are grateful too to the archives and distributors who worked with us to put together the screening series.


We are currently working to process refunds for guests who purchased tickets. We appreciate your patience as we manage this process. If you have any questions, please contact


Thank you, again, for your support of the Kit Noir festival. We look forward to seeing you at the movies again soon.




Soheil Rezayazdi and Rob King

Festival Managers

School of the Arts

Columbia University



The Third Annual Dr. Saul and Dorothy Kit Film Noir Festival

Film Noir & the Jewish Experience: From WWII to the Blacklist

Programmed by Ann Douglas, Department of English and Comparative Literature
Managed by Rob King, Film & Media Studies and Soheil Rezayazdi, Columbia Film


The 2020 edition of the Kit Noir Festival pays homage to the role Jewish filmmakers played in the creation of film noir, and it showcases films that speak to the Jewish experience during a time of extreme political turmoil.


The festival will include films by émigré directors (Edgar G. Ulmer, Billy Wilder), films that address anti-Semitism (Crossfire) and World War II (Act of Violence, The Stranger), and films on the blacklist and the media (Scandal Sheet, Sweet Smell of Success). This year’s festival is guest-programmed by Ann Douglas, Professor Emerita of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. The lineup features 11 films released between 1945 and 1957, with a majority of titles screening on 35mm film.


Screenings will be accompanied by discussions featuring film scholars Ann Douglas, Noah Isenberg, Vincent Brook, and Steven J. Ross. All talks will be livestreamed for those who cannot attend in person. We look forward to seeing you at the Lenfest in March 2020!

This year's Kit Noir Film Festival has been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis. We're providing some links to help you get your noir fix in the meantime at home. Nearly all of the films we screened at our 2018 and 2019 festivals are available to stream or rent online. You'll find links to view the films here.


Wednesday, March 25, 7.30 pm 

"Violence and Visionary Pessimism: The Jewish Contribution to Film Noir," Keynote lecture by Ann Douglas, Columbia University

Thursday, March 26: Edgar G. Ulmer Double Bill

7.30 pm Detour

9.15 pm Ruthless

Introduced by Noah Isenberg, University of Texas at Austin

Friday, March 27

7:00pm: Crossfire 

8:55pm: Ace in the Hole

Saturday, March 28: World War II and the Holocaust
1:00 pm: The Spiral Staircase

3:30 pm: Act of Violence, followed by a lecture by Vincent Brook, UCLA

7:00 pm Notorious 

9:00 pm: The Stranger

Sunday, March 29: The Blacklist and the Media

1:00 pm: He Ran All the Way 

3:30 pm: "Kill the Hollywood Jews: The Prewar Origins of Film Noir," Lecture by Steven Ross, USC

5:30 pm: Scandal Sheet

8:00 pm: Sweet Smell of Success

This festival is funded by a generous gift from alumnus Gordon Kit (Columbia College ’76), in honor of his parents.


Trailer by Columbia College Alumni Sam Fentress CC '19 and Matthew Rivera CC '18.


For more information, contact


About Dr. Saul and Dorothy Kit


Born and raised in the early 1920's in the New York Metropolitan area, Dr. Saul Kit (Passaic, NJ) and Dorothy Anken Kit (Jackson Heights, Queens) were lovers of literature, theater and film. Dorothy, an interior decorator, wrote poetry and plays in her leisure time, and had a strong artistic bent, which included creating needlepoint designs based on famous works of art, as well as based on her own original designs, many of which were commissioned by her friends. A GI bill undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, Saul went on to receive his PhD in Biochemistry from Berkeley, the location of the birth of their oldest child Sally (Syracuse, Class of 1971). Saul carried out his post-doctoral studies at the University of Chicago, where his first son, Malon (Columbia School of Engineering, Class of 1973), was born. Suffering from the bitter cold winters of Chicago, Saul subsequently moved the family to the warmest place he could find a job, Houston, Texas, where his second son, Gordon (Columbia College, Class of 1976) was born. Saul’s extraordinary 35-year scientific career included important discoveries in cancer, virology, and vaccine research. He was Chief of the section of Nucleoprotein Metabolism in the Department of Biochemistry at M.D. Anderson Hospital, and later Professor and Head of the Division of Biochemical Virology at Baylor College of Medicine, both in Houston. Saul was a recipient of numerous research grants from various government and private organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and The American Cancer Society. For over 25 years he received a Research Career Award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In 1987, Saul, along with his son Malon, were honored with the Distinguished Inventor of the Year Award for developing the world's first genetically engineered vaccine to be licensed by the US government. Saul and Malon were granted numerous United States and International patents for their pioneering vaccine inventions, aided by their patent attorney son/brother, Gordon. Gordon’s generous gift to Columbia funds the film noir festival in honor of his parents.

Impact Stories

Film Noir Festival to Premiere at Columbia Following Generous Donation

Film Noir Festival to Premiere at Columbia Following Generous Donation

January 16, 2018

The inaugural Dr. Saul and Dorothy Kit Film Noir Festival, named after Kit’s parents (pictured below), has been established thanks to a $500,000 donation to the School of the Arts’ Film program.

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