Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival
The Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival began with a dream of bringing Jewish film to the local community. Founding chairperson, Aliza Kolker, and Roz Engels, former JCCNV director of adult services, worked tirelessly with a small group of volunteers to begin raising funds, previewing films and planning programs. The first film festival took place in March 2001 at the Cinema Arts Theater in Fairfax, featuring seven films in seven days.
Aliza passed away in 2003, but the film festival she cultivated lives on. Roz Engels produced the festival through 2012, and Dan Kirsch, Cultural Arts Director, is the current producer. The Film Festival Committee is one of the more active J committees, screening 60-70 films each year to come up with a diverse slate of films from around the world. Year after year, Festival programming has become more robust, with approximately 2,000 community members attending screenings and participating in facilitated discussions.
- Updated April 2015
16th Annual Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival
April 7-17, 2016
The 16th annual Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival, powered by the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (the J), presented 14 feature films/23 screenings over 11 days. Our presenting partner and festival home for the fourth year was Angelika Film Center & Café at Mosaic in Fairfax. Thirteen preview events were held at the J (Cinematheque Israel), Agudas Achim Congregation, Beth El Hebrew Congregation, Congregation Adat Reyim, five J Adult Services outreach sites, and Reston Community Center, for a total of 36 festival screenings.
- A Blind Hero: The Love of Otto Weidt | Directed by Kai Bhristiansen | Germany | 2014 | 90 minutes | German with English subtitles | Documentary with re-enactments. Distributor: 7th Art Releasing.
- À la Vie (To Life) | Directed by Jean-Jacques Zilbermann | France | 2014 | 104 minutes | French with English subtitles | Light-hearted Drama. Distributor: Breaking Glass Pictures
- Belle and Sebastian | Directed by Nicolas Vanier | France | 2014 | 92 minutes | French with English subtitles | Feature/Family. Distributor: Film Movement
Bulgarian Rhapsody | Directed by Ivan Nitchev | Bulgaria | 2014 | 108 Minutes | Bulgarian/German/Ladino with English subtitles | Drama. Distributor: Israeli Films
- Dough | Directed by Josh Goldschmidt | United Kingdom, Hungary | 2015 | 94 minutes | Comedy. (Opening Night) Program hosted by Ken Krupsky of Jewish National Fund, plus an exclusive pre-recorded interview with Adam Ziv and Alaa Sawitat from the Arab town of Tarshiha in Northern Israel. Distributor: Menemsha Films
- In Search of Israeli Cuisine | Directed by Roger Sherman | USA | 2016 | 97 minutes | Documentary/Food. Distributor: Menemsha Films
- Laugh Lines | Directed by Pini Eden | Israel | 2015 | 94 minutes | Hebrew with English subtitles | Comedy/Drama. Distributor: Pini Eden
- Raise the Roof | Directed by Yari and Cary Wolinsky | USA/Poland | 2015 | 85 minutes | Documentary. Program with Ori Z. Soltes. Ori teaches theology, philosophy and art history at Georgetown University. Distributor: The National Center for Jewish Film
- Rosenwald | Directed by Aviva Kempner | USA | 2015 | 100 minutes | Documentary/Social Justice. Program with LaNitra M. Berger, PhD, a historian of African and African-American art. LaNitra is director of fellowships and faculty in the Honors College at George Mason University. Distributor: The National Center for Jewish Film
- Sabena Hijacking – My Version | Directed by Rani Saar | Israel | 2015 | 98 minutes | Hebrew and English with subtitles | Docu-drama. Program with Adam Harmon, who speaks frankly about current events in the Middle East. Plus program at 2nd screening with Hadas Barak, Director of Israeli House and Na’ama Gold, JCCNV–JAFI Shiri Rahamim Shlichut Program. Think and Drink following the screening; conversation with Eric Rozenman, Washington director of CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. Distributor: Go2Films
- Suicide (Hitabdut) | Directed by Benny Ferdman | Israel | 2014 | 132 Minutes | Hebrew with English subtitles | Action Thriller. Distributor: Shachar Zefania
- Time to Say Goodbye (Simon sagt 'Auf Wiedersehen' zu seiner Vorhaut) | Directed by Viviane Andereggen | Germany | 2015 | 82 minutes | German with English subtitles | Comedy. Distributor: 7th Art Releasing
- To Life(Auf das Leben) | Directed by Uwe Janson | Germany | 2016 | 86 minutes | German with English subtitles | Drama. Distributor: Menemsha Films
- Wedding Doll (Hatuna MeNiyar) | Directed by Nitzan Giladi | Israel | 2015 | 82 minutes | Hebrew with English subtitles | Drama. Program hosted by ReelAbilities Film Festival. Lindsey Nebeker starred with her husband Dave Hamrick in the PBS documentary Autism in Love. Distributor: Outsider Films
- Cinematheque Israel at the J | An ongoing film and discussion series about shifting perspectives on Israeli life. Led by Na’ama Gold, JCCNV–JAFI Shiri Rahamim Shlichut Program.
