Film Festivals,

The Establishing Shot: 2011 UK Jewish Film Festival & some picks

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

UK Jewish Film FestivalAs I mentioned in one of my previous posts that the internet is abuzz with London Film Festival chatter and you may have missed some other upcoming London Film Festivals. The second festival I'm highlighting is the 2011 UK Jewish Film Festival.

The 15th annual festival featuring 70 feature films, shorts and documentaries screening in 13 venues in and around London including award-winning titles from the UK, Israel, USA, Poland, Russia, Canada, Czech Republic, France and more...

The 2011 UK Jewish Film Festival is set to burst onto London screens from 1-20 November 2011 with a dynamic programme of 70 films from a broad range of UK and international filmmakers. Presenting international features, documentaries, TV specials and short films, the UKJFF provides an unrivalled showcase for works on Jewish themes by filmmakers of all backgrounds and nationalities.

It has grown exponentially since Executive Director Judy Ironside founded the festival in 1997 as the Brighton Jewish Film Festival and has, over the years, widened its programming and appeal. It has consistently punched above its weight in its selection of films, its support of filmmakers and its extra-curricular activities such as national film tours, interfaith screenings, emerging filmmaker workshops, talks and discussions.

This year’s 15th UK Jewish Film Festival will have something for everyone: comedy, horror, drama, romcoms, documentaries, shorts and more at 13 different venues including the Tricycle, BFI, Odeon West End, Cine Lumiere, Prince Charles, The Coronet, Soho House, PeckhamPlex, Everyman, Phoenix, and the brand-new IMAX Swiss Cottage.

“I’m very excited about this year’s Festival,” commented Judy Ironside. “It’s our aim to provide great entertainment for a wide audience in tandem with showing work that promotes respect, understanding and communication between communities of all backgrounds, ages and cultures. I’m extremely proud of all 70 titles; there really is a huge range of excellent work on offer and we’ll be staging some very interesting Q&A events with film and documentary filmmakers throughout.”

On 1 November 2011 the Festival opens at the Odeon West End with a gala screening of the powerful drama, This Must Be The Place co-written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino (Il Divo) and starring double-Oscar winner Sean Penn.

On 5 November the Tricycle cinema in Kilburn will screen Footnote, an Israeli drama written and directed by Joseph Cedar, which won the ‘Best Screenplay Award’ at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The Tricycle will also host a special screening of the multi-Oscar®-winning UK classic Chariots Of Fire to commemorate the film’s 30th anniversary. Director Hugh Hudson will be guest of honour.

And just in case anyone thought they were safe to walk home across the park...comes a rare slasher movie from Israel – Rabies – “where the story is of equal if not greater interest than the slashings...clever, chilling, blackly comic...” ( – Rabies will be screened as a late night event at the Coronet on 12 November and the PeckhamPlex on 17 November 2011.

The full programme can be found at:
2011 UK Jewish Film Festival Hot Picks:

The Debt - Thursday 22 September, Odeon Swiss Cottage, 8pm
The UK Jewish Film Festival is delighted to celebrate the announcement of the UKJFF 2011 programme by inviting you to a very special preview screening of acclaimed film The Debt at the all new IMAX at Odeon Swiss Cottage. Join us at the brand new state of the art IMAX screen at Odeon Swiss Cottage to find out about the strongest UKJFF line up to date, and be part of a very special evening.

Helen Mirren (4 Academy Award nominations, winning the Oscar for her performance in The Queen) and Sam Worthington (Clash of the Titans and Avatar) star in The Debt, the powerful story of Rachel Singer, a former Mossad agent who endeavored to capture and bring to trial a notorious Nazi war criminal – the Surgeon of Birkenau – in a secret Israeli mission that ended with his death on the streets of East Berlin.

Now, 30 years later, a man claiming to be the doctor has surfaced, and Rachel must go back to Eastern Europe to uncover the truth. Overwhelmed by haunting memories of her younger self and her two fellow agents, the still-celebrated heroine must relive the trauma of those events and confront the debt she has incurred.

Directed by John Madden (Oscar winning Shakespeare in Love, Proof and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin). The Debt is based on the 2007 Israeli film Ha-Hov.

This Must Be The Place - Tuesday 1 November Odeon West End 7pm

This Must Be The Place Premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival starring Sean Penn as an ageing rock star who decides to find his father’s tormentor, an ex-Nazi war criminal who’s living somewhere in the US. Paolo Sorrentino (‘Il Divo’) directs, stars include Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch, and newcomer Eve Hewson.

