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The Jewish International Film Festival

  • Event Cinemas Innaloo 57 Liege Street Woodlands, WA, 6018 Australia (map)
Still from HOLYLANDS

Still from HOLYLANDS

The Jewish International Film Festival returns to Perth in two weeks to Greater Union Cinemas Morley from 7 – 18 November. The Festival will celebrate another year of spectacular Jewish cinema from around the globe, from star-studded stories Love, Gilda and Studio 54, to emotional war dramaSobibor and marvellous musical mayhem in Redemption.

“I am delighted to present our vibrant 2018 program. This year’s Festival will celebrate the rich tapestry of Jewish culture, from powerful stories championing wonderfully Jewish perspectives, to a collaboration with significant Jewish and arts organisations across Australia,” said Jewish International Film Festival Artistic Director, Eddie Tamir.

From its World Premiere at the Berlinale, kicking off the Festival is The Interpreter, starring prolific Austrian actor Peter Simonischek (Toni Erdmann) and Oscar-winning filmmaker Jirí Menzel (Closely Watched Trains). Oscillating between comedy and tragedy, the charming odd-couple adventure follows a Holocaust survivor on a Slovakian road trip with the son of the SS officer who executed his parents.

Straight from the Opening Night of the Jerusalem Film Festival, the Festival will close with Shababnikim director Eliran Malk'sThe Unorthodox, inspired by the unique formation of the first ethnic political group in Jerusalem. The film follows a Sephardi Jew who is affronted when his daughter is expelled from school because of her ethnic background, and takes on the Ashkenazi-dominated Israeli political system fuelled by rage, passion, and a burning sense of injustice.

Sobibor is the directorial debut of Russian film icon Konstantin Khabenskiy. The historical drama accounts the only successful mass breakout from a Nazi extermination camp in history, made in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the camp rebellion.

Also screening will be Love, Gilda, a moving portrait of comedy legend and SNL original Gilda Radner. Directed by US filmmaker Lisa D’Apolito, the film features interviews with fellow SNL stars Chevy Chase, Melissa McCarthy, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph. 

Audiences can also catch queer Israeli coming-of-age story Red Cow; and winner of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Ecumenical Jury Award,Redemption, religion-to-rockstar musical with a soundtrack elevating traditional simcha music to rock ’n’ roll cool.

Family drama Holy Lands features a star-studded cast: Hollywood legend James Caan (The Godfather), Tom Hollander (Pride and Prejudice), and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Bend It Like Beckham).

Music fans can’t miss: a lively account of renowned Brooklyn A-list nightclub Studio 54, the epicentre of 70’s hedonism; and Itzhak, an affectionate documentary about the celebrated 16-time Grammy Award-winning violinist Itzhak Perlman.

From books to the big screen, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, is a hilarious biopic starring two-time Primetime Emmy Award winner Melissa McCarthy as the best-selling celebrity biographer Lee Israel; and Promise at Dawn, an adaptation of legendary French novelist Romain Gary’s autobiography, starring British-French singer Charlotte Gainsbourg (Antichrist).

Stories based on real events include: An Act of Defiance, spotlighting Jewish involvement in Nelson Mandela’s rebellion against Apartheid; The Invisibles, the story of four young Jews living in disguise in Berlin after the city is declared “Jew-free” by Nazis in 1943; 87 Children, following a woman hiding Jewish orphans in plain sight of the Nazis, disguised as Crimean Tatars.

Highlight documentaries are Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee The Oslo Diaries, unravelling the negotiations in the historic Oslo Accords; Waldheim Waltz, a biographical drama on former UN Secretary General Kurt Josef Waldheim’s controversial involvement in the Nazi regime; and Who Will Write Our History, the first film shining a light on the Oyneg Shabes band of journalists and scholars fighting Nazi oppression with pen and paper.

Also on the doco line-up is The Twinning Reaction, a thrilling exposé on the tragically failed 1960’s experiment separating twins at birth, popularised by Sundance Special Jury Prize winner Three Identical Strangers.

Earlier Event: October 25
Later Event: November 16
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