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Jewish International Film Festival 2017

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A remarkable diversity of Jewish culture & storytelling
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The Jewish International Film Fest is back, loaded with a line up of 65 films from 26 countries. Filled with award winners like The Wedding Plan, The Women's Balcony and more, there's also a strong Australian focus, including two local shorts financed by the JIFF Short Film Fund. Bringing you the cream of the new crop of Israeli films, you'll find over 30 Ophir (Israeli Oscar) award nominated films at this event.

Screening in Melbourne (25 Oct-22 Nov, Classic & Lido Cinemas); Sydney (26 Oct-22 Nov, Event Cinemas, Bondi Junction & Hayden Orpheum, Cremorne); Brisbane (26 Oct-1 Nov, New Farm Cinemas); Canberra (2-12 Nov, Dendy Cinemas) and Perth (8-19 Nov, Greater Union, Morley); be sure to look into Group Bookings and Festival Passes and Membership, to save yourself some dollars. Stay updated on the Facebook page.

If you've not managed to get yourself a hardcopy of the program, CLICK HERE to download the online pdf format of the program.

A touching father-son drama is the chosen film for Opening Night, directed by Joshua Weinstein. This 82 minute long film has been shot in secret entirely within the Hasidic community depicted in the film. Performed wholly in Yiddish, Menashe gives you a peep into a notoriously private community.

Set within the New York Hasidic community in Borough Park, Brooklyn, we follow a kind but clueless grocery store clerk trying to hold on to his son Rieven after his wife passes away. Tradition requires that a mother be present in every home, but Menashe gets a week granted to spend with his son. It's his final chance to prove to his sceptical community that he can be a capable parent. It's authentic, deeply moving, gently comedic and more, and based largely on the real life of its Hasidic star. As with all opening night events, tickets best be got early for this popular event.

The Rebel in the Rye is the 106 minute long closing night event film starring Kevin Spacey and Nicholas Hoult. It chronicles one of the 20th century's greatest writers, J. D. Salinger over a span of 15 seminal years. It's a surprising and comprehensive account of an unconventional author known to be notoriously reclusive. With Hoult in the lead performance, it covers Salinger's Jewish upbringing, and his enrolment in a Columbia writing class with Whit Burnett (Spacey), through to his huge success with the iconic novel, Catcher in the Rye.

Used to seeing Hoult in X Men and Warm Bodies, and as a young boy in About a Boy, it's going to be great to watch him take on a meatier role that'll claw at all he has to give as an actor.

My Mother's Lost Children is the 89 min long Australian story from Melbourne filmmaker Danny Ben-Moshe. This is a family story that's extraordinary, and where truth-is-stranger-than-fiction. Ben-Moshe's mother was 15 when she married Raymond, a charismatic Iranian Jew. They divorced after the birth of their two children. three years later, Raymond took the children to a nearby park for an excursion, and they never returned. Forty years later, the stolen children reappear, throwing the family into disarray. To discover the truth and put the past to rest, Ben-Moshe and his family embark on a remarkable journey from Australia to England and Iran, to unravel the dense web of secrets.

The Goethe-Institut has collaborated and supported the screening of Moritz Daniel Oppenheim: The First Jewish Painter, and the visit of its director Isabel Gathof, in Sydney and Melbourne. This movie documents the traces of Oppenheim, icon of the Jewish emancipation in Germany and his impact as the first Jewish painter of the modern era across Germany, France and Israel. There'll be Q&A sessions with the director after screenings in Sydney (5 Nov) and Melbourne (29 Oct ).

Spot more than a few famous faces in a star-studded retrospective on Pulitzer Prize winners of the past 100 years! Complete with gripping dramas, short films, documentaries, TV series, Q&As, special events, a kugel making competition, and films that'll make you laugh and cry, this is not a Festival to miss!

There are more films than there are days to cover it, so get busy mapping out the events that pique your interest. There's a slew of great ones to choose from.
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Why? Jewish International Film Festival 2017
When: 2017: Melbourne: 25 Oct - 22 Nov / Sydney: 26 Oct - 22 Nov / Brisbane: 26 Oct - 1 Nov / Canberra: 2 - 12 Nov / Perth: 8 - 19 Nov 2017
Where: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth
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