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Highlights

The Zionist Idea – Panel Discussion

Watch here the fascinating discussion that followed the screening of The Zionist Idea.

Melanie Philips, Colin Shindler and David Aaronovich discuss the meaning of Zionism today, Israel, world attitude and more.

 

2015 Festival Programme

Flick through the full Festival Programme

Download a PDF of the Festival Programme

Explore our exciting 2015 Programme, packed with amazing films, events, galas, panels, Q&As and guests.

This year’s film strands include: Lovers, Comics, Fighters, Believers, Witnesses, Strangers, Radicals, First-Timers and Outlaws.

 

Festival Screenings Outside London

UK Jewish Film Festival aims to reach as wide an audience as possible in London and outside London. This year we are holding screenings in Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Nottingham.

We hope to see many of you join us at these screenings and make the Festival a thriving success outside London!

 

 

Galas

Landmark screenings of major UK premieres with fizz and glamour

Fauda – the best of Israeli TV

“Brings the chaos of the West Bank to television” The Times of Israel

Watch the entire stunning new Israeli TV series that has garnered critical acclaim and thrilled audiences in equal measure.  A brilliantly realised depiction of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Effortlessly blending tension and drama with chaos and breakneck twists, Fauda is a heart-stopping thriller showcasing the best of Israeli television.

Fauda will screen in 3 sessions comprising 4 episodes each.  Each session will last approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Co-creator and lead actor Lior Raz will attend a Q&A after the screening on 15 November

Films to see… short films

Pears Short Film Fund Winners – two outstanding short films of 2015 showcasing the best of British-Jewish talent.

Comic Shorts – the funniest laugh-out-loud Jewish themed short films from around the world, the majority being screened for the first time in the UK.

Loving Shorts – enjoy this tender collection of six short films about first loves, star-crossed lovers and courtship.

FilmLab – Experiment! – challenge yourself with this roller coaster collection, showcasing the latest in cutting-edge experimental films on Jewish themes.

Films to see… Israeli films

One place to find all the Israeli films playing at this year’s UK Jewish Film Festival! 

Israel is a hotbed of creative activity and there’s no finer expression of this than through film.  Drawing inspiration from Israel’s unique socio-political climate, the country has produced films that span the full range of genres, crafting a distinct and increasingly important voice on the world cinema stage.

Films to see… Israeli-Palestinian relations

Fauda – the stunning new Israeli TV series that has garnered critical acclaim and thrilled audiences in equal measure.  A brilliantly realised depiction of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Partner with the Enemy – the inspiring story of two women, one Israeli and one Palestinian, uniting with the dream of forming a business.

Sabena – a heart-pounding account of the dramatic hijacking of Sabena flight 571, and an astonishing insight behind this flashpoint from the era of terrorist hijackings.

The Zionist Idea – an ambitious and fascinating history of the modernist Zionist movement, starting from its late nineteenth century beginnings through to the present day.

Film Lab Events (£5)

UKJF’s new FilmLab series is open to anyone who is curious about filmmaking. Discover the secrets of filmmaking from world class creatives at the top of their profession, and enjoy the latest projects in development from the next generation of filmmakers.

Closer to the Moon | Opening Night Gala (BFI South Bank)

A wonderfully inventive and fast-paced comic heist movie starring Mark Strong and Vera Farmiga, based on the true story of a group of Jewish friends and former Resistance members who set out to rob a bank. Set in Communist Romania in 1958, as a tide of anti-Semitism see Jews demoted or dismissed from their posts, the friends decide to retaliate by staging a breathtaking robbery, designed to look like a movie shoot.

Read Observer’s review here

Fire Birds | Closing Weekend Gala (Mayfair Hotel)

Nominated for 5 Israeli Awards, Amir Wolf’s electrifying directorial debut is a unique thriller which is a clever and light-hearted murder-mystery with screen-stealing performances from Israeli stars Gila Almagor and Mali Levi. After the body of a man is discovered in a river with stab wounds and a mysterious tattoo, likeable if gruff police detective Amnon is persuaded to take on the case. Enticingly entwining past and present, this is an intriguing and engrossing movie that keeps you guessing until the final scene.

The Zionist Idea | Followed by Discussion

“A thoughtful and invaluable cinematic document. A significant achievement.” The Hollywood Reporter

A fascinating film on the history of the modern Zionist movement, from its late nineteenth century beginnings through to the present day. An essential and vital piece of filmmaking that takes an unapologetically in-depth look at the birth of the Jewish homeland.

On Panel: journalist Melanie Phillips and writer and scholar Professor Colin Shindler.

Read Hollywood Reporter’s Review

Films to see… for love

5 to 7 A heart-warming comedy-drama exploring the intoxicating affair between a young aspiring writer and the older wife of a French diplomat.

Apples From The Desert – a timeless tale of tradition versus modernity as a young girl starts to break her taboos.

