Monday, April 13, 2015

23rd Annual Toronto Jewish Film Festival; April 30 – May 10

Anarchists and superheroes, mother-daughter relationships, The Twilight Zone, Canadian archival gems, Robert Redford’s first big role…. All this and much more will be unleashed at the 2015 Toronto Jewish Film Festival (TJFF), running April 30 to May 10, at various venues across the city.

Showcasing 110 films from 18 countries, two International Premieres, four North American Premieres, and 46 Canadian Premieres, this year’s TJFF is a film festival lover’s dream.

TJFF 2015’s exceptional selection of features range from powerful, critically acclaimed dramas, to light-hearted comedies, and dark psychological thrillers. Among them: The Kindergarten Teacher, a complex morality tale on a teacher’s obsession with her student’s extraordinary talent (selected as part of Critics Week series at Cannes); Dough, an endearing comedy starring Jonathan Pryce, set in London’s East End; Bulgaria’s 2015 Oscar® submission Bulgarian Rhapsody, a coming-of-age love story set during the Second World War; You Must Be Joking, a 20-something New Yorker’s quest to find meaning beyond her paralegal job; Atlit, a comical, dramatic and touching story on the bond of sisterhood; and Let’s Go!, the new film from acclaimed director Michael Verhoeven (The Nasty Girl).

TJFF has also lined up a remarkable list of documentaries, including: Irwin and Fran, a loving and hilarious portrait of should-be-legendary comedian and satirist “Professor” Irwin Corey, who Lenny Bruce called “one of the most brilliant comedians of all time”; The Muses of Isaac Bashevis Singer, a look at the complex life of this Nobel laureate, as seen through the eyes of his over 40 female translators, who doubled as sources of inspiration; Forbidden Films, a provocative investigation into the propagandistic content of over 40 banned features produced in Nazi Germany; The Polgar Variant, the fascinating story of the Polgar sisters raised in isolation in communist Budapest to become chess Grandmasters; Look at Us Now, Mother!, director Gayle Kirschenbaum’s endearingly honest exploration into her relationship with her exceptionally critical mother; and Hebrew Superheroes, an energetic cinematic treat that traces the little-known history of Israeli comix.

While best known for his beloved cult sci-fi television series The Twilight Zone, TJFF will offer the unique chance to see some of Rod Serling’s rarely-screened works. These include a 1960 episode from the Playhouse 90 series, In the Presence of Mine Enemies, Serling’s powerful drama set during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, and starring Charles Laughton and Robert Redford in his first major role; and the poignant drama A Storm in Summer, which explores the unexpected friendship between a Jewish Deli owner (played by Peter Ustinov) and an underprivileged black youth. Rod Serling’s daughter, Anne Serling, author of the acclaimed memoir As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling, will be in attendance to give a talk about her father.

TJFF’s nod to the small screen continues with some exceptional binge watching, including the first 10 episodes of the intensely addictive Israeli series Hostages; as well as four episodes of the hit, award-winning series Transparent, which will be followed by a discussion with Rabbi Susan Goldberg, consultant to the show.

In commemoration of recently lost, beloved artists and icons, TJFF will screen The Go Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films (Menahem Golan), Bess Myerson: Portrait of an Activist (Bess Myerson), Nichols & May: Take Two (Mike Nichols), It Takes a Shtetl: Leonard Nimoy's Boston (Leonard Nimoy), and Making Trouble: Joan Rivers (the Oscars® didn’t honour this Jewish comedy icon, but TJFF sure will!)

About the Toronto Jewish Film Festival
The Toronto Jewish Film Festival presents the best feature films, documentaries and shorts from around the world, on themes of Jewish culture and identity. The Festival is dedicated to using film for its contemporary popular value and accessibility, in order to reflect the Jewish experience internationally. The TJFF provides an opportunity to heighten awareness of Jewish and cultural diversity, to audiences of all backgrounds, and to present films in their original languages with subtitles, in an effort to break down racial, cultural and religious barriers and stereotypes.

Box office info:
Festival dates – April 30 – May 10, 2015
Full Festival Film Schedule available –online at

TJFF Ticket Pricing:
$14.00 – Single Tickets
$9.00 - Matinee Screenings
$10 - Seniors/ Students
$20.00 - Opening Night
Main Number to Call is Festival Box Office: 416-324-9121

Advance Box Office:

In Person – Toronto Jewish Film Festival Box Office (basement level)* – April 17 – 30
19 Madison Ave.
12pm – 6pm Daily
*no wheelchair access – please call 416-324-9121 for assistance by phone

Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk Advance Box Office – April 24 - 30
5095 Yonge St. (North York Centre subway stn)
2pm – 6pm Daily

Festival Box Offices:
Toronto Jewish Film Festival Box Office (basement level)*
19Madison Ave.
12pm – 6pm Daily
*no wheelchair access – please call 416-324-9121 for assistance by phone

Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk* – 5095 Yonge St. (North York Centre subway stn)
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema* – 506 Bloor St W. (Bathurst subway stn)
Alliance Française* - 24 Spadina Rd (Spadina subway stn)
Innis Town Hall * - 2 Sussex Ave. (St. George subway stn)
The ROM Eaton Theatre* - 100 Queen’s Park Circle (Museum subway stn)

*Opens 1 hour before 1st venue screening of the day and closes 30 minutes after last venue screening of the day.

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