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History & Humanity at the New York Jewish Film Festival 2022


Now in its 31st installment, the New York Jewish Film Festival 2022 showcases films from around the world that embody the Jewish experience. Running January 12 to the 25th at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th Street) as well as some films streamed online, the festival mixes narrative features, shorts, and documentaries from around the world.

The Opening film is Neighbours, in which a young boy and his family live in a Kurdish community near the Syrian/Turkish border in the early 1980s. He’s extremely fond of his Jewish neighbors, but perplexed when a new teacher propagates fiery nationalism and antisemitism. Director Mano Khalil (Die Schwalbe) mines childhood experiences with a welcome sense of humor while drawing parallels with contemporary refugee crises.

The Centerpiece film is Sin La Habana, winner of the award for Best Canadian Film at the 2021 Vancouver International Film Festival. In the film, a salsa dance instructor and his girlfriend, a lawyer, seek to escape Cuba by any means, ensnaring an Iranian-Jewish woman in their plot. Writer/director/composer Kaveh Nabatian, himself Iranian-Canadian, offers a lyrical and deeply felt meditation on cross-cultural relationships, with their attendant gulfs of religion and background, further complicated by the hidden agendas of all concerned parties.

As part of a special screening, the NYJFF will also present the World Premiere of the new 4K digital restoration of Steve BrandsKaddish, an engaging chronicle of a Hungarian Holocaust survivor’s son that reveals 1980s New York and activist Yossi Klein Halevi in his formative years.

In Rose, by Aurélie Saada, a 78-year-old Parisian woman, played by iconic French actress Françoise Fabian (My Night at Maud’s, Belle de Jour) , rebels against ageist and sexist stereotypes to reinvent herself.

Set on Wall Street in 2008, A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff offers a singularly creative perspective on financial fraud as musician/poet Alicia Jo Rabins plays herself, obsessing over Madoff and the capitalist system that enabled him.

The essay film, The Will to See, grew out of writer, activist, and philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy’s journalistic coverage of places where human suffering predominates. Journeying from Mogadishu, Somalia, “a ghost town abandoned to the warlords,” to Nigeria, where Christians are massacred with impunity, Lévy spotlights locations the world cannot afford to keep ignoring.

In addition, the festival includes the special program: Tribute to Pearl Bowser (presented virtually), focusing on the celebrated film scholar, author, archivist, educator, activist, filmmaker, and independent distributor. Harlem-raised Pearl Bowser is a stalwart champion of independent film and filmmakers of color. Alongside her late colleagues, psychologist and artist Mel Roman, and Charles Hobson, producer-writer at ABC-TV, Bowser researched and curated a landmark retrospective at the Jewish Museum in 1970 called “The Black Film,” igniting a new wave of enduring interest in exhibiting, producing, and engaging with African American cinema beyond borders. She has spent her multifaceted career cultivating audiences for marginalized voices in motion pictures, particularly with her groundbreaking work on early 1900s Black film pioneer Oscar Micheaux. This virtual tribute program includes a recent short-film interview with Bowser and several films, including Body and Soul (1925) by Oscar Micheaux, which features Paul Robeson in his acting debut.

To learn more, go to:

New York Jewish Film Festival 2022
January 12 - 25, 2022

Online & The Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th St.
New York, NY 10023

Museum of the Moving Image Showcases Currators' Choice Films of 2021

Thuso Mbedu in Barry Jenkins's THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD (2021); screening as part of Curators' Choice 2021

The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens will be screening the best films of 2021, hand picked by their curators. The Curators’ Choice 2021 series runs from December 19 2021 to January 16, 2022. The films were  selected by Curator of Film Eric Hynes and Assistant Curator Edo Choi, with 30 selections spanning family friendly fare (The Mitchells Vs The Machines), to the daring and taboo (Benedetta, The Underground Railroad).

“The first iteration since 2019, following a pandemic-dictated hiatus, Curators’ Choice 2021 evidences a year of stunning ambition, excellence, experimentation, irreverence, liberation, and fury. While 2021 was a challenging year for the movies, with Hollywood and audiences gradually returning to theaters, it’s been a wildly exciting time for international, independent, and festival-oriented films,” said Hynes.

The series also offers the opportunity to revisit four films the Museum previously released in Virtual Cinema and present them in a theatrical setting: Shatara Michelle Ford’s Test Pattern (with Ford in person), Midi Z’s Nina Wu, Lili Horvát’s Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time, and Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese’s This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection.

