The 25th annual New York Jewish Film Festival, on January 13 – 26, features world, U.S., and New York premieres of films from around the globe, a retrospective of highlights from the past 25 years, plus other special programming in honor of the festival’s silver jubilee.
The preeminent showcase for groundbreaking films exploring the diversity of the Jewish experience around the world, the NYJFF is co-presented by the Jewish Museum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. This year’s festival features a wonderful lineup of narratives, documentaries, and shorts, and more.
This year’s New York Jewish Film Festival was selected by Florence Almozini, Associate Director of Programming, Film Society of Lincoln Center; Rachel Chanoff, THE OFFICE performing arts + film; Jaron Gandelman, Curatorial Assistant for Media, Jewish Museum and Coordinator, New York Jewish Film Festival; Jens Hoffmann, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs, Jewish Museum and Curator for Special Programs, New York Jewish Film Festival; Dennis Lim, Director of Programming, Film Society of Lincoln Center; and Aviva Weintraub, Associate Curator, Jewish Museum and Director, New York Jewish Film Festival.
Panel Discussion – Curating Film: For 90 minutes, a collection of New York’s finest film curators and programmers (Thomas Beard, Stuart Comer, Chrissie Iles, Dennis Lim) come together to jump-start a discussion (moderated by Jens Hoffmann) about engaging film audiences in the 21st century. With festivals, museums, galleries, and online platforms all presenting film in new and different ways, the medium finds itself at an exciting crossroads.
Master Class with Alan Berliner: Alan Berliner’s ability to combine experimental cinema and artistic purpose has made him one of the most acclaimed independent filmmakers in the United States. In this unique 90-minute master class, Berliner will discuss his use of sound and image metaphors in Intimate Stranger (1991) and Nobody’s Business (1996), both of which are screening in the festival. The lecture will include a presentation of several clips from each film.
“Art and Heart: The World of Isaiah Sheffer”: One of New York’s great Renaissance men, Isaiah Sheffer left an indelible mark on music, theater, television, and culture across three decades in the Big Apple. “Art and Heart: The World of Isaiah Sheffer” celebrates his life through interviews with Morgan Freeman, Stephen Colbert, Leonard Nimoy, and many others. Screening with: The Man Who Shot Hollywood (Barry Avrich, 12m).
“A Tale of Love and Darkness”: Based on Amos Oz’s international best seller, Natalie Portman’s feature debut as a writer and director recounts the time Oz spent with his mother, Fania (played by Portman), who struggles with raising her son in Jerusalem at the end of the British Mandate for Palestine and the early years of the State of Israel.
“Projections of America”: In 1945, the U.S. government commissioned a team of idealistic filmmakers to create 26 short propaganda documentaries about life in the United States. “Projections of America” covers the creation and dissemination of these works, capturing both the optimism and the messiness of American democracy. Screening with The Autobiography of a Jeep (Irving Lerner, 9m).
“Happy Ends”: A free event running on loop throughout festival, these pivotal moments from 10 films presented at previous editions of the New York Jewish Film Festival highlight a wide array of themes and life lessons with fluctuating degrees of fate, heroism, and self-determination.