The 2023 film festival plays in-theaters February 19 – 20, then moves online February 23 – March 5
Cameos, not conversions. Subtitles, not sacks.Trailers, not touchdowns. Coming a week after the Big Game and almost three years after last being in a movie theater, the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival (GPJFF) announces a limited return to in-theater film screenings with its upcoming 27th Annual Festival taking place February 19 through March 5, 2023. The 2023 Festival will feature both in-person and virtual screening components, each celebrating Jewish culture with an exciting lineup of films showcasing Jewish life, traditions, history and heritage.
The longest-running film festival in the Valley, the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival enters its 27th year by presenting 24 feature-length Jewish films hailing from over a dozen different countries! Viewers will have the opportunity to travel from the beaches of South Florida to the ateliers of Paris; from a high rise in Tel Aviv to the rolling hills and lush acres of Monticello; from the backrooms and boardrooms of Germany to multiple villages and towns of wartime Europe.
Three carefully-selected films will screen in-person at Harkins Theater locations in Scottsdale and Tempe from Sunday, Feb. 19 through Monday, Feb. 20. Virtual screenings willl begin Thursday, Feb. 23 and continue through Sunday, March 5. All virtual showings will be available throughout the entire virtual festival timespan and will no longer be limited to a 72-hour screening window.
The return to limited in-theater screenings takes into consideration the desires of many festival attendees, says Tricia Beran, GPJFF co-Executive Director. “While many of our festival goers have made it clear they love the flexibility and ease of watching our festival films from home, we know that the in-person socializing and in-theater event energy are a key aspect of the festival.”
Over the last quarter of a century, the popularity of the film festival has grown alongside the Valley’s population. “The Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival has earned its place as a top cultural event for Jews and non-Jewish residents because our team of committed screening volunteers from across the greater Phoenix area spend hundreds of hours previewing films to find the most entertaining and eye-opening new films that delight and teach us about Jewish experiences,” states Sue Adatto, GPJFF’s co-Executive Director.
Short films and bonus post-film content with filmmakers and experts on film subjects will accompany some screenings.
WHAT: The 27th Annual Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival
WHEN: Sunday, February 19, 2023 — Sunday, March 5, 2023
WHERE: Hybrid. In Theaters from Feb. 19 – Feb. 20; Virtually from Feb. 23 – March 5
HOW TO BUY: for more information or to purchase tickets, go to www.gpjff.org, on or after January 26.
- $15 / individual ticket to either one in-theater or one household virtual screening
- $80 / Virtual Festival 6-ticket bundle
- $250 / Virtual Festival Pass for all films streaming Feb. 23 – March 5
Farewell, Mr. Haffmann
Drama – (France), 2021, 115 minutes, French w/ English subtitle
Playing at Harkins Tempe Marketplace 16, Sunday, Feb 19, 3:00 pm
Playing at Harkins Shea 14, Sunday, Feb 19, 7:00 pm
A story of moral corruption of character, this drama is set in 1942 Nazi-occupied Paris. A Jewish jeweler turns over his shop to his assistant for the duration of the war. Unable to successfully flee the country, the jeweler seeks refuge in the cellar of his own shop, where Nazis have become frequent customers.
Comedy – (USA), 2022, 103 minutes, English
Playing at Harkins Shea 14 Sunday, Feb 19, 3:00 pm
Taxi-costars Judd Hirsch and Carol Kane reunite and star as Mordecai and Fela, married Holocaust survivors living in Florida in this new comedic film that shows you’re never too old to learn something new. When Mordecai’s ancient flip phone breaks, he befriends a young woman who teaches him the wonders of the iPhone and opens him up to new experiences and adventures.
Drama – (Spain), 2021, 113 minutes, Spanish w/ English subtitles
Playing at Harkins Shea 14 Sunday, Feb 19, 3:00 pm
In this thriller set in 1982 Spain, a young police officer moves to a village by the sea with his family to start a new position, hoping the sea air will cure his sick daughter. With his eccentric police partner, he begins to investigate the murder of the officer he replaced. He discovers a group of German ex-Nazis who, having previously fled to South America, now live in the village unscathed by the past.
