Come out and enjoy 12 days of screenings of some of the world’s best and latest Jewish films, documentaries and shorts at the Washington Jewish Film Festival.One of the world’s biggest and oldest Jewish Film Festivals, The Washington Jewish Film Festival is set to begin May 17 and conclude on May 28. The Festival focuses on Israeli and Jewish issues and is held in the Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theatre of the Washington D.C. Community Center as well as other cinemas in the Metro area. This year marks the festival’s 27th year and will feature the best in international and independent cinema. The 2017 program includes 18 short films and 63 feature length films from 25 different countries and showcases the expansive variety of Jewish lifestyles all over the world. The festival also plays host to panel discussions and talkbacks with tens of different filmmakers both domestic and international. During opening night, a drama-comedy entitled “The Women’s Balcony” will kick off the festivities, and they will close out with a showing of “Fanny’s Journey,” a true story about a young girl who helps a group of kids escape the Nazis by leading them through Europe. Of the films that will be presented, both the work of master filmmakers and emerging artists whose work has gained prominence in the past year will be shown. Many of the films shown at this year’s festival will be the only opportunity for Washington DC area residents to view the festival's featured films on the big screen. The short films, documentaries and feature length films of this year’s festival will be presented in three categorized themes: Mechanisms of Extremism, Laugh Track, and Rated LGBTQ. As the category titles suggest, the films of these three categories will present Jewish perspectives of sexual and gender identity, extremist governments, societies and movements and various forms of comic cinema. The screenings and discussions during the festivities help to celebrate the artists behind the films. Agnieszka Holland, a polish filmmaker, is scheduled to be honored with the WJFF’s Visionary Award, while a conversation with filmmaker Amy Heckerling takes place after a screening of “Clueless” and a party during “As if, A Clueless Night.” A screening of “77 Steps” and panel discussion is scheduled during the 7th annual Community Day of Education on Arab Citizens of Israel. The panel discussion’s focus is on the challenges and daily lives of the Arab Citizens of Israel. The legacy and artistic heritage of Yiddish film and music will be explored during “An Evening of Yiddish Culture.”
The Films and Programs will be taking place at the Bethesda Row Cinema, AFI Silver Theatre, E Street Cinema, the Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theatre of the DC Jewish Community Center as well as the National Gallery of Art. Ticket sales have already begun and are available during the festival as well. Many of the shows are expected to sell out, so interested patrons should buy tickets in advance. Single tickets are $13, Festival passes can be purchased for $175 and All Access VIP passes are $275. Persons under the age of 30 can purchase festival passes for $40. The Washington Jewish Film Festival draws 18,000 people annually has over 180 screenings of movies, documentaries and shorts, most of which are U.S., regional and world premieres. More information and full festival schedule can be found at www.wjff.org.