(photo credit: PR)
The 17th Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival – a Hanukka tradition – will take place at the Jerusalem Cinematheque from December 7-12.
Dozens of movies with Jewish themes, including Israeli and international feature films, documentaries and shorts, will be screened.
Sex therapist, television star and author Dr. Ruth Westheimer will be the festival’s honorary guest. She will host an afternoon look at cinema and its relationship with sexuality and intimacy in the 20th and 21st century, an event that will undoubtedly be both enlightening and entertaining.
Hervé de Luze, an award-winning editor, will receive the festival’s Achievement Award. He has worked with Roman Polanski on a number of movies, among them The Pianist and Oliver Twist . He will attend screenings of these films and will discuss them afterwards. A Polanski retrospective will continue throughout December.
A musical tribute will celebrate Polanski’s 60th film, and there will be a screening of his short films from the 1950s with live music by Noam Inbar (Habiluim), Adam Scheflan (Ouzo Bazooka, Kutiman Orchestra) and Ariel Admoni (Pisuk Rahav).
The festival will celebrate 50 years of the Jerusalem Foundation with an opening event that will be a cinematic journey through the capital, starting with the first image of the city filmed 120 years ago, by the Lumière brothers and continuing through the centuries to the present day.
This event, hosted by Deputy Construction Minister Jackie Levy, will feature cinematic treasures that include premieres of newly restored digital prints of Return to Zion and Life of the Jews of Palestine (1913), to be screened with live music by DJ Markey Funk.
In addition, a newly restored digital print of Renen Schorr’s Wedding in Jerusalem , which documents the wedding of Uri Zohar’s son and Arik Einstein’s daughter, will be shown. This will be followed by a panel discussion of movies about the city by experts, including, Yael Perlov, who will talk about In Jerusalem , directed by her father, David Perlov; director Tawfik Abu Wael, who directed Atash ( Thirst ) and Tanathur ( Last Days in Jerusalem ); and Yoram Honig, head of the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund, who will discuss the Western Wall in film.
The festival will include a celebration of a new digital print of Kuni Lemel in Tel Aviv , the first of the classic Kuni Lemel comedies.
The winner of the International Competition will receive the Schoumann Award for Jewish Cinema that comes with a prize of NIS 15,000. Among the films taking part in this competition will be Krzysztof Kopczyski’s The Dybbuk, A Tale of Wandering Souls dining radio television events movies highlights about relations between the ultra-Orthodox pilgrims to Uman and the locals; Uri Barbash’s Kapo in Jerusalem , about a couple who have survived Auschwitz and who try to build a new life in Israel during the War of Independence, starring Maya Dagan and Gil Frank; Piotr Chrzan’s Klezmer , the story of a group of Polish villagers in 1943 whose lives take a surprising turn; and Karin Albou’s My Shortest Love Affair , a comedy about a romance in Paris. All of these films will be screened in the presence of the filmmakers.
Several new Israeli movies will be shown, also in the presence of the filmmakers, including Ori Gruder’s Happy Purim , a look at why Purim is so special to all different kinds of Jews, and Fire Birds , by Amir I. Wolf, a thriller about Holocaust survivors starring Gila Almagor.
A section called Jews in Motion features movies about how Jews migrate around the world, including Oana Giurgiu’s Aliyah Dada , about Romanian immigrants to Israel, and Ruggero Gabbai’s Starting Over Again , about Egyptian Jews from 1948-1956, both of which will be screened in the presence of the filmmakers.
A section called Great Minds includes The Passages of Walter Benjamin , directed by Judith Wechsler, which will be preceded by a lecture by Prof. Joseph Mali. The directors Jacob Lifshin and Aharon Lipetz will be present at the screening of their documentary, The Way of Man: A Film about Martin Buber .
The festival tradition of the Culinary Cinema section, featuring films about food and Judaism, will continue, with six documentaries and features that put food front and center.
For more information and to order tickets, go the festival website at jjff.org.il