The Boston Jewish Film Festival provides some of the finest in film programming, education, and conversation across audiences within the Greater Boston community. The 32nd Jewish Film festival will take place virtually from November 4th – 15th, 2020. Some of the top selections that will be featured are “Minyan,” showing on November 9th, “Syndrome K”: Live Q&A on November 12th, and TLV TV Binge: “Unchained” and Live Q&A on November 15th, 2020.
The Boston Jewish Film Festival (BJFF) showcases the best contemporary films that focus on Jewish themes from around the world. This annual festival presents shorts, documentaries, and conversations with visiting filmmakers and artists. It also features panel discussions and musical events that explore Jewish identity, traditions, and values.
Founded by filmmaker Michal Goldman in 1989, the festival has witnessed respective success within Boston in the towns of Brookline, Newton, Somerville, and Cambridge. Venues such as the Museum of Fine Arts and the Coolidge Corner Theatre are examples of partners that have showcased films. During the past 30 years, the Boston Jewish Film Festival has procured an audience of over 300,000 filmgoers.
The Festival has also grown to include art and multi-media pieces ranging from music and dance to live podcast recordings. The focus on meaningful post-screening conversations with filmmakers and other special guests from different parts of the world is one of its key highlights. The Boston Jewish Film Festival is now the largest film-based organization in New England.
Films that have had premiered at the Boston Jewish Film Festival include Academy Award-winners are The Pianist (winner, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay, 2002), Nowhere in Africa (winner, Best Foreign Film, 2002) and The Personals (winner, Best Short-Subject Documentary, 1998).
In 2011, The Boston Jewish Film Festival became the host for ReelAbilities Boston, the cities disability film festival. ReelAbilities uses film to increase awareness and understanding in the community and it is dedicated to promoting the appreciation of the lives, stories, and artistic expressions of people with different abilities.
For the first time in 2019, the Boston Jewish Film presented the Boston Israeli Film Festival which included documentary, comedy, drama, and children’s films. The festival also curated a special series that focused on the ideology of censorship and freedom of expression as part of the New Center for Arts and Culture’s multi-disciplinary citywide exhibition Words on Fire alongside a series that celebrated pioneering Jewish women in America in conjunction with the Jewish Women’s Archive.
Today, the Boston Jewish Film Festival has become a destination for community gatherings and conversation for international award-winning films covering Jewish topics and themes.
Boston Jewish Film Festival Recognition:
In 1999, the Boston Jewish Film Festival was named “Best Film Series” by the Boston Society of Film Critics
In 2003, Artistic Director Kaj Wilson and Executive Director Sara Rubin were honored with Image Awards for Vision and Excellence by Women in Film & Video in New England.
In 2004, it hosted the 4th Conference of Jewish Film Festivals, welcoming Jewish Film Festival directors from around the globe to Boston.
In 2006, Executive Director Sara L. Rubin was recognized and honored for her career and her dedication to French culture by the French Minister of Culture by being introduced into Frances Order of Arts and Letters, with the rank of Chevalier (Knight).
In 2007, departing Artistic Director Kaj Wilson was honored for her work by a commendation from the Boston Society of Film Critics.