One of the highlights of Winnipeg’s spring cultural calendar is the Winnipeg International Jewish Film Festival, a presentation of award-winning feature and documentary films from around the world, on subjects of Jewish identity, culture, history, diversity. The festival, held at the Berney Theatre at the Rady JCC (123 Doncaster Street) runs this year from May 21- June 7. The festival is presented by the Rady JCC and The Asper Foundation, with support from the Babs Asper Centre for Cultural Arts, Winnipeg Free Press and Jewish Post and News. Film lovers will truly be spoiled for choice: this year’s lineup includes sweeping period dramas, quirky comedies, food flicks, love stories, family dramas, and history-minded features and documentaries. In total 27 local, Canadian and international films will be screened. Special events will follow many screenings with guest directors, producers and speakers, in what are sure to be fascinating discussions.
“The Winnipeg International Jewish Film Festival this year presents the best in Jewish cinema from around the globe,” said Tamar Barr, Rady JCC Interim Executive Director, “We have selected films that demonstrate and celebrate the breadth and depth of Jewish culture, creativity, identity, diversity and resiliency. We are thrilled to see our festival grow each year in audience attendance and buzz. We invite everyone to come out to the Rady JCC to enjoy these amazing, inspiring, and captivating films.”
Enlightening, entertaining and, sometimes unexpected post-film events have become a signature of the Winnipeg International Jewish Film Festival, and this year is no exception. Emmy-nominated director Roberta Grossman will be in attendance to present her documentary Who Will Write our History about a group of journalists and writers in the Warsaw Ghetto determined to set the historical record straight. Grossman co-produced with Nancy Spielberg and it is narrated by Adrian Brody and Joan Allen. Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman, the duo behind the hit web series YidLife Crisis, are coming to Winnipeg with Chewdaism: A Taste of Jewish of Montreal, a fun, food-and fact-filled nosh-umentary. Ricki Gurwitz, the young Canadian writer and producer of the documentary Accountant at Auschwitz, about the trial of one of the last living SS men, will be in attendance at the screening of that film and will participate in a Q and A.
Family in Transition, a Best Documentary winner at DocAviv, 2018, will be screened at The Winnipeg Cinemateque, with a special post-film event led by Winnipeg Comedy Festival co-founder Lara Rae. The documentary is a candid and sympathetic look at a family living in a small city in northern Israel, one of whose senior members shares a long time wish to transition.
Full film descriptions and trailers available HERE
Tuesday, May 28 7 pm / Thursday June 6, 1pmA group of ultra-Orthodox women in Brooklyn smash the patriarchy by setting up the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps after they are denied entry into the existing one. (USA, 2018, Documentary).
May 28th screening will be followed by discussion led by Winnipeg educator Ruth Ashrafi.
Accountant of Auschwitz
A documentary about the trial of one of the last surviving SS men at Auschwitz, and the importance, for future generations, of setting legal precedence. (Canada, 2018).
Writer/Producer Ricki Gurwitz will lead post-film discussion.
Bag of Marbles
Based on the true story of Paris writer Joseph Joffo’s childhood in Nazi-occupied France. When his parents send a young Joseph and his brother off alone to get to the French Zone Libre, they quickly learn to fend for themselves.
Full of immaculate period detail and breathless dramatic moments. (France, 2017)
Chewdaism: A Taste of Jewish Montreal
A culinary-led tour through Jewish Montreal. (Canada, 2018)
Opening Night Film & Reception. Directors Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion in attendance.
A portrait of four pioneering, hugely influential and under celebrated women in the fields of architecture and urban planning (Canada, 2018) Presented as part of the Morley Blankstein Architecture Film Series.
A seductive and suspenseful drama about a seemingly mature and solid marriage which unravels when the husband suspects his wife’s infidelity. (Israel, 2018)
Family in Transition
Despite many difficulties, a senior member of a tight-knit family in a small Israeli town fulfills their wish to transition with their family’s support.
Spotlight Film & Reception: Co-Founder Winnipeg Comedy Festival, Lara Rae will lead a post-film discussion.
