What You'll Get
With dozens of films screening at four venues throughout the D.C. Area, the Washington Jewish Film Festival is one of the largest and most respected Jewish film festivals in North America. A 12-day event, the WJFF features gripping dramas and poignant comedies, historical restorations and cutting-edge animations, screened alongside fascinating documentaries and shorts that provide insight into the collective Jewish story. Many screenings also feature Q&As with creative teams behind the films for a intriguing look at the process. For additional information on individual films, special guests and venue locations, please visit the WJFF website.
For details on specific screenings, please visit the Washington Jewish Film Festival website.
Annual Visionary Award With Roberta Grossman Q&A
Sat May 5, 2018 @ 8:30pm
The WJFF’s Annual Visionary Award recognizes creativity and insight in presenting the full diversity of the Jewish experience through moving image. The 2018 honoree is Roberta Grossman, who will be there for a special extended Q&A and award ceremony. The award will be presented alongside a special preview of clip excerpts from her forthcoming film, Who Will Write our History.
The Legend of King Solomon
Sun May 6, 2018 @ 10:30am
Sun May 13, 2018 @ 10:15am
In this animated family adaptation of the Biblical story, the young Solomon must save the kingdom of Jerusalem from the evil devil Asmodeus.
The Strangest Stranger
Sat May 5, 2018 @ 12:15pm
SHOW: Sun May 6, 2018 @ 8:15pm
In Haruki Murakami’s novel Kafka on the Shore, a mysterious man appears, calling himself Johnnie Walker. Is he modeled on Joni Waka, a Jewish man living in Tokyo, or is it the other way around? The charismatic and talkative Waka is a true chameleon. A self-proclaimed outsider, a homosexual, the center of any party, and a descendant from an age-old Jewish lineage, if you believe his claims.A mesmerizing documentary that leaves one with more questions than answers, not just about Waka, but also the very nature of truth.
An Act of Defiance
Thu May 3, 2018 @ 8:45pm
Tue May 8, 2018 @ 8:15pm
In this riveting historical drama, 10 political activists— including Nelson Mandela and his inner circle of Black and Jewish supporters—face looming death sentences after they are caught up in a raid by the apartheid South African government. Bram Fischer, a sympathetic lawyer, risks his career and freedom to defend these men.
Sat May 5, 2018 @ 12:30pm
Thu May 10, 2018 @ 6:20pm
Director Asaf Saban’s impressive and sensitive first film dives right into the deep end—taking on an Ingmar Bergman-worthy tale of a couple whose fraying relationship is set against the construction of their dream home. Tel Aviv inhabitants Gili and Yaara decide to leave the city for a fresh start in the countryside of the Galilee. As house construction progresses around them, family, professional, and money troubles gnaw at their union’s very foundations. Equal parts grounded realism and poignant allegory, Outdoors is an unmistakable accomplishment and a most auspicious debut.
Tue May 8, 2018 @ 6:20pm
Sat May 12, 2018 @ 6:30pm
Holocaust researcher Yoel is in a legal battle with powerful forces in Austria, concerning a WWII massacre of Jews in the village of Lensdorf. A construction project is planned at the site of the murders, and Yoel suspects that the real aim is to bury the atrocity for good. While examining classified testimonies of Holocaust survivors, he discovers one given by his mother, which reveals a long-kept secret. Now, the increasingly personal investigation is up against dual walls of silence: the Austrian denial of the massacre and his mother’s silence about her past.
The Third Place
Thu May 3, 2018 @ 8:30pm
Sun May 6, 2018 @ 1:45pm
A hundred years after the establishment of the Syrian-Jewish community in Mexico City, its history is relived through a number of compelling and touching stories. The journey depicts the evolution, achievements, and struggles of a minority group that grapples with integrating to the country that welcomed them, or preserving their religious-ethnic identity. All the while, the film explores the meaning of community life, along with its implicit advantages and drawbacks. Screenings followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Nejemye Tenenbaum.
Touching the Sky
Sat May 5, 2018 @ 2:30pm
Wed May 9, 2018 @ 8:45pm*
Female Israeli soldiers have had the right to apply to flight school for over 20 years. But only a few have earned their wings, with the issue of gender still a contested topic for cadets, officers, and society-at-large. During the first six months of flight school, Touching the Sky follows the young women from their first day at the academy through the ruthless cuts—some will stay the course, but many will have to leave.
Sun May 6, 2018 @ 2:45pm
To some, Gloria Allred is a money-grubbing, shrill feminist prone to tawdry theatrics; to others she’s the most effective and fearless women’s rights attorney in America. In this intimate, warts-and-all documentary, one thing is certain: Allred’s 40-year devotion to asserting, protecting, and expanding the rights of women is unwavering and her influence unassailable. Whether fighting gender discrimination in toy stores, spousal abuse in the O.J. trial, or sexual harassment by Donald Trump, every case is personal and an opportunity to amplify the cause. Her special brand of advocacy often calls for creative solutions. When the statute of limitations prevented her clients from pressing charges against Bill Cosby, she led them in a battle to eliminate the statute for the benefit of future victims. At 76, like an unstoppable superhero with a rolling suitcase and no time to lose, she crisscrosses the country arguing cases, marching for justice, and delivering impromptu speeches on the Lincoln Memorial steps. And as the #MeToo movement gathers steam and powerful men fall, Allred knowingly, stoically declares, “The fight has only just begun.”
Sat May 5, 2018 @ 2:30pm
Sun May 6, 2018 @ 4:30pm
A striking account of Israel’s most important cultural institution that explores the Israeli soul through the galleries, storerooms, and visitors of the Israel Museum. The documentary eschews the dry formula one might expect for such an undertaking however— managing to unpack the mysteries inside with a refreshing humor and frankness totally unexpected in a film of this nature. We follow singing security guards, blind patrons, and the Haredi kashrut inspector—characters who are given screen time alongside thoughtful curators, Palestinian guides, and the American museum director. Screenings followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Ran Tal.
Sun May 6, 2018 @ 8:45pm
Mon May 7, 2018 @ 8:30pm
“An Egyptian lawyer, a couch-surfing custodian and an Orthodox Jew walk into a comedy club…and end up in a documentary” –DOC NYC. David is an ultra-Orthodox Jew who lives for the stage, but risks expulsion from his community with every show; Sara Parks quits work and ends up nearly homeless chasing her comedy dream; and Raafat Toss is a lawyer who would give up everything to be a comedian. From David’s first show at a gay bar, to Raafat getting heckled off the stage, to Sara unexpectedly finding love, Standing Up captures the devastating lows and exhilarating highs of their journey. Screenings followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Jonathan Miller.
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