Manpower | Directed by Noam Kaplan | Israel | 2014 | 88 minutes | English, Hebrew, Igbo with English subtitles | Feature/Drama. Distributor: Menemsha Films
- The Women/Pioneers | Directed by Michal Aviad | Israel | 2013 | 52 minutes | Hebrew with English subtitles | Documentary
- Undressing Israel: Gay Men in the Promised Land | Co-Directed by Michael Lucas & Yariv Mozer | Israel | 2012 | 46 minutes | Documentary
NVJFF Screening Sponsors | Anita & Steve Dienstfrey | Tamara & Ed Faggen | Dara & Joshua Greene | Janet & Murray Horwitz | Israeli House | Jewish Food Experience, a program of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington | Richard Oppenheim, Atlantic Settlement Group, LLC | Judie Weiss. NVJFF Directors & Synagogue Sponsors | Congregation Adat Reyim | Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation | Temple B’nai Shalom | Temple Rodef Shalom
NVJFF 2016 Committee Members | Ronnie Oppenheim, & Steve Dienstfrey, Co-Chairs | Anita Dienstfrey | Joan Erlich | Lorraine Fischer | Sidney Formal | Na’ama Gold | Audrey Goldstein | Marcia Gordon | Joshua Greene | Janet Horwitz | Enid Liess | Lilianne Milgrom | Sigi Saadia | BJ Shiff | Judie Weiss | Dan Kirsch, JCCNV Cultural Arts Director & NVJFF Festival Director | Anton Merbaum, JCCNV Arts Engagement Coordinator
NVJFF 2016 Raffle | Special thanks to these businesses and organizations for their support. Mosaic District | Ah Love Oil & Vinegar Angelika Film Center & Café | Artisan Confections | Cava Grill | DGS Delicatessen | Four Sisters Vietnamese Restaurant | Le Pain Quotidien | Requin | Sea Pearl Restaurant | Sisters Thai | Ted's Bulletin | True Food Kitchen. Performing Arts | 1st Stage Tysons | Creative Caldron | The Hub Theatre | JCCNV 2016-2017 Performing Arts | ReelAbilities Film Festival, powered by the J | Signature Theatre | Workhouse Arts Center. Merrifield & Northern Virginia | Blackfinn Ameripub | Dickey's Barbecue Pit | Jaleo | Lebanese Taverna | Hand thrown stoneware espresso cups by Lilianne Milgrom.
2015-2016 Fall & Winter Programs
Blue Like Me: The Art of Siona Benjamin | A J Performing Arts Series/Blue Like Me event. With guests Siona Benjamin, Ryan Arey and Ori Soltes
It’s All About Friends | Hosted by Beth El Hebrew Congregation Inclusion Committee. In partnership with ReelAbilities Film Festival, powered by the JCCNV
Judy Berlin | A special showing of Madeline Kahn’s last film prior to a talk by William V. Madison, author of Madeline Kahn: Being the Music – A Life.
Above and Beyond | In partnership with Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival, the J’s Adult Services Department and Project Welcome Home. Program with Bruce Lichtman, retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, son of Gideon Lichtman, a volunteer pilot for Israel.
