UK Jewish Film Festival

Heiming up the bard

By Simon Rocker, November 22, 2010

Surprise hit of the Jewish Film Festival was Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish. A hundred Charedim turned up at London's Tricycle theatre, many familiar with cast members who had flown from New York for the screening. "I'm pretty sure that the Tricycle had never seen anything like it," said JFF director Judy Ironside, "and neither had we".

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Hollywood legend gunned down in car

By Jennifer Lipman, November 17, 2010

A legendary Jewish Hollywood publicist was shot and killed in Beverly Hills on her way home from the premiere of the new Christina Aguilera film.

Ronni Chasen, 64, who represented stars including Natalie Wood and Morgan Freeman, was found dead in her car after being shot several times in the chest.

She was driving down Sunset Boulevard at the time, and police found the car crashed into a lamppost.

Hours earlier she had been mingling with celebrities at the opening night of the Cher film Burlesque.

Born in New York, she founded the Chasen & Company publicity firm.

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Review: The Yankles

By Katie Taylor, November 16, 2010

In the "Big inning" there was God, a few Yeshiva students and an ex-prisoner. The Yankles is a comedy about a group of Yeshiva students who have a calling from God to start a baseball team, aptly named, The Yankles.

It is a true comedic sight as an army of Yeshiva student baseball players, dressed in their uniform black and white suits, march on to the baseball pitch, with Tzizit hanging freely and Payot tumbling from their baseball helmets.

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Religion.com

By Jenni Frazer, November 16, 2010

Religion.com is a 50 minute excursion into the mysterious life of the strictly Orthodox in Israel and, specifically, their relationship with the Internet.

It feels, however, more like 50 hours, as the documentary directors Ron Ofer and Yohai Hakak strain repetitively to persuade the viewers to warm to their two main protagonists.

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Atonement Day

By Jenni Frazer, November 16, 2010

Kippur, or Atonement Day, is a sweet and rather unexpected short feature film made by the students of the Beit Berl College Film Department in Israel which candidly depicts the gap between religious and secular Jews.

Neta, a medical student, lives in a slightly squalid Tel Aviv apartment with a floating population of permanently stoned flatmates, most of whom spend their time either playing tv games or watching violent films.

For the flatmates, Yom Kippur is just like any other day; and for Neta, too, it's a day when she can take her bike out and cycle round the near deserted streets.

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Stars out for UK Jewish Film Festival

By Jennifer Lipman, November 5, 2010

The 2010 UK Jewish Film Festival opened last night with a screening of The Debt at Vue West End cinema.

Celebrities including Claudia Winkleman and Downton Abbey actress Elizabeth McGovern turned out to watch Helen Mirren star as a Mossad agent on the run from her Nazi-hunting past.

Other big names in the audience included Vanessa Feltz, Lord Levy, Alan Yentob and Ronnie Ancona, as well as the Festival’s first ever Ambassador, Tracy-Ann Oberman.

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Jewish cinema: Hollywood's kosher hits

By Jennifer Lipman, November 4, 2010

The 14th UK Jewish Film Festival runs until November 21 at cinemas across London. A look at some of the highs and lows of Jewish life on screen. Full coverage of the 2010 UK Jewish Film Festival

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The directors putting UK Jews on the big screen

By Jennifer Lipman, November 4, 2010

It was earlier this year, on his own wedding day, that film director Sam Leifer came up with an idea for his next project. In keeping with tradition, straight after the ceremony he and his new wife went to the yichud room for their first secluded moment together as man and wife.

“After 10 years together, it seemed slightly unnatural to be in that situation,” says Leifer. “It was almost a question of, what do we talk about?”

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Interview: Joan Rivers

October 29, 2010

Joan Rivers stands on-stage in a concert hall in the wilds of Wisconsin, regaling a packed audience with her trademark brand of edgy humour. Suddenly a man complains in a loud voice about a gag she has made on the subject of deafness. He announces he is walking out. Rivers, visibly shaken, subjects him to a volley of invective as he leaves the auditorium.

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Where you can catch the Chasidic drug mules

By Jennifer Lipman, October 22, 2010

What do drug-smuggling Chasids, Joan Rivers and a Yiddish version of Shakespeare have in common? They are all coming to London next month as part of the UK Jewish Film Festival.

Now in its 14th year, the 2010 UKJFF has a packed programme, including a Chinese cartoon about Shanghai’s Jewish refugees during the Holocaust and the comic tale of an strictly Orthodox baseball team.

Of the 66 films being screened, nearly 50 are premieres, with the opening-night audience treated to an exclusive preview of The Debt, a thriller starring Helen Mirren as a former Mossad agent.

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