The 22nd annual Miami Jewish Film Festival kicked off this past Thursday boasting a diverse lineup of eighty pictures from twenty-five different countries to make this year’s festival the biggest yet. This includes twelve world premieres, ten unique, film-related events, and a whopping twenty-five films by women filmmakers. Screenings will be taking place in fifteen venues across Miami including Coral Gables Art Cinema and the Miami Beach Cinematheque.
Opening night included screenings of The Unorthodox,Israel’s highest grossing box office hit of 2018, and On the Basis of Sex, starring Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Jones as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the first women selected to the Supreme Court of the United States. The latter is also the first of many films included in the launch of the festival’s Spotlight on Women Filmmakers program, an effort to highlight both established and up-and-coming female directors, screenwriters, and producers.
In celebration of this program, many of the female filmmakers will be in attendance including director Roberta Grossman, visionary of the audience award-winning film Who Will Write Our History, produced by Nancy Spielberg and features Academy Award-winning actor Adrien Brody. Hungarian-director Eva Gardos will be introducing her stylish political-thriller Budapest Noir on Tuesday, January 22nd and participate in an extended discussion moderated by the director of Florida International University’s Film Studies Program Dr. Andrew Strycharski.
The Miami Jewish Film Festival will also celebrate Martin Luther King Day by coordinating with the Overtown Performing Arts Center on a live blues performance that will precede a free screening of Satan & Adam, a documentary chronicling the blues duo of the same name. And In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the release of Eyes Wide Shut, the festival will commemorate Stanley Kubrick and his final film with a screening and tribute at the Coral Gables Art Cinema.
Other notable works include Sunset,the latest directorial effort by Oscar-winner Laszlo Nemes and Hungary’s Academy Award entry for Best Foreign Language Film, Germany’s Best Foreign Language Picture entry Never Look Away, and the Russian entry Sobibor, which are Rush Line evening events leading up to the two week festival’s Closing Night Party and Awards ceremony on January 24th.
Akil R. Anderson is a senior at Florida International University, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in English with a minor in History, along with a Certificate in Film Studies.