The ninth annual Atlantic Jewish Film Festival kicks off in Halifax on Thursday, aiming to educate, enlighten and entertain audiences with a selection of international, award-winning films.
Edna LeVine, director of community engagement for the Atlantic Jewish Council, says the festival helps promote connection with Jewish themes through cinema.
“We try to share uniquely Jewish stories,” said LeVine. “People can hear Jewish voices from around the world in a way that only movies can.”
More than 50 films were screened for this year’s festival, which were eventually narrowed down to four feature films and one short.
International films from Germany, France, the United States, Israel and Canada will make their Atlantic debut.
“We research films that screen at other Jewish film festivals around the world. We try to pick a selection of films that we think will appeal to the Atlantic Canadian audience,” said LeVine.
The festival opens with a crowd-pleasing comedy in Hebrew called “One More Story” that is guaranteed to have the theatre laughing.
“The opening film at Park Lane Cineplex is an Israeli-romantic comedy,” said LeVine. “It’s very entertaining and we thought it would be a great way to open, especially following the pandemic.”
Filmmaker and director Tamás Wormser of Montreal will present his documentary — “Shalom Putti: A Long Way to Jerusalem”– about a rural village in Uganda that has practised Judaism for over a century.
The festival will also welcome several special guests, including Israel Consul General Paul Hirschson and France Consul General Johan Schitterer.
Other films include the 2021 French drama “Rose,” the documentary “Fiddler’s Journey to the Big Screen” and Israeli drama “More Than I Deserve.”
“The festival gives us an opportunity to share our values and culture with each other, as well as the broader community,” said LeVine.
The festival runs from Thursday to Sunday with ticket options for both in-person and virtual screenings.