Innovative and entertaining, the well- established UK Jewish Film Festival is back in its 26th year to bring audiences the latest films presenting Jewish stories nationwide, ready to both stream online and screen in selected cinemas across Manchester and Leeds.
Alongside feature-length dramas, entertaining comedies, and thought- provoking documentaries, the festival will also showcase an array of new shorts from Britain and around the world celebrating the diversity of Jewish and Israeli life, traditions, and culture.
Backed by the UKJF Short Doc Fund, the selected short films to premiere this year continue to put the medium of film at the core of Jewish learning for audiences, while showcasing the new work of young filmmakers. Leeds audiences can now catch a viewing of The Peacock That Passed Over to discover the story of Etz Chaim synagogue’s resident peacock which mysteriously appeared on the congregation’s doorstep in 2018. Produced by Max Goldberg and Melissa Sorrell earlier this year, the charming film provides an intimate snapshot into the lives of the diverse Leeds community.
Hosted at Trinity Leeds’ Everyman Cinema, the documentary will also be screened alongside the full-length feature, Perfect Strangers, which adapts the Italian original film of the same name into an Israeli setting. Following the shenanigans of dinner party couples who agree to read aloud all the texts they receive and play all their conversations on speakerphone, this comedy directed by Lior Ashkenazi is packed with predictably and dramatically disastrous results.
Manchester film goers can meanwhile choose between Cineworld and Home cinemas across the city centre and Didsbury to enjoy the rest of the festival’s Northern screening selection, which includes the moving and cathartic Back to Berlin documentary following Jewish bikers on their journey from Tel Aviv to Berlin to deliver the Maccabiah torch.
Elsewhere on the Manchester festival programme, the bittersweet comedy directed by Moshe Rosenthal, Karaoke, provides a rare portrayal of the Sephardic middle class in Tel Aviv in a story following a suburban couple drawn to their new charismatic bachelor neighbour.
Since moving the festival online for its 2020 edition, UKJF has also heavily added to its successful on-demand platform for users to watch silver screen classics and contemporary Jewish cinema at home, with highlights such as Regina, Midnight Orchestra, and The Operative providing
a broad setting of globetrotting eras from 1950s Britain to modern day Israel.
“Small box office numbers can be a sorry sight for any passionate cinephile, which is why our team has been working incredibly hard over the last months to keep bringing viewers so many outstanding films through our on-demand service,” said UK Jewish Film Chief Executive, Michael Etherton. “We are equally determined to continue making this festival one that brings people together, and the quality of films is stronger than ever.”
The UK Jewish Film Festival 2022 takes place in cinemas nationwide from 10th to 20th November and online from 21st to 27th November. To explore the full programme and book tickets visit Ukjewishfilm.org