Drama – (Spain), 2021, 105 mins., Spanish w/ English subtitles
The town of Melilla, an autonomous Spanish city on the north coast of Africa, provides a stunning backdrop to this family drama. Having turned her back on her Jewish heritage, Alegría lives a quiet life in Melilla where Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities converge. When her family arrives to organize her niece’s Orthodox Jewish wedding, Alegría must reconnect with her past.
Drama – (Israel), 2022, 127 minutes, Hebrew w/ English subtitles
Eli, a Chicago- based Israeli swimming coach, returns home after 10 years to settle his father’s estate. He reunites with his closest childhood friend – who is about to be married to a beautiful Ethiopian woman – and sets off a series of events that will dramatically change all of their lives.
Drama – (Israel), 2022, 108 mins., Hebrew w/ English subtitles
This provocative and beautifully acted drama takes viewers deep into the world of a loving ultra-Orthodox couple in Safed who are infertile after four years of marriage. A rabbi claiming to have healing powers visits the family, leading to a story of heartbreaking ethical and religious dilemmas that demand discussion.
The Blue Box
Documentary – (Canada), 2021, 83 mins., Hebrew w/ English subtitles
This revelatory documentary explores the history of the Jewish National Fund “Blue Boxes”, which symbolized support of Israeli settlement and agricultural development yet had a darker side: planting the country’s trees uprooted nearly three quarters of a million Arabs.
Animated Biography – (Canada), 2021, 92 mins., English
This beautiful, animated drama brings to life the true story of Charlotte Salomon, a young Jewish painter in Germany whose life was dramatically changed – and then cutshort – after the Nazis came to power. Sensing imminent danger, Charlotte fled toFrance and began frantically to paint her entire life, leaving behind the treasure of almost a thousand expressionist paintings. Features the voices of Keira Knightley, as well as Brenda Blethyn and Jim Broadbent.
Docudrama – (Germany), 2022, 108 mins., German w/ English subtitles
In January 1942, high-ranking Nazis met in a villa in Wannsee, Germany, where they planned the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”– total annihilation of the Jews by mass extermination. Produced for the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, this docudrama recreates the meeting, based on the actual minutes as recorded by Eichmann.
Documentary – (Germany/Israel), 2019, 88 mins., Hebrew w/ English subtitles
Utilizing never-before-seen footage of a 1978 interview with Golda Meir towards the end of her life, this riveting documentary provides a very personal look into Israel’s only female Prime Minister. Golda discusses her years in politics and its effect on her, unaware that the footage would be publicly viewed in the future.
Comedic Drama – (France), 2021, 100 mins., French w/ English subtitles
Esther, a Jewish head seamstress at Dior whose career is ending, finds her life altered after a tough young Catholic woman named Jade steals her purse. The two begin an unusual friendship when Jade returns the purse and Esther takes her in as an apprentice dressmaker at the high-end fashion house.
Comedy – (Israel), 2022, 100 mins., Hebrew w/ English subtitles
Meir and Tova’s world is turned upside-down when a rich, attractive bachelor moves into the penthouse of their Tel Aviv apartment building and befriends them. His magnetic personality leads to them questioning their marriage and identities.
The Levys of Monticello
Documentary – (USA), 2021, 70 mins., English
This remarkable documentary highlights a missing chapter of American Jewry. After Thomas Jefferson died, Uriah Phillips Levy purchased his Monticello home, restoring and preserving the estate from ruin.The film also touches on issues of slavery and the rise of antisemitism in America.
The Longest Journey: The Jews From Rhodes
Documentary – (Italy), 2013, 50 mins., Italian w/ English subtitles
This documentary examines the 2,000 year-old Jewish community of Rhodes that was all but destroyed when the majority of its residents were transported to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944.
