A wide-ranging roster

The Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival begins on the 16th.

'Call Me By Your Name' to be featured at The Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival (photo credit: Courtesy)
'Call Me By Your Name' to be featured at The Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival
(photo credit: Courtesy)
One of the highlights of the Hanukka season is the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival, which will take place for the 19th time at the Jerusalem Cinematheque from December 16 to 21.
The opening-night film is Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name. Set in the 1980s in Italy, it stars Armie Hammer as a research assistant who goes to live with an American Jewish family in Italy and develops a romantic relationship with the professor’s son (newcomer Timothée Chalamet). The movie was written by James Ivory and is based on a novel by Andre Aciman.
The closing-night film will be Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour, one of a recent spate of Winston Churchill films. This one stars Gary Oldman as the wartime British prime minister.
A highlight of the festival will be the premiere of the digitally restored version of Avi Nesher’s 1984 film Rage and Glory. This movie, which was the focus of a controversy similar to but even more intense than that involving Foxtrot this year, tells the story of a group of Lehi fighters and their daring, charismatic young leader (Juliano Mer-Khamis). Following the screening, Nesher will take part in a conversation with Yair Raveh, a film critic and editor of the website Cinemascope.
The Schoumann Prize for Jewish Cinema will be given to a film in the International Competition. A very rich category this year, it includes the documentary Kishon by Arik Bernstein and Eliav Lilti, which uses animation, interviews and archival footage to tell the story of the great Israeli humorist. The directors will be present at the screening.
Across the Waters is a feature film about Danish Jews’ escape into Sweden and focuses on a jazz musician and his family. It will be screened in the presence of its director, Nicolo Donato. The screening will mark 75 years since this rescue took place.
Closeness by Kantemir Balagov tells the story of a kidnapping in Russia and the toll it takes on the victim’s family. Actress Darya Zhovner will attend.
Love Is Thicker Than Water is a drama that tells a modern-day Romeo and Juliet story about a love affair between a bike messenger and a cellist. One of its co-directors, Ate de Jong, will attend the festival.
Twenty years ago, director Paula Weiman-Kelman made The Annotated Alice, a portrait of Israeli professor and social activist Alice Shalvi. Now she has made a sequel, The Re-Annotated Alice. The screening of the new documentary will be followed by a conversation with Shalvi, MK Merav Michaeli, former MK Naomi Chazan and Rabba Tamar Elad- Applebaum.
André Schäfer and Jascha Hannover’s Never Be Boring: The Billy Wilder Story is a new documentary about the master Austrian Jewish filmmaker who fled the Nazis and went to Hollywood. There, he won six Oscars and made such classics as Some Like It Hot, Sunset Boulevard, Sabrina, The Apartment and Double Indemnity. Noah Benninga of the Hebrew University Jerusalem will discuss the film. Wilder’s comedy A Foreign Affair, starring Jean Arthur and Marlene Dietrich, will be shown at the festival.
Stéphane Benhamou will attend the screening of her documentary The No. 5 War, about the iconic fragrance created by Coco Chanel.
In Vienna before Nightfall, Robert Bober, who will attend the festival, recreates the memories of his great-grandfather, who lived in Vienna alongside the Viennese intelligentsia.
Remember Baghdad director Fiona Murphy and the film’s protagonists will be present for the screening of this documentary about the untold story of Israel’s first Iraqi immigrants.
Director Jonathan Hayoun and producer Simone Harari will attend the screening of their documentary Saving Auschwitz, about how the legacy of the camp should be preserved.
Ruggero Gabbai, co-director of Libya — The Last Exodus, will attend the screening of this documentary about the Libyan Jewish community.
An exhibition at the film festival, “Time of Light,” celebrates the work of the late filmmaker and archivist Yaakov Gross.
The artistic director of the festival is Daniella Tourgeman, and the CEO of the Jerusalem Cinematheque is Noa Regev.
The Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival takes place December 16 to 21 at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. For more information, go to http://www.jer-cin.org.il