Rutgers’ annual Jewish film festival runs November 7-21

Newswise – NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Tickets are now on sale for the 22nd annual Rutgers Jewish Film Festival, which runs from Sunday, November 7 through Sunday, November 21. Shown in a hybrid format this year – all films will be available in the Virtual Theater and five film screenings will be presented in person at the Rutgers Theater and the Princeton Garden Theater. The festival features a wide range of award-winning international films from the United States, Israel, Germany and Switzerland, as well as online discussions with filmmakers, academics and special guests.

Virtual theater tickets cost $ 11 and an all-access pass is available for $ 95. Please note that some movies have a limited time for online viewing and some are limited by geographic location. Tickets for in-person screenings must be ordered online at theaters and will be available on November 7. Screenings on campus are free, but tickets must be reserved in advance. All guests must be fully immunized and wear masks in theaters. The festival is sponsored by the Rutgers’ Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life and is made possible by a generous grant from the Karma Foundation. For more information or to purchase virtual movie tickets, visit BildnerCenter.Rutgers.edu.

The festival kicks off on Sunday November 7 with the opening film Wet dog, a moving German drama that explores complex issues of cultural and religious identity for an Iranian Jewish teenager living in a predominantly Arab and Muslim suburb of Berlin. The film is based on the provocative autobiography of Arye Shalicar Ein Nasser Hund, and Arye Shalicar will discuss the film on Zoom on the opening day of the festival. The in-person screening of this film is scheduled at the Rutgers Cinema on November 13 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Festival Presents East Coast Premiere of Israeli Documentary Muranow, named after a Polish neighborhood with a vibrant Jewish past (before World War II) that continues to haunt its present. Director Chen Shelach will discuss the film on Zoom, in conversation with Nancy Sinkoff, professor of history and Jewish studies at Rutgers.

Two other powerful documentaries make their New Jersey debut at the festival; Israeli cinema Marry me though is an important sequel to the groundbreaking film Trembling before God, which the Rutgers Jewish Film Festival screened in 2001. Twenty years later, the film explores the enormous challenges for LGBTQ Jews who have entered into traditional marriages in order to comply with Torah laws and be accepted by their families and religious communities. Yerusalem: The Incredible History of Ethiopian Jewish Community tells the moving story of the Beta-Israel community, which has kept its Jewish faith through thick and thin for thousands of years. Israeli director Levi Zini will discuss the film on Zoom. The in-person screening at the Rutgers Theater on November 21 is co-sponsored by the New Jersey-Israel Commission.

The festival will feature online chats with filmmakers who enrich and improve the way audiences encounter films: director Becky Tahel will discuss American birthright, his very personal journey to understand the perspectives of Judaism on interfaith marriage; Israeli filmmaker Maya Sarfaty will talk about Love was not, the fascinating true story of an SS officer in Auschwitz who falls in love with and protects a Jewish prisoner – and his testimony thirty years later during his war crimes trial; Kurdish director Mano Khalil to talk about his new film Neighbors. Based on the director’s own childhood, the film is set in a Syrian border town in the early 1980s and looks at the nonsense of war through the eyes of a child.

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