JIFF is back with a show-stopping line-up of 51 Israeli and Jewish-themed features, documentaries and shorts from around the globe.
Building on its dynamic reinvention in 2012 under the helm of Director Eddie Tamir, the Festival will explore the full spectrum of Jewish experience in all its rich complexity, via an incredible 50 Australian premiere screenings, spread, for the first time, across 12 diverse categories to assist patrons in navigating the eclectic slate of movies on offer.
The titles of these categories, which hint at the cinematic gems within, include All the World’s a Stage, Quality Schmaltz, Triumph of the Spirit, Coming of Age, Drama and Desire, Brilliant Minds, Haunted Histories, Power to the People, Reimagining Culture, Women on Film, Hamatzav (The Situation) and…Living Dead (yes, every Festival needs a good Zombie flick!)
Launching JIFF 2013 will be Fill the Void, the poignant story of an 18 year-old girl who finds herself torn between love and duty when pressured to marry the husband of her late sister. Screening courtesy of Rialto Films, this fine drama, set amidst Tel Aviv’s ultra-Orthodox Hassidic enclave, has won a multitude of prestigious awards and was a resounding hit with both critics and audiences at the Toronto and Venice International Film Festivals.
Closing night will pay homage to a great Jewish tradition…humour, with the delicious documentary, When Comedy Went to School – an affectionate look at an era when comic legends such as Jerry Lewis, Sid Caesar, Jerry Stiller, Jackie Mason, Larry King and others honed their patter at the famous Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. Also features rare archival footage of comedians including Lenny Bruce, Rodney Dangerfield, Henny Youngman, Don Rickles, Mel Brooks, Danny Kaye and a young Jerry Seinfeld who all ‘cut their teeth’ on one of the toughest circuits in showbiz.
What lies between is a magnificent homage to Jewish culture encompassing such timeless themes as family, tradition, immigration, connectedness, morality, loss, personal triumph in the face of adversity and perhaps, most importantly, hope.
Sydney: 30th October to 17th November 2013, Event Cinemas, Bondi Junction
Melbourne: 6th to 24th November 2013, Classic Cinemas, Elsternwick