The Sturgeon Queens | A JCCNV Adult Services Department Event, in partnership with Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival. Guest Speaker: Julie Cohen, Director & Producer
Yentl | A J Fest Event in partnership with the Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival
Marrying An Ice Cream Factory | The Art of Jewish Food event
15th Annual Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival
March 19-29, 2015
The 15th annual Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (the J), presented 15 feature films over 11 days with the theme Je suis tout le monde
| Yo soy todo el mundo
| Ani Kulam
| I am everyone. Countries represented included Argentina, France, Germany, Israel, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The festival presented 20 screenings at Angelika Film Center & Café at Mosaic in Fairfax, plus previews at the J, Beth El Hebrew Congregation, Congregation Adat Reyim and Congregation Beth Emeth, for a total of 24 festival screenings. The festival also featured a live storytelling event by SpeakeasyDC.
- 24 Days (24 Jours: La Verite sur l’affaire Ilan Halimi) |Directed by Alexandre Arcady | France | 2014 | 108 minutes | French with subtitles | Drama. Program: Rabbi Adam J. Raskin, the spiritual leader of Congregation Har Shalom.
- Above and Beyond | Produced by Nancy Spielberg | Directed by Roberta Grossman | Written by Sophie Sartain | USA | 2014 | 86 minutes | Hebrew with subtitles | Documentary. Program: Bruce Lichtman, retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, son of Gideon, a volunteer pilot for Israel.
- Apples from the Desert (Tapuchim min Hamidbar) | Directed by Arik Lubetzky & Matti Harari | Israel | 2014 | 96 minutes | Hebrew with subtitles | Drama
- Arlo & Julie | Written & Directed by Steve Mims | USA | 2014 | 76 minutes | Romantic Comedy
- Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front | Directed by Wayne Kopping | Israel | 2014 | 90 minutes | English & Hebrew with subtitles | Documentary. Program: Facilitated by Dana Kalishov, JCCNV Community Shlicha. Panelists include: Yogev Moyal (officer from the elite Maglan Unit), hosted by the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), Noa Meir, Director of the Israel Action Center (Jewish Community Relations Council/JCRC) and Yakir Daniel, Jewish Agency Israel Fellow, GMU Hillel. Additional support from Project Welcome Home, a JCCNV initiative.
- Disobedience: The Sousa Mendes Story (Desobeir) | Directed by Joel Santoni | France | 2012 | 104 minutes | French with subtitles | Drama
- God’s Slave (Esclavo de Dios) | Directed by Joel Novoa | Uruguay, Argentina & Venezuela | 2013 | 90 minutes | Spanish with subtitles | Drama/Thriller. Program: Mr. Mario F. del Carril, former press counselor for the Argentine Embassy, and Mr. Roberto Mosse, retiree of the World Bank Group.
- The Green Prince | Directed by Nadav Schirman | Germany, Israel & United Kingdom | 2014 | 101 minutes | English & Hebrew | Documentary
- Kidon | Directed by Emmanuel Naccache | France & Israel | 2014 | 89 minutes | Hebrew & French with subtitles | Comedy
- Life as a Rumor (HaChayim KeShmua) | Directed by Adi Arbel & Moish Goldberg | Israel | 2013 | 123 minutes | English & Hebrew with subtitles | Documentary, Autobiography
- Magic Men (Haben Shel Elohim) | Directed by Erez Tadmor & Guy Nattiv | Israel | 2014 | 100 minutes | Hebrew with subtitles | Feature
- The Outrageous Sophie Tucker | Directed by William Gazecki | USA | 2014 | 96 minutes | Documentary
- The Prince of Egypt | Directed by Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner & Simon Wells | USA | 1998 | 98 minutes | Animated Musical
- Touchdown Israel — Tackle Football in the Holyland | Directed by Paul Hirschberger | USA | 2014 | 81 minutes | Documentary, Program: local sports commentator David Elfin.
