Jewish International Film Festival

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JoJo Rabbit © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Photograph: Kimberley French

Time Out says

This festival of Jewish cinema returns to Melbourne

JIFF has brought the best of Jewish cinema to Australia for the past 30 years and this year is no exception. It will showcase a whopping 60 films from 23 countries, so no matter what genre you’re into, there’ll be something for you.

The festival will kick off with Ask Dr Ruth, an uplifting story of America’s most famous sex therapist by Primetime Emmy-nominated director Ryan White. The film is an inspiring account of how Dr Ruth revolutionized the conversation around sexuality and her uninhibited approach to sex therapy. 

Audiences can also catch international award-winners including Berlinale Golden Bear winner Synonyms, an existential drama about a young man embarking on a quest to erase his Israeli heritage by moving to Paris; and satirical rom-com Tel Aviv On Fire, which won the award for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival. The film is currently nominated for four Ophir awards, which are kind of like the Israeli Oscars.

The festival will close with the first Australian screenings of Jojo Rabbit, fresh from winning the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film is directed by and stars Taika Waititi (whose mother is Jewish, while his father is Maori) and makes a powerful statement against hate.

The Jewish International Film Festival will screen at Classic Cinema (Elsternwick), Lido Cinema (Hawthorn) and Cameo Cinema (Belgrave) from October 24 to November 21. Check out the full program here.

By: Steven Otani

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