Moment’s Guide to Film Festivals

By | Sep 18, 2018
film festivals

Films You Shouldn’t Miss

By Isaac Zablocki

Red Cow

Red Cow | Directed by Tsivia Barkai-Yacov | Starring Avigayil Koevary, Gal Toren, Moran Rosenblatt

A notable theme that emerged from the film festival lineups was movies about the Orthodox community. This includes Red Cow by Tsivia Barkai-Yacov, a movie about a young woman maturing and coming out as gay in a family of settlers in an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Redemption by Yossi Madmoni and Boaz Yehonatan Yaacov follows the story of a rock band attempting to get back together after the lead singer becomes religious. The Unorthodox by Eliran Malka follows the establishment of the Shas Party—the Sephardic/Mizrachi religious social-political movement. The film is engaging, though it downplays the dramatic outcry that led to the rise of this party.

One of the films relating to Arab life in Israel is the documentary Cause of Death by Ramy Katz, which could not be timelier. It tells the story of a Druze policeman killed while apprehending a terrorist and the questionable cover-up of the truth behind his death. The fact that the film was screened as the Israeli Druze community was in an uproar due to the passing of the nation-state law brought further power to the story.

King Bibi

King Bibi | A documentary directed by Dan Shadur

More on the political side, King Bibi by Dan Shadur provides an in-depth look at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rise to power, his impact on Israeli politics and his record-breaking term in office. The film also gives some insight into Netanyahu’s relationship with Donald Trump, making it all the more relevant.

In my mind, Michal Aviad’s Working Woman was the timeliest film, following a woman who gets a job opportunity with a boss who makes inappropriate advances. The film, a fine example of the power of the #MeToo movement, makes its impact through great production and subtle performances, bringing to life a troubling universal reality.


Redemption | Directed by Yossi Madmoni & Boaz Yehonatan Yacov | Starring Sendi Bar, Shahar Even-Tzur, Moshe Folkenflick

American films also seem to have bought into the topic of the ultra-Orthodox. A film that has been getting great reviews and attention is 93Queen,  about an Orthodox women’s ambulance service. Also coming out of the Tribeca film festival is one to keep an eye out for, To Dust, starring Matthew Broderick and Geza Rohrig (Son of Saul), a comedy about a Hasidic man struggling with the death of his wife

Isaac Zablocki is the founder of the Jewish Films Presenters Network.

2018–2019 Film Festivals

SERET Film Festival, the Israeli film Festival
London, UK; Berlin, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Santiago, Chile

JCC Manhattan
New York, NY

Jewish Film Festival of Dallas
Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley
Dallas, TX
September 4–27

Am HaYam Havurah 2018 Jewish Film Festival
The WHAT, Julie Harris Stage
Wellfleet, MA

October 3–30

JAAMM Festival (Jewish Arts, Authors, Movies and Music)
Denver, CO
October 4–November 18

The Unorthodox

The Unorthodox | Directed by Eliran Malka | Starring, Shuli Rand, Yaacov Cohen, Yoav Levi

Cleveland Jewish FilmFest
Cleveland, OH
October 4–14

Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival
Santa Fe, NM
October 7 & Year-Round

Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema
Chicago and Glenview, IL
October 18–28

Oklahoma Jewish Film Festival
Tulsa, OK
October 21–October 25

17th annual Jewish Arts & Film Festival of Fairfield County
Stamford, CT
October 27–November 11

Austin Jewish Film Festival
Austin, TX
October 27–November 2

Cause of Death

Cause of Death | A documentary directed by Ramy Katz

Jewish Film Festival of Central New Jersey
Rialto Theater
Westfield, NJ
Fall & Spring

Nagle Family Jewish Film Festival
Congregation B’nai Israel
Boca Raton, FL

Rutgers Jewish Film Festival
AMC Loews New Brunswick, and Princeton Garden Theatre
New Brunswick, NJ
October 30 – November 11

Other Israel FIlm Festival
JCC Manhattan
New York, NY
Nov 1–8

Boston Jewish Film Festival
Greater Boston, MA
November 7-19

Warsaw Jewish Film Festival
Warsaw, Poland
November 12–18

Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival (GPJFF)
Philadelphia, PA
November 3–18


