The Seattle Jewish Film Festival (SJFF) has announced its full lineup of films for the 27th Festival, running March 24 – April 10, 2022. Tickets and passes for SJFF go on sale Thursday, February 24 at www.SeattleJFF.org
SJFF features 18 film programs from around the world, including Portugal, Israel, Switzerland, Belarus, France, Italy, Germany, and more. This year’s hybrid festival includes multiple opportunities to safely watch films together in a theatre and connect with special guests in attendance, catered special events and toasts, and culinary delights from local small businesses. Half of the films will screen in person. All (except THE ANCIENT LAW) will also be available to screen virtually, giving audiences opportunities and avenues to engage and reconnect in theaters or with those at home.
In-person screenings take place at AMC Pacific Place, the Stroum Jewish Community Center, and University of Washington. Virtual films are available to screen from Monday, March 28 until Sunday, April 10, with a 48-hour viewing window (72 hours for the two TV series) once the film is started.
“Creating our first hybrid film festival this year was a community-building and –connecting decision to get folks back in theater seats, back seeing their identities, culture, global connections, and history represented onscreen and encouraging them with special events, guests, and experiences to get back on the scene, back to seeing each other,” says Pamela Lavitt SJCC Arts + Ideas and Festivals Director. “We have programmed this year’s Festival to offer people the best of both worlds: a celebration of global Jewish and Israeli cinema they crave on both the big and small screen while ensuring flexibility and comfort for everyone.”
Festival Kick Off
The hybrid festival kicks off with two opening nights: one virtual and another in-person. The virtual opening film (available for online viewing from March 24 – 26 only) is FIDDLER’S JOURNEY TO THE BIG SCREEN. Narrated by Jeff Goldblum, the documentary depicts the untold story of filmmaker Norman Jewison’s challenging quest to bring one of America’s most beloved and iconic Jewish stage shows, Fiddler on the Roof, to the big screen.
Celebrate SJFF’s first in-person Opening Night in three years with PERSIAN LESSONS, followed by Persian sweets to go after the screening. From the director of the Academy Award-nominated HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG, this film is a beautiful homage to the many Holocaust survivors who persevered, resisted, and preserved their culture with nothing but wits and resourcefulness to aid them.
The Festival’s beloved Sunday Brunch returns with a screening of former Stroum Jewish Community Center and SJFF staff member Lisa Hurwitz’s highly anticipated documentary, THE AUTOMAT. Depicting the rich 100-year history of Horn & Hardart’s Automats, Hurwitz speaks to many luminaries, including Mel Brooks, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elliott Gould, Carl Reiner, and Howard Schultz, who sing the praises of these art deco cafeterias. Enjoy an array of Jewish comfort food in your movie theater seat while listening to the live klezmer sounds of The Klez Katz! before the film and a post-film Q&A with director Lisa Hurwitz. The brunch is hosted by local partners: Mangia Bene Catering and Rubinstein Bagels of Seattle, Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters of Olympia, and Sholom Tea of Tacoma.
The Festival Centerpiece is a co-presentation with Seattle Theatre Group’s Silent Movie Mondays series at The Paramount Theatre. The digitally restored 1923 silent drama, THE ANCIENT LAW, will be accompanied by an original live score performed by world-renowned klezmer violinist and composer Alicia Svigals, silent film pianist and composer Donald Sosin, and special guest clarinetist Laura DeLuca of the Seattle Symphony.
Additional films include the cannabis comedy GREENER PASTURES (nominated for 12 Israeli Academy Awards) followed by a Zoom conversation on “Jews and Cannabis: A History from Biblical to Chai Times,” two binge-worthy TV series: the Israeli comedy docuseries, THE NEW JEW hosted by renowned Israeli comedian Guri Alfi and Switzerland’s LABYRINTH OF PEACE; the LGBTQIA+ Spotlight film THE SWIMMER, and a short film program “When We See Ourselves,” curated by Warren Etheredge.
Close out the film festival with a rosé toast for the in-person screening of the award-winning film ROSE, starring legendary French actress Françoise Fabian as a recent widow whose sorrow gives way to a deep thirst for life.
Tickets and passes for SJFF go on sale Thursday, February 24. Single film ticket prices range from $10-25. Ticket packs range from $75-100, and Full Festival All-Access passes are $180 and include all in-person and virtual screenings. Add on virtual access to any in-person ticket for $5. Discounts are available for seniors 65+, students, youth under 13, and Teen Tix members.