Event details

The screening will be followed be a Q&A with the film’s director, Ross Clarke, and UK Jewish Film Festival founder and president, Judy Ironside MBE.

Attending this event

Ross Clarke

Ross directed the award winning feature documentary film Skid Row starring Pras Michel from the Grammy winning band The Fugees – a dark and eye opening insight into the life of the 10,000 plus homeless on the streets of Los Angeles every night, the film went on to be screened at the Obama confirming Democratic Conference in 2008 and secure a theatrical release in the US and featuring on Netflix as one of their early outlier documentaries.

Ross’ feature debut Desiree adapted from the acclaimed mind bending thriller Dermaphoria by Craig Clevenger and starring Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy, Hellboy) , and Walton Goggins (The Hateful 8, Vice Principals ) opened the East End Film Festival in 2014. Described by Screen International as “A freewheelingly moody, mysterious and often hallucinogenic film that mixes film noir with psychological drama” it was released internationally in 2015.

Ross wrote and directed the short film Some Place Safe starring Mark Strong (Kingsman) which premiered at the London Film Festival. In 2010 Ross’s documentary In Spite of All the Danger about Sam Taylor-Wood and the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, screened on UK broadcaster Channel 4 and garnered great reviews.

He is also working on an original screenplay with Jay Parini (The Last Station) and Andy Paterson (Girl with Pearl Earring) about legendary Argentinian writer and surrealist Borges and his time in Scotland in the 1970s entitled Borges and Me.

Ross studied Economics (BA) then Film and Critical Theory (MA) at Manchester University. He worked with the Film Council and London University as a Screenwriting Lecturer. He helped develop over 20 short films with various government creative schemes and was screenwriting lecturer on the Birkbeck / London University Film Degree and himself studied at the prestigious Screenwriters Boot Camp in Los Angeles.

He is writing a book on The American Dream and Modern American Cinema for Routledge to be published in 2020.

Judy Ironside MBE

Judy Ironside is the Founder and President of UK Jewish Film.

Judy started the Brighton Jewish Film Festival in 1997 with films, guests and educational screenings. These early years were followed, in 2005, by the achievement of a national move to become the UK Jewish Film Festival which is now the major exhibitor of films with Jewish themes in the UK and in Europe.   With a new identity of UK Jewish Film, established in September 2011, there followed programmes of  year round excellence and  broader educational programmes.   Judy has brought a very substantial number of international films and guests to London and Cities across the UK and has helped to ensure that films focussing on Jewish life, experience,  history and worldwide cultures are offered wide exhibition to both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences.

In 2007 Judy established the Pears Short Film Fund at UK Jewish Film to encourage new filmmakers and to promote film making with Jewish themes in the UK.

In 2011 Judy started the Geneva International Jewish Film Festival which is now firmly established as the first Jewish Film Festival in Switzerland.

Judy previously trained as a Drama Therapist and has worked extensively with children and young people with special needs and as a Supervisor for teachers and therapists working in education and the creative arts.  This work continues and Judy is a mentor for various professionals including those in film, dance and theatre.

Judy is an Ambassador of The Forgiveness Project which is a UK-based charitable organisation which explores forgiveness, reconciliation and conflict resolution through real-life human experience.


Films screening at this event

The Birdcatcher

Ross Clarke
100 min

“A film full of sound and fury.”
The Times of Israel


Esther, a beautiful Jewish-Norwegian teenager, dreams of moving to America with her parents and becoming a Hollywood star. But shortly before the family manages to leave Europe, the Nazis invade the country and their hometown. They are rounded up but Esther manages to escape and winds up on an occupied farm, where she pretends to be a Norwegian boy, perhaps her most demanding role yet. Suspenseful and chilling, The Birdcatcher sheds light on the little-known plight of Norwegian Jews during the war.

Awards & Festivals

Winner – Best Cinematography & Best Feature, European Cinematography Awards 2019

Winner – Best International Film, Best Actress Feature Film (Sarah-Sofie Boussnina), Best Supporting Actor (Jakob Cedergren), Best Sound & Best Cinematographer, Garden State Film Festival 2019

Winner – Best Feature, Hill Country Film Festival 2019

Nominated – Best Nordic Feature, Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2019


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