Rochester Jewish Film Festival Hits 10 Years

Published: July 23rd 2010
in Culture » Movies

Pic: JCC Rochester

North of the border, the JCC of Greater Rochester is celebrating its 10th annual Jewish Film Festival. The nine-day event was established in 2001 “to strengthen Jewish identity and promote Jewish continuity in an environment that provides opportunities for meaningful cultural enrichment, physical well-being, social, educational and recreational experiences for individuals and families.”


This year’s lineup includes some films that have been highlighted in Shalom Life and were featured in several Jewish film festivals in Toronto, Winnipeg, Montreal and Windsor as well as other international forums in Canada and the United States. Among the Canadian favourites are A Matter of Size, The Beetle, Eyes Wide Open, Ajami and A Film Unfinished.


The most notable of all, Ajami, depicts the religious tensions and gang fare in the Jaff neighbourhood. It was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in this year’s Oscars. Meanwhile, a documentary about Nazi propaganda, A Film Unfinished, nabbed top honours at Toronto’s 2010 Hot Docs Festival.


Despite several Jewish film festival favourites, the Rochester Jewish Film Festival will also showcase other highly-anticipated films. The festival opens up with a 2009 Sundance Festival selection, Mary and Max, which uses the voices of Toni Collette and Phillip Seymour Hoffman for the leading roles. Mary and Max is the story of a pen pal relationship between an eight-year-old Australian girl and a 44-year-old Jewish man.


RJFF will also screen Anita, a tale about a girl’s battle with Down syndrome; Berlin ‘36, a film about a Jewish athlete’s struggles during the Olympics; and  THE KLEZMATICS: On Holy Ground, a documentary about the Grammy-winning musical group.




The festival opens this weekend, July 25, and runs until August 2. For more information, visit

Related articles: (Movies, Rochester, Jewish Film Festival, Ajami, Hot Docs)

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