19th Annual Miami Jewish Film Festival Announces Line-Up of 80 Films from 20 Countries
10 venues across South Florida, 50 filmmakers and special guests, and 12,000+ attendees expected at 13-day festival.
MJFF, the largest Jewish cultural event in Florida, and the third largest Jewish film festival in the world, has announced a line-up of films to be screened and events to be celebrated from January 14-28, 2016, featuring over 40 film premieres and an additional 35 shorts.
“As we enter Miami Jewish Film Festival’s nineteenth annual edition and reflect upon the past years of growth, we are thrilled by how the Festival has opened itself up into the world while maintaining the core authenticity and artistry that it was first founded on,” said Miami Jewish Film Festival Director Igor Shteyrenberg. “I invite everyone to come and discover the many national and international selections that make up our 2016 lineup, as each is its own unique gem and in each you will find something that will inspire and move you.”
The Festival opens with the premiere of the emotionally poignant drama, Remember, starring Oscar-winners Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau, and will close with the North American Premiere of The Search for Israeli Cuisine, which will be hosted by Emmy Award-winning director Roger M. Sherman and feature a special Israeli-themed reception. This sumptuous film explores the richness of Israeli cuisine through a tantalizing, fascinating, and visually beautiful culinary adventure that is the first of its kind.
A specially curated Spotlight on Israeli Cinema will be headlined by the US Premiere of Natalie Portman’s highly anticipated directorial debut, A Tale of Love and Darkness, an extraordinary adaptation of the best-selling memoir by celebrated Israeli author Amos Oz. Other highlights include award winners such as Tikkun, which swept all the major prizes at the recent Jerusalem Film Festival and also received a Special Jury Award at the Locarno Film Festival, and Wedding Doll, whose star, Moran Rosenblatt, won the coveted Best Actress prize at the Israeli Film Academy Awards as well as at the Jerusalem Film Festival. Emphasizing the new wave of Israeli genre film, MJFF will present, in partnership with the Popcorn Frights Film Festival, the Florida Premiere of Jeruzalem, Israel’s first ever horror film to receive international recognition. Also featured are Israel’s biggest commercial box office hit of the year, The Kind Words, the Roman Polanski-eque psychological thriller The Man in the Wall, and the Florida Premieres of two insightful documentaries, Rabin, In His Own Words, which is presented on the 20th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin’s death, and The Hebrew Superheroes, an energetic cinematic treat revealing the little-known history of Israeli comics.
In an effort to expand its focus and to strengthen its spotlight on emerging filmmakers, MJFF will host an inaugural Short Film Competition, showcasing some of the most prestigious international short films, as well as many new discoveries. Presented in partnership with Film Movement, a renowned US Distributor, one winner will be selected to receive a distribution contract and a cash prize. Together, the Miami Jewish Film Festival and Film Movement seek to discover and develop independent artists, and to provide a platform for them to present their works to a global audience.
MJFF has further broadened its New Voices sidebar that was created last year to support debut films from national and international filmmakers. Among this year’s selections are Encirclements starring Lior Ashkenazi (Academy Award nominee for Footnote), the electrifying thrillers Fire Birds and Eye for an Eye, and the US Premiere of The Voice of Peace, a stirring documentary about a pirate radio station on a ship off the coast of Tel Aviv broadcasting generation-defining music and the message of peace to millions.
This year’s Festival will debut a free outdoor event presenting Mel Brooks’ cult classic Star Wars send-up, Spaceballs, at the Miami Beach SoundScape at the New World Center. The event will be preceded by a special live performance of music from Star Wars by a New World Symphony brass quintet.
Music features prominently as a theme at this year’s Festival, with highlights including the US Premiere of the Moroccan drama, Midnight Orchestra, the mesmerizing Argentine tale Glories of Tango, and the showbiz dramady starring Christopher Walken and Amber Heard, One More Time. Several events will enhance the film going experience with live performances provided by subjects from the film, such as the heartfelt and incendiary documentary Rock in the Red Zone and the globetrotting The Wandering Muse.
Among the special guests that will be attending is Academy Award-winning filmmaker Richard Trank, who will premiere his new work, Our Boys, and afterwards discuss his two decades spanning career in film during an extended conversation. Also attending will be Gayle Kirschenbaum, an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, who will share the stage with her mother, Mildred Kirschenbaum, the subject of her fearless and bitingly funny film, Look at Us Now, Mother!
Other notable films at this year’s Festival include the sparkling romance that recalls Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise, It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, the sexy Argentine thriller, How to Win Enemies, the visually stunning coming-of-age love story, Song of Songs, and the inspiring classroom drama Once in a Lifetime.