Welcome to the Jewish Film Festival of Southwest Florida

 

 

Celebrating our 27th year, the Jewish Film Festival of Southwest Florida presents a diverse selection of outstanding Jewish films. 

In February 2023, join us for another year of engaging films that examine Jewish history, heritage, and culture. 

 

Flims will be screened at the Regal Belltower Stadium 20 Theaters

13499 Bell Tower Dr. * Fort Myers, FL  33907

 

Open seating at all films for general admission tickets.

Reserved seating available with your sponsorship.

 

 

*Click here to become a Sponsor*

 

For more information please email Aimee Levine-Miles at aimeemiles@jfedlcc.org

11 Film Series / $120 ~ Individual Films / $12 each

Festival Passes and Individual Tickets on sale

Festival Pass

On sale Nov. 1st

Individual Tickets

On sale Dec. 1st

SNEEK PREVIEW....

View Movie Trailers Below

OPENING DAY

MATINEE ~ 3:00 P.M.

That Orchestra with the Broken Instruments

 

Sunday, February 5

 

Documentary, 1 hour 20 minutes

A broken string, fractured echo chamber, rusting valves. 100 musicians meet for four days of rehearsals. They speak different languages. Their instruments are broken. An orchestra of professional and amateur musicians, young and old, set out on a journey against all odds, to a one-time concert. The film traces the creative process from collecting the instruments, to workshops, to three composers and intensive rehearsals, to the night of the performance. Hidden among the cracks, we discover a lyrical and engaging take on the members of the orchestra, on what is broken and whole and on the determined attempt, if only for a moment, to create harmony in a discordant city.

Rose

 

Tuesday, February 7

 

Drama, 1 hour 42 minutes, French with English Subtitles

 

Rose is a 78-year-old Parisian who has built a life for herself around two main roles, as a wife and mother (and later grandmother). When her husband passes away, Rose suddenly finds herself alone, dethroned as the matriarch of a tribe which no longer seems to need her. The protagonist now finds herself in the throes of an emotional crisis with unexpected and cathartic consequences. What is her place within a family which has inevitably lost its glue? How can she impose her presence on a society which places sole value on youth? A poetic and highly personal portrait of a woman who decides to take control of her own destiny.

Bad Nazi, Good Nazi 

 

Thursday, February 9 

 

Drama, 1 hour, Hebrew & German with English Subtitles

 

Bad Nazi. Good Nazi is the extraordinary story of German officer Wilm Hosenfeld, immortalized in Roman Polanski’s film as the Nazi who saved The Pianist’s life. Hosenfeld’s personal diaries record his chilling, gradual disillusionment with the Nazi war machine he belonged to and that Szpilman, incredibly, is just one of sixty people he saved. Thalau’s group of supporters are inspired to have Hosenfeld memorialized at the local school he led before enlisting in Hitler’s army, but the villagers struggle to come to terms with the complicated legacy of a man they want to forget; a Nazi officer and a serial rescuer.

MATINEE ~ 3:00 P.M.

Our Almost Completely True Story

 

Monday, February 13 

 

Drama, Comedy, 1 hour 32 minutes, English

 

 

Life in Hollywood has lost its luster for timeless actress, Mariette Hartley. Although her reputation precedes her from the peak of her acting career decades prior, meaningful work these days—and a decent date—are hard to find. When Mariette meets Jerry Sroka, a forever-comic who's also been wading through L.A.’s insufferable dating scene, Jerry immediately falls for her stunning elegance and exceptionally dry humor. As things get more serious and unexpected challenges arise, Mariette wonders if it may be too late for love. Written by and starring the legendary Mariette Hartley and Jerry Sroka, the film shares the hilarious, vulnerable realities for aging actors and the search for love as seniors in Hollywood.

One More Story

 

Tuesday, February 14

 

Drama, Comedy, 1 hour 31 minutes, Hebrew with English subtitles

 

Yarden Gat is a young and brilliant journalist, on a mission: to find true love, for her best friend, and for herself. She convinces him to go out on a daily date, for a month, each evening with a different woman, until he finds the right one. Like a reality - but for her newspaper. Who will get there first? This is Guri Alfi’s new romantic comedy.

