Preview - UK International Jewish Film Festival
Besides the work of Woody Allen, Mel Brooks and a handful of other filmmakers, it could be argued Judaism is underrepresented in mainstream cinema. But a delve just below the surface unveils that many of the world’s greatest filmmakers and performers are part of the Jewish faith: Stanley Kubrick, Roman Polanski, Darren Aronofsky and J. J. Abrams to name but a few – and the group is only getting bigger.
2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the UK International Jewish Film Festival, an event celebrating the impact the Jewish faith has upon cinema, both in the UK and internationally, and the people essential in creating it. This year’s festival, sponsored by the BFI, has a mixed bill of over 80 films being shown in more than 120 venues across the British Isles.
The line-up includes movies from all over the world, spanning genres from documentary to romance, mystery and comedy, and includes shorts and features nominated for festivals such as Sundance and Cannes. The event takes place over 16 days (5 - 20 November) and hopes to bring many important Jewish films and filmmakers to the attention of cinemagoers all over the UK.
Our pick of the festival is Ferne Pearlstein’s The Last Laugh, a film that documents the boundary between humour and taboo, and why comedians of the Jewish faith have their own dark brand of comedy. Featuring interviews with top comics such as Ricky Gervais, Sarah Silverman and Sacha Baron Cohen, this documentary promises to engage with its subject through personal accounts and, indeed, humour. The Last Laugh is being shown on Tuesday 8 November at the Phoenix Cinema in London, followed by a Q&A with comedians Bennett Arron, Debbie Chazen and Josh Howie.
You can discover more about the festival, including the full line-up, box office and a list of guests appearing at the events here.