Historical Drama – (Netherlands), 2022, 98 mins., Dutch, German & Russian w/ English subtitles
Inspired by a true story, three strong young women – a Russian soldier, a German village girl, and a brave Dutch Jew – form an unlikely alliance in this female-driven film set in Spring 1945.
The Man in the Basement
Thriller – (France), 2021, 114 mins., French w/ English subtitles
In this provocative psychological thriller, a Parisian Jewish family’s life is forever changed when they sell their unused cellar to a former history teacher for storage. Unbeknownst to them, the man is an active Holocaust denier and anti-Semite who moves into the cellar and becomes a terrifying menace in their lives.
Historical Drama – (Poland), 2022, 115 mins, Polish w/ English subtitles
Set during the anti-Semitic/anti-Zionist purge in 1960’s Poland, this story follows two students in love, Hania and Janek, who attend a political rally protesting government restrictions on freedom. Jewish Hania’s parents have lost their jobs and are forced to emigrate, while Janek’s dad is a government supporter.
More Than a Roll With a Hole
Documentary – (United Kingdom), 2022, 40 mins., English
A light-hearted look at the history of one of our favorite Jewsh foods: the bagel. From its history in 13th century Poland to its ubiquity today in delis and markets across the world, the bagel’s fascinating past is explored in this documentary.
More Than I Deserve
Drama – (Israel), 2021, 82 mins., French and Russian w/ English subtitles
A coming-of-age drama set in Israel in which Tamara, a single Ukrainian mother and her son, Pinhas, find their lives affected by Shimon, their bachelor Orthodox neighbor. Pinhas wants a Bar Mitzvah like his classmates and seeks help from Shimon, despite his secular mom’s objections. When an unexpected romance blooms between Tamara and Shimon, their lives irrevocably alter.
My Neighbor Adolf
Dark Comedy – (Israel), 2022, 106 mins., English
The relationship between neighbors can be a messy, complicated affair, especially if the people involved are a lonely Holocaust survivor and a new, eccentric next-door occupant who happens to bear an uncanny resemblance to Hitler. Set in a remote part of Argentina just after the capture of the other Adolf, this clever, funny yet moving dark comedy explores the lingering shadow of Nazi Germany, its crimes, and its leaders.
Documentary- (USA), 2022, 90 min., English
How does one monetarily compensate for a life? This engrossing film is the first documentary to cover the history and process of negotiating German reparations to survivors after the Holocaust. Amid violent protests in Israel, German & Jewish leaders secretly met to discuss reparations as a step towards healing.
Drama – (France), 2021, 102 mins., French w/ English subtitles
Recently widowed Rose is unsure of how to navigate her life after suddenly losing her husband. Then a chance meeting at a dinner party reawakens both her passion and her forgotten aspirations, much to the surprise of her grown children.
Drama – (Austria), 2022, 110 mins., German w/ English subtitles
Victor is a successful businessman in Vienna who as a child witnessed Nazi mass murders in a field – and whose own mother and sister were killed in Mauthausen. Determined to seek justice for them, he, along with help from Nazi hunter Simon Weisenthal, brings legal action against the Mauthausen commandant. When the legal system fails, Victor takes matters into his own hands.
Documentary – (USA), 2020, 80 mins., Russian w/ English subtitles
Shtetlers takes us to the remnants of small Jewish towns in modern Ukraine and Moldova – towns hidden behind the Iron Curtain for years. Although almost no Jews remained after the Holocaust, aspects of their rich Jewish culture still live on. The documentary includes interviews with nine former “Shtetlers” from the area, now living around the world, who recall the nostalgic life that is gone and describe what remains.
Drama – (France), 2021, 87 mins., French w/ English subtitles
This moving drama tells the true story of six Jewish children hiding from the Nazis in August 1942 in France’s Chateau de Chambord – amid hidden artworks from the Louvre. Aided by a female art museum conservator who was a Resistance member, the children exhibited exceptional courage, resilience and friendship.
Suitable for ages 12 years & older
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