A Fortunate Man
A sweeping period drama set in 19th century Denmark about the ambitious son of a rural clergy man with a brilliant large scale engineering project.
He comes into contact with a wealthy Jewish family possibly willing to support his project. (Denmark, 2018)
Golda’s Balcony, The Film
The acclaimed Broadway show about the former Israeli Prime Minister is now a motion picture with Tovah Feldshuh in a tour de force performance. (USA, 2019). Canadian premiere.
It Must Schwing! The Blue Note Story
A fascinating look at the two Jewish-German Nazi era exiles who founded the legendary jazz record label, Blue Note Records. (Germany, 2018)
Saturday, June 1: Centrepiece Film & Reception. Guests James Manishen, Artistic and Operations Associate with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and Kinzey Posen, Winnipeg musician and jazz historian.
An indebted, aspiring Ethiopian-Israeli rock star goes undercover in his home town. Dressing as a woman to avoid his debtors, he finds himself in a job helping disenfranchised Ethiopian women at a local community centre. (Israel, 2018)
The Last Resort
A stunning visual documentary exploring Miami Beach in the 1970s at the height of its popularity with Jewish retirees. (USA, 2018) Plus The Great Wolodarsky Cribbage Tournament; A warm hearted, beautifully shot film about an extended Winnipeg family who gather at their summer cottage every year for a family cribbage tournament. , (Canada, 2018, short fil). Closing Night Film & Reception.
The Last Supper
On the day that Hitler takes power in Germany a wealthy German-Jewish family gathers at their home in Berlin. This beautifully filmed movie shows a fractured family trying to find solutions to their situation.(Germany, 2017)
A beautiful, aching first love story set in Mexico City. A young woman finds herself torn between her non-Jewish boyfriend and her traditional Jewish family. (Mexico, 2018)
As a young married couple build their dream home in the country the foundations of their marriage start to crumble. (Israel, 2017)
The Other Story
A resolutely secular Israeli family is shocked when their daughter becomes ultra-orthodox and starts preparing for a Haredi wedding to her former drug addict boyfriend. (Israel, 2018
Promise at Dawn (La promesse de l’aube)
A stunning bio-drama of the acclaimed French novelist Romain Gary, the only two time winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt. With Charlotte Gainsbourg as his ambitious, often suffocating mother. (France, 2017)
Shorts on Sherbrook Film Crawl
A selection of award-wining experimental, art house and thought-provoking short films from across the globe. (Various international)
With drinks and nibble at. First stop at Handsome Daughter-61 Sherbrook Street.. Next stop The Tallest Poppy- (685 Westminster Avenue
A young man sent from the countryside to Vienna to apprentice at a tobacco shop befriends a regular client: Sigmund Freud. Set against the arrival of the Nazis in Austria. (Germany, 2018)
An ultra-orthodox Cantor in New York State befriends a local community college professor with the hopes he can help solve mysteries about death and biology. (USA, 2018, Comedy Drama).
Followed by a discussion with Rena Boroditsky, executive director Chesed Shel Emes.
An oft times darkly funny comedy/ drama based on the formation of the Israeli political party, Shas, started by disenfranchised Sephardic Jews. (Israel, 2018)
Who Will Write our History
The true story of a group of journalists, scholars, and community leaders determined to leave written evidence of the atrocities of the Jewish people locked in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. Though their own fate is all but known to them, they risk everything so their archive will survive. (USA, 2018,). May 29th screening: Feature Film & Reception. Writer/director/producer Roberta Grossman will participate in post-film talk.
All films are being screened at the Berney Theatre, at the Rady JCC , 123 Doncaster St. with the exception of Family in Transition (at Cinemateque 304-100 Arthur St; and The Shorts on Sherbrook Film Crawl (at Handsome Daughter then The Tallest Poppy, 685 Westminster)
All foreign films are subtitled in English Tickets and festival packages are available by calling the Rady Jewish Community Centre at (204) 477-7510 or on-line at www.radyjcc.com.
$10 M/ $12 NM /$8 S
$45 M/ $55 NM / $40 S
$82 M/$105 NM / $75 S
M Member / N Non-Member / S Student
*exclude Shorts on Sherbrook Film Crawl