- Zaytoun | Directed by Eran Riklis | Israel & United Kingdom | 2013 | 110 minutes | Arabic, English, Hebrew with subtitles | Drama
- Plus the short film Hannah Cohen’s Holy Communion | USA | 2013| 13 minutes
Plus Live Storytelling Event with SpeakeasyDC. Marx Brothers to Coen Brothers: True stories inspired by Jewish films
14th Annual Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival
March 20-30, 2014
The 14th annual Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCCNV), presented 11 feature films over 11 days with the theme Heart | History | Humor | Hope. Countries represented included Argentina, Belguim, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Palestine, Poland, Spain and United States. Poland. The festival presented 19 screenings at Angelika Film Center & Café at Mosaic in Fairfax. Opening Night and one screening was held at the JCCNV, and previews were held at the Agudas Achim Congregation, Beth El Hebrew Congregation, Congregation Adat Reyim and Temple B’nai Shalom, for a total of 25 festival screenings.
- Aftermath (Poklosie) | Written and Directed by Władysław Pasikowski | Poland/Netherlands/Russia/Slovakia | 2013 | 107 minutes | Polish with subtitles | Drama
- Dancing in Jaffa | Directed by Hilla Medalia | Israel/USA | 2013 | 84 minutes | Hebrew/Arabic with subtitles | Documentary/Family. Program: The film’s producer Diane Nabatoff and subject Pierre Dulaine.
- The German Doctor (Wakolda) | Written, Directed and Produced by Lucía Puenzo | Argentina/France/Spain/Norway | 2013 | 94 minutes | Spanish/German/Hebrew with subtitles | Drama
- Igor and the Cranes’ Journey (Igor VeMasa Ha'Agurim) | Directed by Evgeny Ruman | Israel/Germany/Poland | 2013 | 90 minutes | Hebrew/Russian with subtitles | Feature/Family
- The Jewish Cardinal (Le métis de Dieu) | Directed by Ilan Duran Cohen | France | 2013 | 90 minutes | French/Latin/Polish with subtitles | Drama. Program: Victoria Barnett from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Quality Balls: The David Steinberg Story | Directed by Barry Avrich | Canada | 2013 | 80 minutes | Documentary/Comedy
- Süskind | Directed by Rudolf van den Berg | Netherlands | 2012 | 118 minutes | Dutch with Subtitles | Drama
- Two Sided Story (Shnei panim la-sipur) | Directed by Tor Ben-Mayor | Israel/Palenstine | 2012 | 75 minutes | Hebrew/Arabic with subtitles | Documentary/Drama. Program: Program: Marcia Mofson, FamilyFirst Psychological Services, PC
- Under the Same Sun | Directed by Sameh Zoabi, Produced by Amir Harel | Israel/USA | 2012 | 84 minutes | Arabic/Hebrew/English with subtitles | Drama. Program: Ralph Robbins from the Virginia Israel Advisory Board.
- When Comedy Went to School | Written by Lawrence Richards, Directed by Ron Frank and Melvut Akkaya | USA | 2013 | 77 minutes | Documentary/Comedy
- The Zigzag Kid (Nono, het Zigzag Kind) | Directed by Vincent Bal | Belgium/Netherlands | 2012 | 95 minutes | Dutch/English/French with subtitles | Feature/Family
- Plus the short film Moses on the Mesa | Directed by Paul Ratner | USA | 2013 | 19 minutes | Short
13th Annual Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival
April 18-April 28, 2013
The 13th Annual Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCCNV), presented 13 films over 11 days from all over the world including the United States, Israel, and Europe. The festival presented 24 showings during the festival, at the new state-of-the-art boutique cinema Angelika Film Center & Café at Mosaic in Fairfax. Opening Night was held at the JCCNV.