Felix and Meira – two wayward strangers find comfort in one another, as Félix opens Meira’s eyes to the world outside of her Orthodox community.

The Last Five Years – based on the hit musical, a struggling actress and her novelist boyfriend recount the rise and fall of their five-year affair.

Portrait of a Serial Monogamist – a vibrantly fun romantic comedy of one woman’s journey of self-discovery after leaving the love of her life.

Panel discussions

A series of fascinating panel discussions on key Jewish-themed topics featuring a host of guest speakers.

Films to see… family affairs

Look at Us Now, Mother! – biting humour and raw honesty, an intimate story about family dysfunction, forgiveness and healing.

Probation Time – director Avigail Sperber crafts an intensely personal film, focusing on her sister’s battle against alcoholism and her family’s struggle to unite.

What’s in a Name? – a box-office sensation in France, this laugh-out-loud comedy focuses on a family dinner that goes horribly wrong.

 

 

Films to see… comedy

Hill Start – a box-office comic sensation in Israel about a bourgeois Jerusalem family who bring new meaning to the word dysfunctional.

Look at Us Now, Mother! – told with biting humour and raw honesty, this is an intimate story about family dysfunction, forgiveness and healing.

What’s in a Name? – a box-office sensation in France, this laugh-out-loud comedy focuses on a small family dinner that goes horribly wrong.

You Must Be Joking – a quirky, sharp and knowing New York comedy that explores friendship, family, and following your dreams.

Films to see… leading women

I Smile Back – a revelatory performance from Emmy-nominated comedian Sarah Silverman in this visceral tale of suburban disillusionment.

The Duchess of Warsaw – a stirring tale set in a fantastical Paris where a concentration camp survivor reveals her past to her grandson.

Felix and Meira – two wayward strangers find comfort in one another as Félix opens Meira’s eyes to the world outside of her Orthodox community.

Princess – a disturbing, psychological drama, expertly capturing the vulnerability and confusion of a young teenage girl on the cusp of becoming a woman.

Films to see… real-life heroines

The Law – a gripping and elegant biopic tracing Simone Veil’s courageous fight to legalise abortion in France.

The Outrageous Sophie Tucker – brings to life the career of Sophie Tucker, an irrepressible trailblazer who set the precedent for today’s female superstars.

Partner with the Enemy – the inspiring story of two women, one Israeli and one Palestinian, uniting to form a business.

Suffragette – a thrilling drama about the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, forced into confronting an increasingly brutal state.

Yona – looks at one of Israel’s most celebrated cultural icons, Yona Wallach, and her first steps into the realm of Hebrew poetry.

Selected films at this festival

all films from this festival

2016 UK International Jewish Film Festival

This has been an incredibly exciting and packed 20th anniversary UK International Jewish Film Festival, with a broader and more diverse range of films than ever before. We would like to say a huge thank you to all our supporters and sponsors and, of course, to you, our audiences across the UK.

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UK Jewish Film Festival in the Media

Films to see… Happy Hour!

Discounted tickets plus a free drink! 

Ceasefire – religious, class and sexual tensions between two couples threaten to boil over in this superbly gripping drama set during the Second Lebanon War.

JeruZalem – two young girls follow a handsome anthropology student to Jerusalem, but their getaway descends into a nightmare when the Day of Atonement arrives…

She’s Funny That Way – Peter Bogdanovich’s star-powered comedy featuring outrageously funny performances from a glittering cast including Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson.

You Must Be Joking – a quirky, sharp and knowing New York comedy that explores friendship, family, and following your dreams.

Son of Saul

Winner
Best Foreign Language Film, Oscars 2016
Winner
Best Debut Feature Award
UK Jewish Film Festival 2015

“By any standards, this would be an outstanding film, but for a debut it is remarkable” The Guardian

15-26 May, JW3

 

Films to see… Best Debut Feature Award

Celebrating the best debut features at our festival.

5 to 7 – the intoxicating affair between a young aspiring writer and the older wife of a French diplomat.

The Farewell Party – a group of friends at a Jerusalem retirement home who decide to help their terminally ill friend.

Labyrinth of Lies – based on the landmark investigations that led to the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials.

Orthodox – a dark portrait of disintegrating urban lives with an outstanding performance by Stephen Graham.

Son of Saul – a masterful and terrifying debut feature that brings an entirely fresh visual language to Holocaust cinema.

The Anarchist Rabbi (Q&A with Steven Berkoff)

A meditative reflection on London’s Jewish workers’ movement through the voice of anarchist Rudolf Rocker. At the turn of the twentieth century, German-born Rocker campaigned with the Jewish immigrants of east London, preaching anarchism to solve Britain’s class inequality. Acclaimed actor and playwright Steven Berkoff masterfully brings to life Rocker’s ‘ghost’, voicing a narrative that piercingly examines urban development and its destruction of Jewish collective memory.

Odeon Swiss Cottage, 9 November, 18:30