This year’s UK Jewish Film Festival programme features 75 films from more than 20 countries at 115 screenings across London, Belfast, Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham. The festival, which runs from November 9 to 26, features the premiere of An Act of Defiance, directed by Jean van de Velde, which will be screened at the opening gala night.
Set in South Africa, 1963, it is based on the true story of ten black and Jewish men who are arrested for conspiring against the apartheid system.
Michael Etherton, Chief Executive of UKJF said: “At the heart of this 21st anniversary Festival is a spirit of openness to fresh ideas, new creative talent, and to telling stories from unexpected places that challenge stereotypes and preconceptions. “It’s this dynamism and openness that has helped UK Jewish Film reach more and more people year on year and over the last 12 months it has been our pleasure to welcome more than 28,000 attendees to our screenings and events.”
Further galas and premieres will include Ferenc Török’s 1945, a powerful and innovative study of a post-war, village community, which screened in the Official Selection at Berlin this year and is likely to be a contender for the Festival’s Best Film Award. The ramifications of WWII are felt in Sam Garbarski’s Bye Bye Germany - a hyperreal comedy set in Frankfurt, 1946 – and in a more contemporary setting for Menno Meyjes’s The Hero, a dark thriller by the co-writer of The Empire of the Sun.
The documentaries featured this year are particularly strong, including films about Hollywood legends Hedy Lamarr and Jerry Lewis, a film about Israel’s founder David ben Gurion, made from recently rediscovered footage of an exclusive interview that happened by chance; and Supergirl, featuring Naomi Kutin, a 12-year-oldfrom New Jersey. Raised in an Orthodox Jewish family, Naomi started competing as a powerlifter at the age of eight, breaking world records set by much older women.
The Fabulous Allan Carr tells the story of the award-winning Hollywood producer and agent who managed stars such as Tony Curtis and Michelle Pfeifer and brought the box-office hits Grease, The Deerhunter and La Cage aux Folles to the screen and stage.
Debut films include Yaniv Berman’s unsettling thriller Land of the Little People - and Ofir Raul Grazier with the Cannes 2017 hit The Cakemaker.
British and Irish talent is on show in The History of Love, based on the novel by Nicole Krauss and starring Gemma Atherton; Love is Thicker than Water, starring Henry Goodman and Juliet Stevenson, and No Pay, Nudity, starring Gabriel Byrne, a bittersweet look at the world of showbiz..
There will be a night of awards for Best Film, Best Debut, Audience Choice and now for Best Screenplay. The Pears Short Film Fund returns for the 11th year and the 2017winners The Master of York, by Kieron Quirke, and The Outer Circle by Adam Baroukh will be screened.