UK hearts Jewish cinema: UK Jewish Film Festival comes to fruition April 16-19
The UK Jewish Film Festival was established 18 years ago; and on April 16-19, the Tel Aviv Cinematheque is presenting a selection of some of the most popular films the festival has screened.
The festival is held in London, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester, as well as in Geneva and Hong Kong. The UK festival is three weeks long, and approximately 15,000 people attend it. It features movies about Jewish life from around the world and not necessarily from the UK.
Matthew Gould, the British ambassador to Israel, will speak in Tel Aviv at the opening-night film, The Jewish Cardinal. Directed by Ilan Duran Cohen, the movie is a dramatization of the life of Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, the Jewish-born head of the French church and close confidant of Pope John Paul II.
Actor/director Seth Fisher will be present at the screening of his film Blumenthal, which stars Brian Cox in the story of a playwright who made a career out of satirizing his family and died laughing at his own joke.
Jill Soloway won the coveted Best Director award at the Sundance Film Festival for her film Afternoon Delight.
It stars Kathryn Hahn, an amazingly versatile character actress (she’s appeared in Parks and Recreation, Girls, We’re the Millers and dozens of other TV shows and movies) who finally gets the leading role she deserves here, where she plays a successful wife and mother who loses her libido and brings a stripper (Juno Temple) into her home to try to spice things up.
Winner of the Best Actress and Jury Prize at the Montreal World Film Festival, Franziska Schlotterer’s Closed Season tells the story of Max, a young German who comes to Israel searching for his biological father.
When father and son meet, the story shifts to WW II, and Max learns a story about his parents that was kept from him all his life.
The French film For a Woman by Diane Kurys also shifts back and forth between the recent past and WW II as a young filmmaker tries to piece together the truth about her own parents.
Todd Louiso’s Hello, I Must Be Going stars Blythe Danner as the Jewish mother from hell.
My German Friend, directed by Jeanine Meerapfel, is based on a true story and is about two lovers in Buenos Aires. One is the daughter of German-Jewish immigrants, and the other is the son of a Nazi official.
John Burgess’s One Small Hitch tells the story of two childhood friends who pretend to be engaged in order to please one of their dying fathers.
The Day I Saw Your Heart, directed by Jennifer Devoldere, stars Melanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) as a young woman struggling with romantic relationships and her relationship with her father, who is married to a woman her age.
Barbara Albert’s The Dead and the Living is about a young Berlin artist who discovers that her beloved grandfather was a Nazi.
Josh Aronson’s documentary Orchestra of Exiles tells the dramatic story of Polish violinist Bronislow Hubermann, who rescued some of the world’s greatest musicians from Nazi Germany and then formed the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Dorit Straus, one of the film’s producers, will be present at the screening.
Short films will be shown before the feature films.
There will also be a panel on Israeli Films and the International Market, featuring Judy Ironside, the founder and executive director of the UK Jewish Film Festival; Guy Avshalom, co-founder and COO of Lionsgate UK; Stephen Margolis, CEO and founder of Future Films and chairman of the UK Jewish Film Festival; and Noemi Schory, producer and head of the film department at Beit Berl Film School in Israel. The panel will be moderated by Dov Gil Har, CEO of Israeli Films.
For more information, go to the UK Jewish Film Festival website or the Tel Aviv Cinematheque website.