Premieres and north London screenings for UK Jewish Film Festival
- Credit: UK Jewish Film Festival
The UK Jewish Film Festival runs a hybrid event for its 25th anniversary with online and live screenings in cinemas including The Phoenix, JW3 and Belsize Park's newly re-opened Everyman.
Running from November 4, there are 29 feature films and 30 shorts from 12 countries exploring Jewish life, history and culture in 11 languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, Farsi and French.
Last year's festival migrated online and building on that success, there is a virtual programme of pre-recorded interviews, films, and events with directors and actors for an online festival pass of £45.
To mark its anniversary, the festival launches the UK Jewish Film short doc fund to commission five micro-budget, three-minute documentaries exploring aspects of contemporary British Jewish life. The five films have their world premieres on November 14 at JW3 in Finchley Road.
Meanwhile on November 7, East Finchley's Phoenix cinema hosts two premieres of the well-established Pears Short Film Fund; Make Me A King and Hold My Hand. The first is inspired by the true story of Pepi Littman, who carved out a space for drag kings more than 100 years ago, and the second sees an elderly Jewish lady with dementia meeting her great grand-daughter’s boyfriend in London, have a flashback to her childhood in 1930s Berlin where she was rescued on the Kindertransport.
The centrepiece gala at the Phoenix on November 11 is Final Account, the last documentary by late British filmmaker, Luke Holland. Based on more than 250 interviews with elderly German and Austrian citizens who took part in the Nazi killing machine, it asks how ordinary people became perpetrators and what stories they told themselves to reconcile their past.
Also screening at JW3 is Neighbours, Mano Khalil’s story of Kurdish rural life in 1980s Syria, as a young boy struggles to reconcile his teacher’s pan-Arabist, antisemitic sentiments with the kindness of his Jewish neighbours. While Kings of Capitol Hill features interviews with former senior members of the controversial pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC. And on November 10 is Rob West's Picture Stories which tells how Picture Post, established in 1938 by Hungarian Jewish refugee Stefan Lorant, revolutionised Britain's publishing world and public life with its progressive values.
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As part of the Israeli Film Programme Eran Kolirin’s award-winning new film, Let It Be Morning screens at The Everyman, Belsize Park, based on Sayed Kashua’s novel about a middle class Palestinian, visiting his family village for a wedding, who is caught up in a military siege.
Festival chief executive Michael Etherton said: “We are so proud to celebrate our 25th anniversary, which is a tribute to the power of film to create an understanding and appreciation of Jewish and other cultures. We also explore through our programme the challenge presented by the new rise of antisemitism, and the ever more urgent need for us to support and embrace cultural events such as the UK Jewish Film Festival”