93Queen | Directed by Paula Eiselt | Starring Amy Ackerman, Hadassah Ellis, Ailin Elyasi

Virginia Peninsula Jewish Film Festival
The Williamsburg Library
Williamsburg, VA
October, January, March

Spokane Jewish Cultural Film Festival
Spokane, WA
January 24, 26, 27

Mobile Jewish Film Festival
Mobile & Baldwin Counties, AL
January 13–27

Central Mass International Jewish Film Festival
Central Massachusetts
January 18–29

The Donald M Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival
North and Central Palm Beach County, FL
January 20–February 12

Ft. Lauderdale Jewish Film Festival
David Posnack JCC
Ft. Lauderdale, FL|
January 31–February 28

San Diego International Jewish Film Festival
Greater San Diego
February 7–17

Working Woman

Working Woman | Directed by Michal Aviad | Starring Liron Ben-Shlush, Oshri Cohen, Menashe Noy

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
Metro Atlanta, GA
February 6–26

Louisville Jewish Film Festival
Louisville, KY
February 2–24

Mayerson JCC Jewish and Israeli Film Festival
Greater Cincinnati, OH
February 2–21

The Charlotte Jewish Film Festival
Charlotte, NC
February 9–March 3

Naples Jewish Film Festival
Naples, FL
March, First 4 Sundays

JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival
Chicago, IL
March 1–17

Honolulu Jewish Film Festival
Honolulu, HI
March 2–18

16th Annual JCC Rockland International Jewish Film Festival
Regal Theaters
Nanuet, NY
March 3–April 30

To Dust

To Dust | Directed by  Shawn Snyder | Starring Matthew Broderick, Geza Rohrig

JFilm Festival
SouthSide Works Cinema
Pittsburgh, PA
March 7–17

Sacramento Jewish Film Festival
Crest Theater
Sacramento, CA
March 7, 9, 10

Boulder Jewish Film Festival
Dairy Arts Center
Boulder, CO
March 7–17

Maine Jewish Film Festival
Portland, Brunswick, Waterville, Bangor, Rockland, Lewiston (ME)
March 9–17

Judy Levis Markhoff Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival
Boca Raton and Delray Beach, FL
March 10–31

Gainesville Jewish Film Festival
Gainesville, FL
March 17–30

Buffalo International Jewish Film Festival
Amherst Dipson Theatre
Buffalo, NY
March 22–29

New Jersey Jewish Film Festival
West Orange, NJ
March 27–April 7, 2019

Evelyn Rubenstein JCC Houston Jewish Film Festival
Houston, TX
March 30–April 10

Cherry Hill Volvo Cars Jewish Film Festival at the Katz JCC
Cherry Hill, NJ
March 31–April 7

New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival
New Hampshire
April 4–14

Wilmington Jewish Film Festival
Wilmington, NC
April 28–May 8

Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival
Los Angeles, CA
May 1–8

Toronto Jewish Film Festival
Toronto, Ontario
May 2-12

Edward S. Finkelstein Harrisburg Jewish Film Festival
Midtown Cinema
Harrisburg, PA
May 5–16

Winnipeg International Jewish Film Festival
Winnipeg, Canada
May 21–June 7

St. Louis Jewish Film Festival
Landmark Plaza Frontenac Cinema
and JCC Arts & Education Building
St. Louis, MO
June 2–6

Israel Film Center Festival
JCC Manhattan
New York, NY
June 4–12

Rochester Jewish Film Festival
Rochester, NY
July 7–14

Falmouth Summer Jewish Film Festival
Falmouth Jewish Congregation
East Falmouth, MA
Tuesdays in July and August

Falmouth Summer Jewish Film Festival
Falmouth Jewish Congregation
East Falmouth, MA
Tuesdays in July and August

White Mountain Jewish Film Festival
Colonial Theater
Bethlehem, NH

Jewish Film Festival of Grand Rapids
Celebration! Cinema North
Grand Rapids, MI
April 28–May 2

One thought on “Moment’s Guide to Film Festivals

  1. Sid says:

    28th Tucson International Jewish Film Festival, January 6-20, 2019

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