The best of international cinema will return to Miami when the Miami Jewish Film Festival (MJFF) takes over the city for its 18th year, bringing 74 films from 20 countries, and 50 filmmakers and special guests, including Nancy Spielberg, Bill Morrison, and Lacey Schwartz. MJFF, the largest Jewish cultural event in Florida, has announced a line-up of films to be screened and events to be celebrated from January 15-29, 2015, featuring 11 North American Premieres, 18 Florida Premieres, 13 Miami Premieres, and 2 Academy award entries.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with this year’s Festival program,” said Igor Shteyrenberg, Director of the Miami Jewish Film Festival. “Its diversity and artistic uniqueness will delight, surprise, and reward those who share our passion for exploring cinema in all its forms.”
The Festival opens with the Florida Premiere of the black comedy, Mr. Kaplan, Uruguay’s official entry to the Oscars’ best foreign-language film category, and will close with the Florida Premiere of The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films. The film is an affectionate and dazzling tribute to Menachem Golan & Yoram Globus, and their famous filmmaking empire that changed the face of Hollywood and film world forever.
In an effort to expand its focus and continue to remain challenging and provocative, MJFF will host acclaimed experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison, who will discuss and present a selection of films from his collaboration with composer Michael Gordon. Included are City Walk, Light Is Calling, East River, Who By Water, Every Stop on the F Train, and Gene Takes a Drink, culminating with the Florida Premiere of their new film, All Vows. Accompanying several of the short films will be live musical performances by the New World Symphony.
MJFF has also announced the launch of New Voices in Jewish Cinema, a new program created this year featuring some of the best emerging talents in film. Among them are Talya Lavie’s highly acclaimed Zero Motivation, the Berlin Film Festival winner Anywhere Else, the North American Premiere of A Match Made in Heaven, and Mad Men scribe Victor Levin’s debut film, 5 To 7.
A curated Spotlight on German Cinema highlights The Decent One, winner of the Best Documentary Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival, and the North American Premieres of The Grüninger File, a spellbinding true story about “the Oscar Schindler of the Swiss-German border region,” and Radical Evil, from Oscar-winning filmmaker Stefan Ruzowitzky (The Counterfeiters). Also featured are the Florida Premieres of The Last Mentsch, Farewell Herr Schwarz, Hanna’s Journey, the East Coast Premiere of Brundibár, and the Miami Premiere of Run Boy Run.
New this year is a special A Night at the Drive-In event, which will present the Florida Premiere of Another World, the first action sci-fi movie ever filmed in Israel. The Festival will also screen a showcase of some of the best international short films in a free outdoor screening under the stars.
Among the special guests that will be attending is Nancy Spielberg, who will premiere her new film, Above & Beyond, about a ragtag band of WWII pilots who volunteer to fight for Israel in the War of Independence. Also attending will be filmmaker Lacey Schwartz, who will present the Florida Premiere of her debut film, Little White Lie, and participate in a panel discussion focusing on issues of race and identity.
Other notable films at this year’s Festival include Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (Israel’s official entry to the Oscar’s best foreign-language film category), the North American Premiere of In Silence, a visually stunning and emotionally devastating film that celebrates the musicians whose lives were lost in the Holocaust, and Florida Premieres of Night Will Fall, In Hiding, and the North American Premiere of Metamorphosis of a Melody, which will be complemented by a live Chorale performance.
Ticket sales begin in early December and continue through the Festival, and patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets online. In addition to $13 single tickets, MJFF will be offering full Festival passes for $220. More information is available at www.miamijewishfilmfestival.org and by calling 305-573-7304.
Follow the Miami Jewish Film Festival on Facebook (/miamijewishfilmfestival) or Twitter (@MiamiJFF) for updates with the latest information about the Festival and attending filmmakers. Join the conversation using the hashtag #mjff18 on social media.
The Miami Jewish Film Festival is a program of the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE), a subsidiary of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.