17th annual Jewish Film Festival set to premiere 30 films

Miami's Community Newspapers
A scene from Israeli smash hit Hunting Elephants with Patrick Stewart
A scene from Israeli smash hit Hunting Elephants with Patrick Stewart

Expect the unexpected at the 17th annual Miami Jewish Film Festival (MJFF), a program of the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE), with an exciting showcase of films, including Academy Award entries and 30 world, North American, and Florida premieres. The festival is Jan. 23 through Feb. 3.

“We are proud to share these films with our community, whose stories open the eyes and ignite our hearts,” said MJFF director Igor Shteyrenberg. “In this revitalizing year for MJFF, we hope to continue to grow and inspire new audiences through the power of film to effect change in attitude, opinion, and cultural understanding.”

MJFF kicks off its festival week with the opening night screening of When Comedy Went to School, which shines a light on legendary comedians Jerry Lewis, Woody Allen, Jerry Seinfeld, amongst many other icons. The opening night celebration also will include a gala reception featuring live music, savory food provided by Miami’s finest restaurants, and complimentary drinks courtesy of L’Chaim Kosher Vodka.

Festival highlights include the Florida premieres of two Academy Award entries for Best Foreign Language Film, Bethlehem (Israel) and The German Doctor (Argentina); Israel’s boxoffice smash hit, Hunting Elephants, starring Sir Patrick Stewart; the Florida premiere of Pawel Pawlikowski’s international award-winning film Ida; the critically acclaimed and hotly controversial Aftermath; the 30th anniversary presentation of Woody Allen’s Broadway Danny Rose hosted by Whit Stillman, and the 75th anniversary of Molly Picon’s beloved musical comedy Mamele, featuring a choir performing songs from the film.

1 World Premiere Feature

Felix Tikotin: A Life Devoted to Japanese Art (Netherlands-Japan-Israel-France, directed by Santie Kramer)

3 North American Premiere Features

Bureau 06 (Lishka 06) (Israel, directed by Yoav Halevy) Here We Are (Estamos aqui) (Brazil-US, directed by Cintia Chamecki)

Our Big Time (Blutsbrüder teilen alles) (Austria-Germany-Romania, directed by Wolfram Paulus)

11 Florida Premiere Features

Bethlehem (Israel-Germany-Belgium, directed by Yuval Adler)

Closed Season (Ende der Schonzeit) (Germany- Israel, directed by Franziska Schlotterer)

The German Doctor (Argentina-France-Spain, directed by Lucia Puenzo)

Hunting Elephants (Israel-US, directed by Reshef Levi)

Ida (Poland-Denmark, directed by Pawel Pawlikowski)

Igor & The Cranes’ Journey (Israel-Germany- Poland, directed by Evgeny Ruman)

Mamele (Poland, directed by Joseph Green & Konrad Tom)

My First Wedding (Mi primera boda) (Argentina, directed by Ariel Winograd)

Rue Mandar (France, directed by Idit Cebula)

When Day Breaks (Kad svane dan) (Serbia- France-Croatia, directed by Goran Paskaljevic)

When Jews Were Funny (Canada, directed by Alan Zweig)

3 South Florida Premiere Features

The Last Sentence (Dom över död man) (Sweden-Norway, directed by Jan Troell)

Putzel (US, directed by Jason Chaet)

When Comedy Went to School (US, directed by Lawrence Richards)

4 Miami Premiere Features Aftermath (Poklosie) (Poland-Russia- Netherlands, directed by Wladyslaw Pasikowski)

All In (La suerte en tus manos) (Argentina- Spain, directed by Daniel Burman)

Let’s Dance! (Israel, directed by Gabriel Bibliowicz)

The Zigzag Kid (Nono, het Zigzag Kind) (Netherlands-Belgium-UK-Spain-France, directed by Vincent Bal)

2 From the Vault Features An American Tail (US, directed by Don Bluth)

Broadway Danny Rose (US, directed by Woody Allen)

6 Short Films

Audition (Netherlands, directed by Udo Prinsen)

I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors (Canada, directed by Ann Marie Fleming)

Nyosha (Israel, directed by Yael Dekel & Liran Kapel)

Paddle-Ball (Israel, directed by Avi Belkin)

Seven Minutes in the Warsaw Ghetto (Denmark, directed by Johan Oettinger)

Woody Before Allen (US, directed by Masha Vasyukova)

Mami Jewish Film Festival (MJFF), celebrating its 17th anniversary Jan. 23 through Feb. 3, is considered the preeminent film festival for showcasing Jewish cinema in Florida. The annual festival, a program of Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE), aims to create a platform designed to engage the public with diverse and award-winning films about Jewish culture, arts, and lifestyle. As a gathering of more than 11,000 local and international audience members, this worldwide convening of film aficionados has consistently provided the finest in emerging and established films.

Films are screened at theaters around Miami- Dade County including the Regal Cinemas South Beach, Miami Beach Cinematheque, Cosford Cinema on the UM campus, O Cinema Miami Shores and Frank Theaters Intracoastal. For tickets and information call 1-888-585-FILM or visit online at <www.miamijewishfilmfestival.org>.

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