|TORONTO - April 12, 2018 - Toronto Jewish Film Festival (TJFF), a festival committed to presenting films with themes related to Jewish culture and identity, today announced the complete programming line-up for its 26th edition. This year’s robust and diverse slate consists of titles from Israel, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Russia, South Africa, The Netherlands, Hungary, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, among others. The Festival will take place May 3 to 13, 2018. Visit TJFF.com for more information on programming and tickets.
“The Toronto Jewish Film Festival is a window to the Jewish experience around the world,” said Helen Zukerman, Founder and Artistic Director, Toronto Jewish Film Festival. “We invite all of Toronto to join us in celebrating eleven days of the best in Jewish cinema.”
TJFF‘s stellar line-up of feature dramas includes the Canadian Premiere of the family film The Samuel Project starring beloved actor Hal Linden (Barney Miller) and Ryan Ochoa (iCarly) as a grandfather and a grandson reconnecting while working on a high school project. Hal Linden, Ryan Ochoa and Malina Moye, director Marc Fusco, and producers Steve Weinberger andJeff Deverett will be in attendance.
Festivalgoers interested in new international television will be delighted with the North American Premiere of the first three episodes of the new Israeli TV series Juda, an intelligent cross between Snatch and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The Festival will also present a free talk entitledZombies and Zionism: A Talk on New Israeli Horror Films with professor Olga Gershenson who will examine the cultural meanings of the recent wave of horror film and TV in Israel.
Families can celebrate Mother’s Day at TJFF with the Toronto Premiere of Barbra Streisand: Becoming an Icon, which traces the early career of the legendary trailblazer and international superstar, and Frank Steifel’s Academy Award-winning documentary Heaven Is A Traffic Jam On The 405, which profiles a brilliant artist who finds serenity while stuck in traffic.
Other fascinating documentaries that will enlighten and entertain include the Canadian Premiere of Shalom Bollywood: The Untold Story of Indian Cinema, which introduces audiences to some of India’s great Jewish film stars; the Canadian Premiere of Above the Drowning Sea, a heartwarming story of the Jews who fled Nazi Europe and emigrated to Shanghai, with co-directorNicola Zavaglia in attendance; and the Canadian Premiere of The Museum, an impressive behind-the-scenes look at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem with director Ran Tal in attendance.The Museum is screening as part of the Israel @ 70 series, which will feature new documentaries and rare archival films reflecting the country’s history and culture.
A new digital restoration of E.A. Dupont’s 1923 German silent film The Ancient Law will have its Canadian Premiere at the Festival. One of the hottest tickets at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, this important piece of German-Jewish cinematic history about Jewish life in 19th Century Europe is a precursor to Warner Bros’ The Jazz Singer. The film will be shown with live musical accompaniment by pianist Donald Sosin and Klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals, playing their newly commissioned score for the film.
The Festival will also present the Toronto Premiere of An Act of Defiance about heroic lawyer Bram Fischer who risked his life and career to help Nelson Mandela and nine other Black and Jewish South Africans during the Rivonia trial; the Canadian Premiere of Humor Me, an endearing comedy with standout performances by Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords), Elliot Gould (MASH), Annie Potts (Pretty in Pink) and Bebe Neuwirth (Frasier); and the Toronto Premiere of Amichai Greenberg’s tense drama The Testament, about a historian who discovers the truth about his mother’s assumed identity. Amichai Greenberg will be in attendance to present his feature debut, which won the Best Israeli Feature Film Award at the Haifa International Film Festival.
In addition to the five titles that make up the previously announced Oy Canada: Short Film Programme, 17 short films will precede feature presentations throughout the Festival. Those include Bella! Did Ya Eat?: The Story of Judy Perly and Free Times Café about Toronto business owner, artist, and Vine sensation Judy Perly; the Toronto Premiere of Stitchers: Tapestry of Spirit, an inspiring documentary about Toronto artist Temma Gentles’ ambitious project to stitch the entire Torah in needlepoint; and the Canadian Premiere of The Entertainer, a dark comedy starring Toby Jones as a party entertainer who has an emotional meltdown while working at a Bat Mitzvah.
Previously announced, the Festival will open with Promise at Dawn, based on Romain Gary’s memoir, and will close with RBG, a documentary about iconic US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Canadian programming line-up will include a special tribute to the late great comedian Steve Shuster in Comics: Steve Shuster, and Three Degrees of Separation: Honouring Morley Torgov Harvey Atkin and Paul Soles.
The full Festival line-up is available at TJFF.com.
Single tickets on sale online starting on April 19. Tickets can be purchased at TJFF.com, by phone at 416-324-9121, or at any TJFF box office. The TJFF Main Box Office is open daily April 20 toMay 13 from noon to 6 p.m. at 19 Madison Avenue (no wheelchair access, call 416-324-9121 for assistance). Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk Advance Box Office is open April 27 to May 3 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 5095 Yonge Street.