Dear film lovers,

Welcome to the 23rd UK Jewish Film Festival and to what I believe will be an outstanding year of entertainment and a wonderful display of the richness of Jewish culture as expressed through film.

This year we are able, with the benefit of funding from the British Film Institute, to take the festival to venues throughout the country with more than 20 cities having the benefit of the very best that the festival has to offer, on top of our twelve venues in London. Many of these cities have very small Jewish communities and have very little exposure to a positive vision of Jewish culture. It is an opportunity to reach out to the wider British community in a way that only film can do.

We are bringing to you a variety of programming from Israel and around the world, comprising around 150 screenings of 95 feature films, documentaries and shorts. Thanks to your support we are now the largest Jewish film festival in Europe and the only one accredited as a BAFTA qualifying festival enabling our entrants to qualify for recognition in short film awards.

Our work in bringing you the best films of Jewish interest from around the world continues throughout the year with our regular screenings and our audience is now some 30,000 people. We have also been taking, to some schools in Tower Hamlets, our programme for educating children about antisemitism through using film extracts as a tool for learning and debate.

We are always looking for ways of broadening our audience both within the Jewish community and wider. To this end, I am delighted that this year we have set up a panel of young people to judge the new Young Jury Award for Best Short Film. This provides a chance for a panel of 12 enthusiastic young jurors to decide on the best short film and to present the award at a special ceremony during the Festival.

Thank you to our office team led by Michael Etherton who work so hard to bring the festival to you, to our volunteers who assist in viewing the films to decide what to show, and in running the festival, to our film sponsors for their crucial financial support and finally to you, our audience, who make it all worthwhile.

Jonathan Lewis

UK Jewish Film Chairman