Through its flagship two-week event, UK Jewish Film showcases a wide range of feature films, documentaries and shorts, which reflect the diversity of Jewish and Israeli life and culture. Since its inception, The UK Jewish Film Festival has welcomed over 300,000 visitors, but this year its popular video on demand platform is set to bring the best of contemporary Jewish cinema from around the world to many more, as its 24th edition moves online from 5th to 20th November 2020.
Michael Etherton, UK Jewish Film chief executive, said: “A closed box office and a silent auditorium is a sorry sight for any passionate cinephile, but for an organisation championing independent films it is especially painful. That’s 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 – and why we are equally determined to make this year’s festival one that brings people together through our first ever fully online festival.
“Although the size of the festival is somewhat reduced this year, the quality of films is stronger than ever. All our films will be introduced, and the festival will be punctuated, as ever, by our three landmark gala premieres.”
The Opening Night Gala on 5th November will showcase When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, based on Judith Kerr’s beloved semi-autobiographical book capturing both the growing Nazi threat and the magic of childhood, which is followed by a Q&A with director Caroline Link and lead Matthew Kneale. The Centrepiece Gala on 14th November will screen The End of Love, a sensitive and compelling drama about relationships, immigration and the impact technology has on our lives, along with a Q&A with director Keren Ben Rafael and lead Judith Chemla. The festival closes out on 19th November with romcom Honeymood, Talya Lavie’s follow-up to her smash hit Zero Motivation, featuring an interview with the director herself.
Alongside feature-length dramas, comedies and documentaries, the festival will bring an array of new shorts from Britain and around the world illuminating eras from 1950s Britain to modern-day Israel. Directed by both emerging and established filmmakers, ageing, sexuality, gender, memory, tradition and faith are just some of the themes that are sensitively, and often humorously, explored in this year’s film selection.
UK Jewish Film’s educational programme puts film at the core of learning about Jewish values, heritage and culture. Adapting to the challenges of COVID-19, the festival has continued to create new content about filming in lockdown, encouraging young filmmakers and offering opportunities to showcase work.
The session Antisemitism & Film explores Jewish representation on screen through an intriguing collection of rare and famous film clips from the 1900s until today. While in Not Just a Few Squirts of Ketchup, professional make-up artist Madeleine Ellis delivers a free online tutorial for budding filmmakers demonstrating how to make beautifully gory cuts and bruises.
A summer programme for families offered a unique experience of Israel through the eyes of filmmakers and their differing perspectives. Moving from 1968 to the present, via Tel Aviv and the Negev, the films featured characters from Ashkenazi, Mizrachi and Palestinian heritage. During the upcoming session, Israel on Screen, viewers can enjoy clips from the three films screened during the project, families’ responses to their viewing and a panel discussion exploring representation of Israeli society through film.
To help festival-goers access as many films as possible over the fortnight, organisers are offering festival passes at £35 and promise more Q&As, panel discussions and special events than ever before.
Explore the full programme and book your tickets at Ukjewishfilm.org.