The 20th Annual JFilm Festival
Click Here for the 2013 Schedule.
Tickets will be held at will-call unless otherwise noted and will be available for pickup 30 minutes prior to all showings.
Message from the Chair
What IS Jewish film, anyway?
Is it about Jewish characters, history, culture or experiences? Is it made by Jewish writers or directors, or does it feature Jewish actors? Is it anything related to Israel or Israelis, or to the Holocaust?
The answer is that it can be any or all of these things, but not only those things. And while I can’t succinctly define the essence of Jewish film, I think I know it when I see it.
I think our audiences do, too. Over the past two decades, the Jewish Film Festival of Pittsburgh has shown many films with unmistakable Jewish themes as well as some with only the most subtle connection. Filmgoers have lined up for them all, and have exited the theater discussing what they saw with equal enthusiasm.
The schedule for our 20th anniversary season is as diverse as ever, offering the best available feature films and documentaries from around the world. Most would not otherwise be accessible to local audiences.
The line-up runs the gamut from “Hava Nagila,” tracing the song from its origins to the present day (can there BE anything more Jewish?) to “Paris Manhattan,” our opening night film. The heroine is a beautiful young Parisian woman who views Woody Allen as her life coach. The overt Jewish content is limited to Shabbat dinners, but Jewish audiences may find the humor and family dynamic to be very familiar.
Probably the most unusual offering this year is “Ballad of the Weeping Spring,” shot in Israel but set in a mythical time and place of exotic music and epic quests. It’s not like any film you’ve ever seen – Jewish or otherwise – and it’s one of my personal favorites.
Your personal favorite might be something entirely different, and you’ll get the chance to tell us by voting after each screening. But most of all, you’ll be intellectually, emotionally and spiritually enriched by what you see.
It’s my privilege and pleasure, as the chair of JFilm, to invite you to join us in this landmark anniversary year for great cinema and a great time. See you at the movies!
Sally Kalson, JFilm Chair