- A Bottle in the Gaza Sea - Director: Thierry Binisti (99 minutes, France/Canada/Israel, 2011)/ Hebrew, Arabic, French with English subtitles/ Drama
- American Tail - Director: Don Bluth (80 minutes, USA, 1986)/ English/ Family
- Dorfman in Love - Director: Brad Leong; Writer: Wendy Kout (97 minutes, USA, 2011)/ English/ Romantic Comedy
- Hava Nagila (The Movie) - Director: Roberta Grossman (73 minutes, USA, 2012)/ English/ Documentary
- Hitler’s Children - Director: Chanoch Ze’evi (80 minutes, Israel/Germany, 2012)/ German, English and Hebrew with English subtitles/ Documentary
- Kaddish for a Friend - Director: Leo Khasin (94 minutes, Germany, 2011)/ German and Arabic with English subtitles/ Drama
- Kinderblock 66 - Director: Rob Cohen (90 minutes, USA, 2012)/ English, German, Hebrew, French and Czech with English subtitles/ Documentary
- Koch - Director: Neil Barskya (95 minutes, USA, 2012)/ English/ Documentary
- Let My People Go! - Director: Mikael Buch (88 minutes, France, 2012)/ French with English Subtitles/ French Farce
- Life in Stills - Director: Tamar Tal (60 minutes, Israel, 2011)/ Hebrew and German with English subtitles/ Documentary. winner of the 2012 Ophir (Israeli Academy Award®) for Best Documentary
- Orchestra of Exiles - Director: Josh Aronson (85 minutes, USA, 2012)/ English/ Documentary
- Portrait of Wally - Director: Andrew Shea (90 minutes, USA, 2012)/ English/ Documentary
- The World Is Funny - Director: Shemi Zarhin (122 minutes, Israel, 2012)/ Hebrew with English subtitles/ Drama. Earned a record-setting 15 Ophir nominations (the Israeli Academy Awards®)
12th Annual NoVA International Jewish Film Festival
March 18–27, 2012
The 12th Annual NoVA International Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCCNV) presented 13 films over 10 days from all over the world including the United States, Israel, Europe and South America. The festival presented 35 showings during the festival, at Rave Fairfax Corner 14 in Fairfax, the Artisphere in Arlington and the closing night at the JCCNV.
- Ahead of Time - United States/2009/English/90 Minutes/Director: Robert Richman/Documentary. Awards: Miami, Denver and Palm Beach Film Festivals, Official selection: Toronto International Film Festival.
- Connected - United States/2011/ English/97 Minutes/Director: Tiffany Shain/Documentary.
- David - United States/2011/English/80 Minutes/Director: Joel Fendelman/Drama. Awards: Ecumenical Prize, Montreal World Film Festival, 2011 Audience Award, Brooklyn Film Festival, 2011.
- Dolphin Boy - Israel/2011/Arabic-French-Hebrew with English subtitles/72 Minutes/Director: Dani Menkin and Yonatan Nir/Documentary.
Ha Hov (The Debt) - Israel/2007/Hebrew with English subtitles/120 Minutes/Director: Assaf Bernstein/Thriller.
- Melting Away - Israel/2011/Hebrew with English subtitles/82 Minutes/Director: Doron Eran/Drama. Awards: Israel Film Festival, 2011, International LGBT Film Festival, 2011, Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Canada, 2011.
- My Australia - Israel/Poland/2011/English and Polish with English subtitles/100 Minutes/Director: Ami Drozd/Drama.
- Nicky’s Family - Czech Republic/2011/English/100 Minutes/Director: Matej Minae/Documentary. Awards: Best Documentary, Montreal World Film Festival, Special Award Jerusalem Film Festival.
- Remembrance - Germany and Poland/2011/ US/ English, German and Polish with English subtitles/105 Minutes/Director: Anna Justice/Romantic Drama. Awards: Audience Award, San Francisco Film Festival.
- Reuniting the Rubins - United Kingdom/2011/English/97 Minutes/Director: Yoav Factor/Comedy-Family-Drama.
- Suzie Gold - England/2004/English/94 Minutes/Director: Richard Cantor/Comedy.
- Trembling Before God - Israel/United States/2001/English/Hebrew/Yiddish/84 Minutes/Director: Sandi SimchaDubowski/Documentary. Award: Best Documentary, Berlin Film Festival.
- The Wave - German/2008/German with English subtitles/107 Minutes/Director: Dennis Gansel/Dramatic thriller. Awards: German, Melbourne Istanbul and Seattle Film Festivals.