Footnote - Saturday 5 November Tricycle 7.30pm
Best Screenplay Award/Cannes 2011. Tragicomic drama about a power struggle between a father and his son within the Talmud department of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Lipstikka - Sunday 6 November Tricycle 8.30pm
Amidst the political turmoil of the first Intifada, two Palestinian teenage girls sneak into the Jewish part of Jerusalem to see a film but what begins as a youthful prank develops into a twisted set of events. Official Competition Berlin International Film Festival.

Mahler On The Couch - Sunday 6 November Everyman Hampstead 8pm
Written and directed by German father and son team, Percy Adlon (Bagdad Cafe) and Felix Adlon, this is a witty examination of Gustav Mahler’s relationship with his tempestuous wife, Alma, and his search for advice from Sigmund Freud. Naturally features a top notch Mahler score.

The Dreamers - Tuesday 8 November Odeon Swiss Cottage 7.30pm
Two orthodox women break away from their closed society, rabbinical censorship and a cloistered make movies.

Mordechai Richler - Last Of The Wild Jews - Tuesday 8 November Tricycle 7pm
Unmissable documentary about Canadian Jewish author Mordechai Richler (1931-2001) whose angry, intellectual works formed part of a Jewish cultural explosion in the 20th century. The UKJFF will screen The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974), an adaptation of Richler’s 1959 novel on 8 November at the Tricycle and Barney’s Version (2010) on 9 November at the Swiss Cottage Odeon.

Crime After Crime - Wednesday 9 November Tricycle 7pm
A gripping documentary about the battle to free Deborah Peagler who spent 26 years in prison for her connection to the murder of the man who brutally abused her. Debbie’s story takes an unexpected turn when a pair of novice attorneys, (one of whom is an Orthodox Jew), decide to take up her case... and, in the process, cause a legal meltdown...

Salsa Tel Aviv - Thursday 10 November Tricycle 8.45pm
This highly entertaining musical romantic comedy was a big hit at the New York Israeli Film Festival; Vicky is a talented Mexican salsa dancer and single mother who decides to journey to Israel, disguised as a nun, to join her ex-husband. En route the disguised nun meets handsome, brainy, engaged Yoni...

David - Thursday 10 November Tricycle 7pm/Sunday 13 November Odeon Woodford 4.30pm
Daud, a young religious Muslim boy befriends a group of Jewish boys who assume he’s one of them and a genuine bond of friendship is formed... until Daud’s true identity is discovered and his newly discovered world of freedom and camaraderie is shattered.

How To Re-establish A Vodka Empire - Saturday 12 November Tricycle 9.30pm

British director Dan Edelstyn discovers – through reading the diaries of his Jewish grandmother who fled the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 – that his great grandfather’s Ukrainian vodka factory still exists. He decides to import its high quality vodka to the UK, and, in doing so, discovers much about his roots.

Rabies - Saturday 12 November Coronet 10pm/Thursday 17 November PeckhamPlex 8.30pm

Israel’s first ever horror flick! Rabies was a big hit at this year’s Film 4 FrightFest: “Keshales and Papushado have mixed such disparate ideas of political satire, slasher-horror and sexual politics together to create something incredibly entertaining...”

Chariots Of Fire - Sunday 13 November Tricycle 6.30pm

Chariots Of Fire A special gala screening of the multi-Oscar®- winning 1981 film with director Hugh Hudson in attendance.

Mary Lou - Sunday 13 November BFI Southbank 2pm
A fabulous cross between a gay version of Mamma Mia! and Glee – in Hebrew – Mary Lou is about Meir, a young gay man who travels to Tel Aviv to find his long-lost mother and becomes a popular drag queen. Released in Israel as a four part TV series; won the equivalent of the Israeli Emmy in 2010.

Diary - Monday 14 November Everyman Hampstead 6.30pm
The late Brazilian-born Israeli filmmaker, David Perlov, became internationally famous for his Cinematic Essays and, above all, for his film Diary, the visual account of his own life which he shot on 16mm 1973-83. This segment is set between 1981 and 1982.

The Hangman - Tuesday 15 November Tricycle 7pm
Nazi and Holocaust organiser, Adolf Eichmann, was hanged in Israel’s only execution in 1962. Hangman Shalom Nagar kept his own identity secret for more than 30 years; regularly haunted by nightmares, Nagar still managed to maintain his personal sanity and a surprisingly humane attitude to life.

Restoration - Thursday 17 November Tricycle time tbc
This beautifully shot Israeli drama centres around a failing antique furniture restoration shop, complicated family relationships... and the discovery of an ancient Steinway piano that might just save the store from being turned into apartments. There will be a Q&A with actor Sasson Gabbai.

The Office - Saturday 19 November Tricycle 9pm
THE OFFICE Israel’s hilarious take on the classic British TV series.

The 2011 UK Jewish Film Festival runs from 1-20 November 2011 and across various locations in London.

The Establishing Shot: 2011 UK Jewish Film Festival & some picks