 

Here We Are

 

Thursday, February 16

 

Drama, 1 hour 32 minutes, Hebrew with English Subtitles

 

Aharon has devoted his life to raising his son Uri. They live together in a gentle routine, away from the real world. But Uri is autistic, and now as a young adult it might be time for him to live in a specialized home. While on their way to the institution, Aharon decides to run away with his son and hits the road, knowing that Uri is not ready for this separation. Or is it, in fact, his father who is not ready?

 

MATINEE ~ 3:00 P.M.

Shepard: The Story of a Jewish Dog 

 

Sunday, February 19 

 

Narrative Feature, 1 hour 35 minutes, English

 

The timeless, unbreakable bond between a boy and his faithful dog is put to the ultimate test in 1930s Germany, in this heartwarming family drama. When the Nuremberg Laws are passed forbidding Jews to own pets, Kaleb, a German Shepherd, is separated from his Jewish family and his beloved 10 year old master, Joshua. We follow Kaleb as he becomes a street dog and then captured and eventually adopted by an SS dog trainer at a Nazi work camp where the dog has now been trained to help round up and terrorize Jewish prisoners.

 

Neighbors

 

Tuesday, February 21 

 

Drama, 1 hour 45 minutes, Hebrew, Arabic, Kurdish with English subtitles

 

Set in the 1980s in a small Kurdish village in northeastern Syria, Mano Khalil’s masterful film, which was inspired by his personal life story, comes to life through the eyes of its endearing young hero, Sero, a six-year-old whose vivid recollections transport us to a world both sad and beautiful, innocent and full of pain. Determined to eliminate all remnants of Kurdish cultural identity in his students, Sero’s new grade schoolteacher instills the tenets of Arab Ba’ath Party nationalism. While some of his classmates come to embrace their teacher’s enthusiasm for fascist ideology, Sero continues to dream of better ways to spend his time. He would much sooner watch his favorite cartoons or spend time with his uncle helping his Jewish neighbors on the Sabbath. While life at school grows increasingly intolerable for Sero, nothing could prepare him for the pain that was still to come under the new totalitarian leadership.

Women of Valor

 

Thursday, February 23 

 

Documentary, 1 hour 17 minutes, Hebrew and English

 

In the Haredi community, a woman’s obligation is to marry and bear children, and serve as primary breadwinner while her husband studies religious texts. Haredi political parties in Israel forbid women to seek public office. Fed up with the status quo, Esty Shushan is fighting to change that. She co-founds a nonprofit calling for representation of Orthodox women in the Knesset, taking their case to the UN women’s rights committee and the Israeli Supreme Court. To prepare the next generation for leadership roles, her Nivcharot organization establishes a program to mentor young women and get the first female name on the ballot. But change comes with a cost, as Esty’s activism brings threats, suspicion and online harassment. Ostracized as a “fake Haredi,” she must reconcile deep-rooted frustration over ultra-Orthodox life with her efforts to bring the silent voices of women to the center of Israeli discourse.

 

Greener Pastures

 

Tuesday, February 28

 

Comedy, 1 hour 30 minutes, Hebrew with English Subtitles

 

Dov, a widower who begrudgingly resides in a nursing home, dreams of buying back his old house where he raised his family. Since his pension fell through, Dov’s finances are thin which he entirely blames on the bureaucracy of the state. One day, to his surprise he finds out that almost all the residents in the nursing home partake of medical marijuana to help with their aches and pains. Inspired by this realization, he gets a wild idea that he thinks will solve all his problems — what if he sells marijuana to the residents himself? Dov finds himself at a crossroads where he must decide whether he is willing to risk everything he has for what really matters most to him. Irresistible, funny, and full of hilarious moments that will leave you laughing well into the next scene, Greener Pastures proves that young and old alike can find something to cherish in this charming story.

CLOSING DAY

Exodus 91

 

Thursday, March 2

 

Docu-Drama, 1 hour 30 minutes, Hebrew, Amharic, English

Exodus 91 tells the incredible story of Operation Solomon, Israel’s airlift of the Ethiopian Jewish community. Using documentary footage and reenactments, this feature-length film follows the Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia, Asher Naim, as he navigates the treacherous world of bureaucracy and politics in a region racked by civil war. Part historical drama, part documentary, the film blurs the lines between past and present to look beyond the euphoric salvation of Ethiopian Jewry. On a more universal level, the film explores challenging questions surrounding cultural identity, the politics of immigration, and the hardships that remain for these immigrants, and the others that followed, to this day.

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