Thursday, April 11, 2013

2013 Toronto Jewish Film Festival, April 11-21

The 21st annual Toronto Jewish Film Festival opens April 11 with CowJews and Indians: How Hitler Scared My Relatives and I Woke Up in an Iroquois Longhouse—Owing the Mohawks Rent - a film about righting history’s wrongs, that’s been dubbed “Borat meets Michael Moore.”

TJFF is proud to kick things o! with Marc Halberstadt’s playfully provocative CowJews and Indians. This sardonically funny film draws a straight line between the meagre reparations his family received from Germany in 1951 for Nazi-confiscated property, and the ongoing patchwork of treaties and outright land theft that has been the legacy of North American aboriginals.

The festival's closing film will be Roberta Grossman's Hava Nagila: The Movie.

This year the Toronto Jewish Film Festival will be nothing short of amazing with incredible films, documentaries and shorts from around the world. The Festival kicks off its 21st year on April 11th and runs through to the 21st in multiple venues across the city.

The Toronto Jewish Film Festival always delivers great programming, but this year TJFF offers its most eclectic line-up yet. Its programming ranges from two rare foreign language archivalfilms, and a talk exploring the impact Jews have had on Bollywood Cinema, to a portrait of Jewish musical icon Neil Diamond, and the North American premiere of a UK reality TV series!

Within TJFF’s solid line-up, here’s a sampling of some wonderful highlights:

Five fascinating and eye-opening stories from Africa that deepen our understanding and appreciation of Jewish diversity. Including: 400 Miles to Freedom (Ethiopia) Re-Emerging: TheJews of Nigeria (Nigeria) Honorable Ambassador / Kvod Hashagrir (Cameroon), Delicious Peace Grows in a Ugandan Coffee Bean (Uganda) and The Rabbi’s Cat / Le chat du rabbin (Algeria).

Neil Diamond: Solitary Man screening, featuring a special musical performance by the Hot August Knights (a Neil Diamond tribute band) - Innis Town Hall; Etgar Keret: In Person – the celebrated Israeli author and filmmaker will discuss his short film work, some of which will be screened – Innis Town Hall; The Jazz Singer and Jerry and Me: A double bill focusing on comedy icon Jerry Lewis - Innis Town Hall; Professor Mamlok: Newly translated version of the 1938 Russian classic. Professor Olga Gershenson (author of the upcoming The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe) will be on hand to talk about this landmark film – Sheppard Cinema 3; Shalom Sesame - (Family Screening - ages three and up) – Innis Town Hall; An American Tail - (Family Screening - ages five and up, sensory friendly) – Innis Town Hall; Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist - (for ages ten and up) – Innis Town Hall

Screenings in commemoration of Israeli Memorial Day and Independence Day will include Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace (the story behind the 1979 Camp David Peace Accord); Israel: A Home Movie (A history of Israel told through private home movies) ; Live or Die in Entebbe (The story behind the 1976 terrorist high jacking and Israel’s military rescue aid) ; Oded the Wanderer (newly-restored 1932 Israeli film); Present Continuous (A keenly-observed family drama) ; The Price of Kings: Shimon Peres(A complex portrait of the Israeli President) ; Rainbow (A taut, suspenseful drama about a group of Israeli soldiers serving in Gaza.); and The World Is Funny (Israel’s #1 box office hit of 2012)

A Universal Language – Directed by Igal Hecht. Led by Yuk Yuk’s founder Mark Breslin, a group of Canadian stand-up comedians—Jews and non-Jews—tour the Holy Land, eager to perform their material in new surroundings. Mark Breslin and comedians Rebecca Kohler, Aaron Berg, Jean Paul, as well as moderator Lorne Frohman will be in attendance: Sunday April 14, 8:30 PM, The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor ST W, Toronto)

The Tenth DropDirected by French filmmaker Gabriel Ohayon, and a David A. Stein Award finalist. With only eight Jewish men in Corsica, how does this community gather a Minyan (a quorum of 10 Jewish men required to practice certain religious ceremonies)? Screening Tuesday April 16, 1:00 pm Innis Town Hall and Sunday April 21, 2:00 pm at the Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Cinemas 5.

TJFF celebrates the 100th anniversary of Bollywood cinema with an eye-opening talk Shalom Bollywood: The Untold Story of Indian Cinema in which filmmaker/professor Danny Ben-Moshe explores the formative role Jews of India played in the development of the Bollywood film industry. Featuring film clips and archival materials. Sunday April 14 - 3:45 PM - Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Ave, Toronto)

Oded the Wanderer – The first feature film produced in pre-state Israel. This newly-restored 1932 silent film, which will be screened with live musical accompaniment by Jordan Klapman, is “of tremendous historical and thematic interest” (Uri Klein, Ha’aretz). Tuesday April 16 - 6:00 PM at Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Ave, Toronto)

My Lovely Sister – Directed by Marco Carmel. One of the most whimsical films to emerge from Israel in several years, My Lovely Sister chronicles a love triangle among a Moroccan-Jewish wife, her crude husband and the ghost of her beautiful sister who died from the pain of banishment for having married an Arab man. Thursday April 18 - 8:00 PM – Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Cinemas 3 (Sheppard Centre – 4861 Yonge St. at Sheppard)

The Dandelions Directed by Carine Tardieu, Canadian Premiere. On her first day of school, nine-year old outsider Rachel Gladstein is befriended by eccentric classmate, Valérie, and the two become inseparable. When Rachel’s morose family meets Valerie’s carefree single mom, their very different lives start to intersect. A charming and funny film featuring Agnes Jaoui, Isabelle Carré and Isabella Rossellini. Sunday April 21 - 1:00 PM - The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor ST W, Toronto)

Reus – Directed by Eduardo Pinero, Pablo Fernandez and Alejandro Pi. Canadian Premiere. Reus is a once prosperous but now harsh suburb of Montevideo, Uruguay. Gang turf warfare tears the neighbourhood apart and threatens the livelihoods of local Jewish shop owners, who band together to try to keep the area safe. Tuesday April 16 - 8:45 PM - The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor ST W, Toronto)

PRICES (HST included)
Single Tickets: $13
Opening Night: $20
Senior/Student Tickets: $9 (ID required)
Weekday Matinees: $8 (Monday–Friday before 5 pm)
Free Student Admission: Subject to availability: 5 minutes prior to screening students admitted free w/ID from Rush Line.
Free Screenings: All free events require tickets and must be ordered in person at a TJFF box office. Tickets are subject to availability. One ticket per person/ per free event.

PURCHASE TICKETS Order tickets online at or by phone: 416-324-9121

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