UK JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
This December at the Northampton Filmhouse, we are thrilled to be partnering up with UK Jewish Film to participate in the 23rd annual UK Jewish Film Festival. Encouraging pride in and knowledge of Jewish culture amongst younger generations, as well as highlighting the impact of Jewish films in the contemporary landscape of the art form, this festival values the notion that film is universal. It crosses cultures and divides and has the ability to unite, engage and educate diverse audiences through the telling of cinematic stories that provide stimulating, interesting and unique views of Jewish life and culture. Since its inception, the UK Jewish Film Festival has welcomed over 300,000 visitors, and has crossed platforms in order to educate and engage audiences of all ages. With screenings from 8 – 11 December 2019, here at the Filmhouse we will be bringing highlights from this year’s festival, which exemplify UK Jewish Film’s inspiring mission statement.
(Dir: Eric Friedler, Germany/USA, 2018, 115 mins, 15)
What makes the story of jazz label Blue Note exceptional is not only its roster of artists – Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, to name just a few – but also its founders. Jazz buffs Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff fled Germany in the 1930s and settled in New York City, making it their life’s work to give the music they so admired the respect it deserved. Produced by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas), this film is as cool as the Blue Note sound and as stylish as its iconic albums’ covers.
“A UNIQUE AND INTIMATE LOOK AT THE MOST EXCITING ERA IN JAZZ, ONE THAT CHANGES THE WORLD FOREVER… IMPRESSIVE!” – Rolling Stone
Nominated – Audience Award, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 2019
(Dir: Itay Tal, Israel, 2019, 80 mins, 15)
A thoroughly absorbing psychological drama from Israeli director Itay Tal. When Anat, the scion of a distinguished musical family, learns that her new born baby might become deaf, she decides in a moment of madness – or extreme clarity – to do the unthinkable, hoping that this will allow her to keep the family’s dream intact. This nuanced and suspense-filled debut, with comparisons to the work of Michael Haneke, explores familial expectations, overpowering ambitions and the sacrifices we are willing to make in order to fulfill them.
“ELEGANTLY CHILLING DRAMA” – Screen Daily
Winner – Best Actress, Jerusalem Film Festival 2019
(Dir: Élise Otzenberger, France, 2018, 88 mins, 15)
Packed with charm and laughter, this delightful comedy follows recently-married Parisian couple Anna and Adam as they head off on a belated honeymoon to Poland, leaving their baby in the hands of Anna’s parents. Whilst Anna hopes to find out something of her family’s history, Adam is more interested in having a few days alone with his wife. Immersed in a new but strangely familiar culture, they discover a Poland awash with absurd and wonderful characters, picture-perfect beauty and unbearable sadness. Élise Otzenberger’s debut feature is an entertaining and life affirming tale about rediscovering roots and being Jewish today.
“A DELIGHTFUL, DEEPLY FELT AND FUNNY WRITING-DIRECTING DEBUT” The JC
Winner – FIPRESCI Prize, Moscow International Film Festival 2019
(Dir: Benjamin Till, UK, 2018, 13 mins, 15)
In English, Hebrew and Yiddish with English subtitles
BAFTA-nominated composer and director Benjamin Till explores what it means to be Jewish in this quirky and heartwarming musical film, and we are delighted Benjamin, who grew up in Northamptonshire, will join us after the screening for a Q&A!
Till set himself the task of finding 100 British Jewish people, one born in every year between 1918 and 2017. The first shot belongs to a one-year-old in Leeds, and from then on in, with each new shot, the person featured is a year older than the last. By the end of the film, an entire lifetime of faces will have passed in front of viewers’ eyes. 100 Faces is a true celebration of the diversity of Jewish people filmed in Manchester, Northampton and London. Holocaust survivors, Kindertransportees and those who fought at Cable Street rub shoulders with chazans, rabbis and atheists. Some speak, some sing. All are accompanied by a specially-written soundtrack recorded by the Israel Camerata orchestra.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime film, which Till describes as “a musical postcard from British Jewish people to the rest of the world”.
Winner – Pears Short Film Fund at UK Jewish Film 2018
World Premiere at the UK Jewish Film Festival 2018
Winner, Gold Prize – Robinson International Short Film Competition 2019