Coronavirus moves Jerusalem Jewish Film Fest online

There will be online panels and events with actors and filmmakers, including with Jesse Eisenberg, who stars in one of the festival films, Resistance.

JESSE EISENBERG in ‘Resistance.’ (photo credit: FORUM FILM)
JESSE EISENBERG in ‘Resistance.’
(photo credit: FORUM FILM)
The Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival, which is run by the Jerusalem Cinematheque, will be presented online this year from November 11 to 22, and will feature the best of recent movies of Jewish interest.
There will be online panels and events with actors and filmmakers, including with Jesse Eisenberg, who stars in one of the festival films, Resistance, about how the legendary French Jewish mime Marcel Marceau survived the Holocaust.
The opening film will be American Pickle, starring Seth Rogen, a comedy about a Russian-Jewish immigrant who is preserved in pickle brine and who comes to life again in hipster-dominated Brooklyn, where he forms a bond with his grandson. Both roles are played by Rogen, who made the movie before he uttered some disparaging remarks about Israel on a podcast.
The classic Israeli film Sh’Chur (1994), directed by Shmuel Hasfari, about a teenager who wants to fit in and is embarrassed by her traditional, superstitious Mizrahi family, has been digitally restored by the Israel Film Archive and the Jerusalem Cinematheque and will be presented at the festival. It was written by, and stars, Hanna Azoulay Hasfari, and she will take part in an online event. It was one of the first films to feature the late actress Ronit Elkabetz.
There will be a number of feature films in the festival, such as Emma Seligman’s Shiva Baby, a black comedy, part of which takes place at a funeral, which won raves at the Toronto International Film Festival this year.
Among the documentaries will be films about Albert Einstein, Modigliani, Lucian Freud and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. There will also be a special program to mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Vilna Gaon.
The Schoumann Award for Jewish documentaries and feature films will be given to films in the festival, with a cash prize of $3,000.
The festival’s artistic director, Daniella Tourgeman, said, “In these challenging days, we felt it would be appropriate and even significant to offer the audience a carefully selected cultural experience, featuring the best Jewish films of the past year. The films have been carefully chosen by a team of curators. The feature films and documentaries shed light on Jewish life through the lens of cinema.
“We are full of hope that we can meet face-to-face in the next edition of the Jewish Festival. Until then, we hope to keep in touch with the members, the audience and the community who have supported the festival with dedication throughout the years.”
The program will be online soon at the cinematheque website at