Films being screened include:

  • Terra Femme
    Dir. Courtney Stephens
  • Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time
    Dir. Lili Horvát.
  • The Underground Railroad: The Complete Series
    Dir. Barry Jenkins
  • Benedetta
    Dir. Paul Verhoeven
  • Undine
    Dir. Christian Petzold
  • All About My Sisters
    Dir. Wang Qiong
  • The French Dispatch
    Dir. Wes Anderson
  • This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection
    Dir. Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese
  • Drive My Car
    Dir. Ryūsuke Hamaguchi

And more!

To learn more, go to:

Curators’ Choice 2021
December 19, 2021- January 16, 2022

Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35th Avenue
Queens, NY 11106

NY Baltic Film Fest Features Latvian Westerns & Eastern Blocs

Goodbye Soviet Union 

Running online and in person, the New York Baltic Film Festival returns Novermber 3rd to the 14th, 2021. The in person portion of the fest will be held at the Scandinavia House (58 Park Ave) from November 3 to 7, with the online portion running the 5th to the 14th. Established in 2018, the New York Baltic Film Festival features the dramatic, the historical, the supernatural, and the touching moments of film from Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia.

Films include:

  • In the Mirror
    Once upon a time, there was Snow White and her father, when along came a gym-obsessed stepmother, and countless selfies.
  • Goodbye Soviet Union
    A nostalgic coming-of-age comedy about the misadventures of Johannes and his eccentric Ingrian-Finnish family in the waning days of the Estonian Soviet Republic.
  • A Year Full of Drama
    A young woman who has never been to the theater takes on an ambitious experiment to spend a year immersed in drama, as she tries to find her place in the world.
  • Runner
    Maria is frantically searching for her boyfriend who is missing after his latest psychotic episode. Armed with patience and love, she chases down clues throughout the city, but the real story keeps evading her.
  • Wild East
    The first Latvian Western mixes scheming aristocrats, runaway brides, and a missing inheritance with intrigue, shotguns and sailboats. Where will this road take us? 

 And more!

Many films will also include live Q&As with the filmmakers. Check the NYBFF website for more info.

To learn more, go to:

New York Baltic Film Festival
November 3 - 14, 2021

Scandinavia House
58 Park Ave, New York, NY 10016


The Winter Film Awards Celebrates 10 Years With Over 91 Films


With over 91 films, plus panels and workshops, The Winter Film Awards is having a jam packed tenth anniversary. Running September 23 to October 2, 2021 at NYC’s Cinema Village (22 E. 12th street), the Winter Film Awards includes 13 Animated films, 15 Documentaries, 6 Feature narratives, 16 Horror films, 10 Music Videos, 22 Narrative shorts and 5 Web series.

Festival highlights include:

  • FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 24– the Festival opens with screenings of the feature length gonzo animated musical film Death of a Rockstar and the funky Brazilian mystical cowboy film Jesus Kid.

  • SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 25 / DOCUMENTARY DAY– a full day showcasing documentary shorts and features covering a wide variety of topics, including Last Call – the story of the impact of COVID-19 on the NYC hospitality industry, A Wicked Eden which focuses on women online fetish porn creators, I’m an Electric Lampshade – an offbeat heartwarming portrait of the world’s least likely rock star, More than Miyagi – a painfully revealing biography of Pat Morita and This Beautiful Journey – a rustic and personal journey through India.

  • SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 26 / BLOODY SUNDAY HORROR DAY– a full day showcasing the most frightening indie films from around the world, including films from Canada, Germany, Greece, Nepal, Netherlands, Philippines, Spain, Sweden and the US.

  • MONDAY SEPTEMBER 27– Screening of 11 mixed short films and feature-film Spirit Quest, a story of two friends on a hallucinogenic mushroom trip

  • TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 28– Screening of 10 mixed short films and feature-film Touch, a romantic love story between a married Caucasian woman living in China and a blind masseur.

  • WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 29– Screening of 8 mixed short films and the feature film Since August, the story of a recovering drug addict confronting her demons, told in American Sign Language.

  • THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 30– Screening of 9 mixed short films and feature film Mister Sister, a truly NYC story of a drag MC learning courage from the caring LGBTQ community and pursuing his dreams.

Winter Film Awards is an all-volunteer, minority and women-owned registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2011 in New York City by a group of filmmakers and enthusiasts with the goal of presenting unique films to audiences.

To learn more, go to:

Winter Film Awards International Film Festival
September 23 - October 2, 2021

Cinema Village
22 East 12th Street

New York, NY 10003


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