UK Jewish Film Festival – Opening & Closing Galas Announced

UK JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL 30 Oct – 17 Nov 2013

The 17th annual UK Jewish Film Festival launches on 30 October with an Opening Night Gala at the BFI Southbank of the UK Premiere of The Jewish Cardinal introduced by award-winning French director Ilan Duran Cohen. This gripping, star-studded historical drama tells the story of Jean-Marie Lustiger, the Jewish-born head of the French Church and close confidant of Pope John-Paul II. With possibly the most mischievous portrayal of a pontiff in cinematic history, The Jewish Cardinal is a tour de force about what it means to walk the tightrope of faith and identity.

The festival follows with an exciting array of films and events which run until the Closing Night Gala on 17 November with the UK Premiere of Eytan Fox’s Cupcakes. This hilarious and heart-warming musical comedy about life, love and friendship is the guiltiest pleasure of the year.

We are pleased to reveal this year’s festival poster and to announce more festival Galas including: The Bank Leumi UK Gala on 2 November of In The Shadow, the impressive debut feature from Czech writer/director David Ondricek who will give a Q&A after the Gala screening. Set in the dark Stalinist days of early 1950’s Prague, this award-winning crime thriller and biting political drama is inspired by Psycho, Blade Runner and Seven.

On 9 November, the UKJF is proud to present a Centrepiece Gala of Fill The Void followed by a review discussion with leading UK film critics including The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin. Winner of the Best Actress Award for Hadas Yaron at the Venice Film Festival, Fill The Void is directed by Rama Burshtein. This debut film set amongst Tel Aviv’s ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community, won seven Ophir Awards, including Best Film and Best Director, and was the official Israeli submission for this year’s Academy Awards. An Exclusive Preview of The Congress takes place on 10 November as the Imax Gala. Selected as the opening film at this year’s Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, Ari Folman’s follow-up to Waltz With Bashir is a searing indictment of the film business and Hollywood. The cunningly named Miramount Studios is hungry to scan its stable of high profile actors into computer chips, so that it can take full control of their careers and have them remain forever young. With a stellar cast including Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Danny Huston and Paul Giamatti, this dazzling live-action animation is underlined by a powerful score from Max Richter and is an unforgettable work from an outstanding and visionary director.

“It is a great pleasure to announce our galas films for the 17th UK Jewish Film Festival. From the unforgettable and powerful performances of ‘The Jewish Cardinal’ to the sheer imaginative genius of ‘The Congress’ and the exuberant joy of ‘Cupcakes’ we are proud to be able to bring these exceptional gala films to UK audiences. We are also delighted to announce our new VOD Channel, launched yesterday, which enables us to provide outstanding films straight to your computer, TV, tablet or phone.” Michael Etherton, Managing Director, UK Jewish Film.

UK Jewish Film Festival is dedicated to bringing the best world cinema to diverse audiences of all ages. The 17th Festival will present 66 films, 40 of which are premieres, from countries ranging from Argentina, Israel, USA, UK, Germany, France and the Czech Republic. The full programme will be announced on 16 September when tickets will go on sale.

“One of the highlights of the screen calendar” Empire

“There’s always a mix of the serious and the hilarious” The Guardian

“One of the finest international film festivals” Time Out Twitter: @ukjewishfilm / Facebook: UKJewishFilmFestival

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