Weekly Feature



2018-03-07 / Lifestyles

Buffalo International Jewish Film Festival set for March 9-15

by Nick Konotopskyj Reporter


“Menashe” is directed by Joshua Weinstein and was made entirely in Yiddish. There will be two showings for this film, at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 11, and 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 14. “Menashe” is directed by Joshua Weinstein and was made entirely in Yiddish. There will be two showings for this film, at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 11, and 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 14. The 33rd annual Buffalo International Jewish Film Festival — the third-longest-running festival of its kind in North America — will take place from Friday, March 9, through Thursday, March 15, at the Amherst Dipson Theatre, 3500 Main St.

The festival will present 12 award-winning films from countries around the world including Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hungary, India, Israel, Poland, Sweden and the U.S., according to Jordana Halpern, cultural arts director at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo.

“You certainly don’t need to be Jewish to enjoy this lineup,” Halpern said. “One of the benefits to this type of festival is that the stories told in these films are universal in their commonalities shared by different cultures when it comes to life experiences, family stories, personal challenges and history.”


“Across The Waters”, which is a Danish film directed by Nicolo Donato, will be shown at 8 p.m. Monday, March 12, and 6 p.m. Thursday, March 15, at the Amherst Dipson Theatre, 3500 Main St. “Across The Waters”, which is a Danish film directed by Nicolo Donato, will be shown at 8 p.m. Monday, March 12, and 6 p.m. Thursday, March 15, at the Amherst Dipson Theatre, 3500 Main St. The Amherst Dipson Theatre will show films during the day and evening to accommodate everyone’s schedule. Films will start as early as 1 p.m. and as late as 8 p.m.

According to Michael Silverman, festival chairman, one of the most important elements of Judaism celebrated in film by the festival is diversity. “Jewish stories and culture appear in the most unlikely places,” Silverman said. “In the coming edition, the festival endeavors to take viewers to a place not visited before: India. And not once, but twice, with the showing of ‘Shalom Bollywood’ and ‘My Hero Brother.’”

In addition to the two Indian based films, the other 10 films to be featured include “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” “Across the Waters,” “Fever at Dawn,” “Harmonia,” “How to Ride an Elevator on Shabbat,” “Menashe,” “Raise the Roof,” “Rosenwald,” “The Last Laugh” and “The Testament.”

“A Tale of Love and Darkness” is the directorial debut of actress Natalie Portman and is a film in which she also stars. It was nominated for the Golden Camera Award at the Cannes Film Festival. “Menashe” is a film from the U.S. that is made entirely in Yiddish. “Menashe” is the winner of the Terry Porter Visionary Award at the Sarasota Film Festival, and it was nominated for the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

The Buffalo International Jewish Film Festival kicked off on Saturday with a fundraising dinner at Taste of India, 3192 Sheridan Drive. The evening featured the showing of “Shalom Bollywood,” a full buffet dinner, henna tattoos, a basket raffle and a free ticket to any of the festival’s films.

“In addition to celebrating diversity through film, we are excited to be collaborating with a number of local groups and businesses such as 21_ Connect, an advocacy group focused on educating the community about individuals with Down syndrome,” Halpern said. “They are sponsoring the film ‘My Hero Brothe r,’ and it is partnerships like that which make our festival such a powerful and positive benefit to our communities.”

Tickets and passes may be purchased in advance at the JCC member services desk, online at www.bijff.com or at the theatre door 30 minutes prior to each film. JCC locations are at 2640 N. Forest Road, Amherst, and at 787 Delaware Ave., Buffalo.

General tickets for a single film are $10 per ticket. A Flex Pass, which includes six tickets for the price of five, costs $50. Children 18 years old and younger are admitted free with a parent to all films except “Shalom Bollywood.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Amherst Dipson Theatre again,” Halpern said. “They have the best popcorn in town and have renovated their theatre with new, comfortable Barcaloungers that audiences love.”

To learn more about film schedules, watch film trailers or find out about donation opportunities for the Buffalo International Jewish Film Festival, visit www.bijff.com or contact Katie Wzontek at KWzontek@jccbuffalo.org. email: nickk@beenews.com

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