The Miami Jewish Film Festival (MJFF) has announced the schedule and plans for its next 25th edition, which will be a hybrid of live and virtual programming events with a record-breaking selection of 148 films and all virtual screenings accessible free of charge.
From January 13 to 27, the festival will present 108 feature films and 40 short films representing 25 countries, including nine world premieres, 22 international premieres, 18 North American premieres and nine American premieres. The lineup features 22 first-time filmmakers and 54 unprecedented films directed by women (37% of the total program).
The Miami Jewish Film Festival, the world’s largest Jewish film festival, has strived to make its list of films as accessible as possible by providing its entire virtual program for free. The virtual screenings will be hosted on Eventive and will be geolocated in the State of Florida or in the United States. , and North Miami-Dade, among others.
The opening film for MJFF 2022 will be iMordecai, a heartwarming comedy that is a love letter to the city of Miami with Oscar nominated and two-time Emmy Award-winning actor Judd Hirsch (Taxi, Independence Day). . – nominated actors Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings) and Carol Kane (Hester Street).
As the festival’s closing night first falls on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, MJFF will honor and commemorate this important day with the premiere of Vadim Perlman’s powerful Holocaust drama Persian Lessons, which is the Belarusian official entry to the Oscars for Best International Feature Film. The opening and closing evenings will be held at the historic North Beach Bandshell Outdoor Amphitheater in Miami Beach.
Reinforcing its commitment to celebrating local emerging voices, the MJFF presents this year a special focus on ‘Made in Florida’ films with four films receiving their world premieres in this showcase, including: the poignant Holocaust-themed film Against All Odds, the touching documentary Ezra May His Memory Be a Blessing to All, a short film about local artist Donyoni, as well as the MJFF’s opening night film, iMordecai. The other Florida stories previewed at the festival are Three Minutes – A Lengthening, produced by Steve McQueen, the short film Boxed and Sylvie of Sunshine State, which was produced entirely during the COVID-19 lockdown.
MJFF is also activating a series of pop-up roadshow events that will be held under the stars in Greater Miami and will include special guests, live performances and other surprises. Highlights include the open-air premieres at the North Beach Bandshell of acclaimed documentary Bernstein’s Wall about legendary composer Leonard Bernstein, which will be accompanied by a special live performance by the Amernet String Quartet, as well as the premiere of Fiddler’s Journey to the Big Screen featuring a live performance of songs from the musical Fiddler on the Roof.
Other notable events include an open-air premiere at the University of Miami (UM) of The Automat, a compelling film about America’s most iconic automatic restaurant that features interviews with luminaries such as Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
The film’s premiere will be rounded off by a live chat with director Lisa Hurwitz and Rene Rodriguez, former Miami Herald chief film critic and new UM film director Bill Cosford.
On the legendary Ocean Drive strip, on the rooftop of the historic Betsy Hotel, MJFF will launch its inaugural program “Yiddish and Jewish Cinema Between Two Worlds” which celebrates masterpieces of classic silent cinema. As part of its Knight Arts Challenge winning project, MJFF commissioned local artists to create original film scores that will be performed live alongside new restorations of Yiddish and Jewish silent films including: Broken Barriers, Jewish Luck and Hungry Hearts, which will celebrate its centenary. South Florida artists as diverse as synth musicians and rock bands have revived and modernized this invaluable on-screen story, which captures the vibrancy of Jewish life and culture destroyed during the Holocaust. . This program is made possible by the generous support of the Knight Foundation, The Betsy and the National Center for Jewish Film.
New this year, MJFF is launching a section dedicated to Accessibility + Inclusion cinema that will present films that highlight the diversity and commonality of the human experience, raising awareness and appreciating the life, stories and artistic expressions of people with disabilities. Of the eight films featured in this unique program, highlights include the US premieres of the music-themed documentaries Just As I Am and Little Axel, the international premiere of the inspirational Israeli film A Reason to Live, and the premiere of the film. award-winning French drama The Specials, directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano (Les Intouchables) and starring Vincent Cassel.
The world premieres of Converts and Shoah Ambassadors, two uplifting films that retrace the personal journeys of the Gen-Zers, are presented as part of the festival’s Next Wave competition, which is made up of students aged 21 to 35 and young professionals. . Among the 11 films that are part of this competition, there is the intoxicating All Eyes Off Me which presents an incendiary portrait of the Israeli youth, the touching cinema truth Charm Circle presenting an intimate portrait of an eccentric Jewish family, the documentary Israeli Promised Lands, the unique story of a movie within a movie about the grief of a son Death of Cinema and My Father Too, the gay romantic drama The Swimmer, the modern Tel Aviv love story and the fairy tale coming of age We Burn Like This, which took six years to make.
By diving into the 2022 Film Festival program in figures, MJFF audiences will be able to discover a program including 143 film premieres, including nine world premieres, 22 international premieres, 18 North American premieres, nine American premieres, 36 southern premieres. -is US and 30 premieres in Florida, among others, plus over 40 conversations with filmmakers, stars, and academics from around the world.
Full details on the program and tickets for the festival are available at www.miamijewishfilmfestival.org
Tickets for the festival’s in-person / outdoor events are on sale to the public and sales continue throughout the festival. In addition to individual tickets ($ 15 to $ 36), the festival offers full access badges ($ 239) giving access to all films and special events. The films of the festival will be available in streaming for free from Friday January 14 until Wednesday January 26 in the virtual program of MJFF. More information is available at www.miamijewishfilmfestival.org.
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