Jewish Film Festival to Bring Thousands to Silver Spring

The Washington Jewish Film Festival will take over the DC area for its 24th year from Feb. 27 through March 9, with the AFI theatres in Silver Spring featuring more than a dozen films. Hanna-s-Journey-460-300

The festival claims to be the “largest Jewish cultural event” in Washington, bringing more than 10,000 attendees, and including world, U.S. and Washington premieres of films from South Africa, Tanzania, Israel, Europe and the United States.

“This has been a banner year for international cinema, with some of the top filmmakers from around the world helming new works,” said Ilya Tovbis, Washington Jewish Film Festival director.

“With new films by luminaries like Avi Nesher, Eytan Fox, John Turturro and Jeanine Meerapfel, our audiences are in for a real treat. Newcomers and mid-career artists join us with magnificently creative films such The Man Who Made Angels Fly, Natan and Noye’s Fludde, pushing our program in new directions,” he said.

This year’s Centerpiece Evening film is the sneak preview of Fading Gigolo, directed by and starring John Turturro and featuring Woody Allen. In the film, a failing New York City bookstore owner teams up with a florist to make a living by plying the world’s most ancient profession. The Centerpiece Evening will take place March 8 at 7:15 p.m. at the AFI Silver Theater, and will be followed by an extended Q&A with Turturro.

For more information, visit the festival’s website here.

Below is a complete schedule of the cultural films playing in Silver Spring:


Dir. Yuval Adler (99min, Israel/UK/Belgium/Germany, 2013)
In Hebrew and Arabic with English Subtitles, Narrative
Saturday, March 1, 5:00 p.m.
Israel’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, Bethlehem tells the story of the complex relationship between an Israeli Secret Service officer and his teenage Palestinian informant.


Dir. Pawel Pawlikowski (80min, Poland, 2013)
In Polish with English Subtitles, Narrative
Saturday, March 1, 7:15 p.m.
Direct from its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, this Oscar-contender seamlessly weaves together two deeply resonant narratives of identity set in Poland in 1962.


Dir. Anne Weil, Philippe Kotlarski (100min, France/Germany/Canada/Russia, 2013)
In French, Russian and Hebrew with English Subtitles, Narrative
Saturday, March 1, 9:45 p.m.
During the day, they pose as simple tourists and visit monuments and museums. In the evening, they secretly rendezvous with “refuseniks,” Jews persecuted by the Soviet regime for wanting to leave the country.


Dir. Diane Kurys (110min, France, 2013)
In French with English Subtitles, Narrative
Sunday, March 2, 1:00 p.m.
In her mid-thirties, Anne knows practically nothing of her family’s past. After her mother’s death, Anne discovers old photos and letters that convince her to take a closer look at her parents’ life after the concentration camps of World War II.


Dir. Julia Von Heinz (99min, Germany/Israel, 2013)
In German and Hebrew with English Subtitles, Narrative
Sunday, March 2, 3:30 p.m.
Hanna’s motives for spending several months in Israel working with disabled youths and elderly Holocaust survivors aren’t noble, but meeting Itay might just change her self-centered ways.


Dir. Jeanine Meerapfel (110min, Germany/Argentina, 2013)
In Spanish and German with English Subtitles, Narrative
Sunday, March 2, 5:45 p.m.
She is the daughter of German-Jewish immigrants and he is the son of a senior SS officer – a tragic political legacy that will haunt them both.


Dir. Adi Adwan (82min, Israel, 2013)
In Hebrew and Arabic with English Subtitles, Narrative
Monday, March 3, 7:30 p.m.
The first feature by an Israeli Druze filmmaker, Adi Adwan’s Arabani is a beautifully crafted tale about Yosef, who, newly divorced from his Jewish wife, returns to his Druze village.


Dir. Wladyslaw Pasikowski (104min, Poland/Holland/Russia/Slovakia, 2013)
In Polish with English Subtitles, Narrative
Tuesday, March 4, 7:15 p.m.
A tense and gripping thriller, the story of two brothers: Jozek and Franek, who discover a terrible secret and are forced to revise their perception of their father, their entire family, their neighbors, and the history of their nation.


Dir. Oliver Ziegenbalg (96min, Germany, 2012)
In Russian and German with English Subtitles, Narrative
Wednesday, March 5, 7:30 p.m.
Berlin 1989 – Vladimir and his best pals Andrej and Mischa seize their chance to leave Moscow for Berlin, which in the early nineties is one of the most exciting places on the globe.


Dir. Diana Groo (63min, Hungary, 2013) Documentary
Thursday, March 6, 7:15 p.m.
Regina Jones, played here by Rachel Weisz was the first female Rabbi– a prototypical feminist, who would have never copped to the term.

FADING GIGOLO (Centerpiece Film)

Dir. John Turturro (98min, USA, 2013) Narrative
Saturday, March 8, 7:15 p.m.
Facing the imminent closure of his business, a New York City bookstore owner (Woody Allen) teams up with his florist friend (John Turturro) on an outlandish scheme.


Dir. Menahem Golan (86min, USA/West Germany, 1980) Narrative
Saturday, March 8, 10:00 p.m.
A piece of classic 80s kitsch, this wildly entertaining dystopic vision of a futuristic “1994,” The Apple rivals Rocky Horror and Hedwig and the Angry Inch in the cult musical genre.


Dir. Duki Dror (Israel/France, 2013)
In Arabic and Hebrew with English Subtitles, Documentary
Sunday, March 9, 1:45 p.m.
Jews once played a major role in Iraqi society, and this investigative documentary traces their story, and that of the brutal campaign that eventually drove them out from Baghdad.

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Valerie Bonk

About Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media (MCM).


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