The Jewish Council of North Central Florida is proud to once again partner with the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Florida to offer two weeks of compelling and provocative films from around the world. The festival will kick off on Sunday, March 17 and will run through Saturday, March 30. Unless otherwise noted, most screenings will be held at 7 pm at Gainesville's historic Hippodrome Theater.
Scroll down to view the festival schedule.
To learn more about each film,
click on the movie poster graphic
to the left of the description.
To purchase tickets for individual films,
click on the star graphic to the right of the film title.
Bagels meet bongos in "The Mamboniks," a feature-length documentary that tells the little-known story of the Jewish love affair with Latin music. Set in Havana, Miami Beach, New York and the Catskill Mountains, this upbeat film features a lovable, somewhat zany collection of dancers from the 1950s. Now retired yet still dancing, they share their passion for the mambo, the hot dance from Cuba that became a world-wide sensation. With an infectious soundtrack including Tito Puente, Celia Cruz and mambo king Pérez Prado, this film explores a mostly unexamined aspect of Jewish life and culture.
Director: Yossi Madmoni & Boaz Yehonatan Yaacov
Menachem, a former frontman for a rock band, is now religious, and a father to a six-year-old. When his daughter is diagnosed with cancer, he must find a creative solution to fund the expensive treatments. He reunites his band for one last tour. The journey to save his daughter exposes old wounds and allows him to reconnect with his secular past. Menachem understands that only a new connection to his past and to his music can pave the road to his own redemption.
Director: Ramy A. Katz
On the night of the 5th of March, 2002, an armed terrorist opened fire on civilians dining in restaurants near the Maariv Bridge. Salim Barakat, a policeman serving in Tel Aviv police station had arrived to scene and bravely eliminated him. However, he was killed by the terrorist. 10 years later, Jamal, Salim's elder brother, discovers new facts about Salim's death. Jamal decides to go on an investigative journey to find who killed his brother.
2018 / documentary / 87 min / Israel & US / Hebrew and English
Director: Dan Shadur
King Bibi explores Benjamin Netanyahu's rise to power, relying solely on archival footage of his media performances over the years: from his days as a popular guest expert on American TV, through his public confession of adultery, and his mastery of the art of social media. From one studio to another, "Bibi" evolved from Israel's great political hope, to a controversial figure whom some perceive as Israel's saviour, and others - as a cynical politician who will stop at nothing to retain his power.
Director: Alon Zingman
A world-renowned orchestra conductor returns to Israel 30 years after leaving. When a local choir conductor suddenly dies, he asks to take his place. Israel’s latest hit series and not yet on Netflix.
Director: Ruth Beckermann
A biographical drama film about Kurt Josef Waldheim, former UN Secretary General and the controversy of his participation and role in the Nazi regime during WW II .
2018 / documentary / 76 min / Israel / Hebrew & Yiddish
Director: Uri Barbash
The incredible story of Avraham Sutskever, the greatest Yiddish poet, who saved manuscripts from the Nazis, survived WWII due to Stalin's special rescue plane, testified in the Nuremberg Trials, and died anonymously in Tel Aviv.
Click on the star above to purchase festival passes
Director: Eliran Malka
The year is 1983 and Yaakov Cohen, the owner of a Jerusalem printing press, is tired from being pushed around. It seems that he was born on the wrong side, with the wrong family name and in a moment's decision he decides to establish a Sephardic-ultra-Orthodox list that will run to the Jerusalem municipality. He gathers two friends, and together they improvise a campaign - no means, no connections, no money, but with much rage, passion and a sense of justice.
2018 / documentary / 274 min / France / French, German, English, Hebrew
Director: Claude Lanzmann
Newly released and previously unseen outtakes from Claude Landsman’s masterpiece, Shoah. Four interviews done in the 1970s with women who survived the Holocaust.
Admission to this screening has been generously underwritten by a grant from the France Florida Research Institute. Guests must reserve their seats, but there is no charge to attend.
2018 / comedy / 62 min / Canada / English & French
Director: Jamie Elman, Eli Batalion
Eli Batalion & Jamie Elman, creators of the hit Yiddish-ish web series “YidLife Crisis,” explore their hometown’s Jewish heritage by eating their way across the city in this charming and jocular nosh-umentary, a warm-hearted, affectionate tour of Montreal eateries with a pair of hilarious and hungry guides with a bottomless appetite for great food and witty conversation.
Individual film tickets are $10 each.
Festival passes are $108 for all 13 screenings,
$72 for 8 screenings and $36 for 4 screenings.
Please note that we cannot accept MoviePass for ticket sales.
UF student tickets are FREE with valid ID
**on a space available basis.
Students who wish to reserve seats,
should call 352.371.3846 to do so.
Bud Shorstein Professorship in American Jewish Culture and Society, France Florida Research Institute,
Friends of Jewish Studies Tree of Life Fund,
Gary R. Gerson Annual Lecture Series,
Harry Rich Endowment for Holocaust Studies,
Jewish Council of North Central Florida,
Jewish Student Union,
Mikki and Morris Futernick Visiting Professorship,
Norman and Irma Braman Chair in Holocaust Studies
Director: Michal Aviad
Life at work becomes unbearable for Orna. Her boss appreciates and promotes her, while making inappropriate advances. Her husband struggles to keep his new restaurant afloat, and Orna becomes the main breadwinner for their three children. When her world is finally shattered, she must pull herself together to fight, in her own way, for her job and a sense of self-worth.
2017 / documentary / 105 min / Germany / German
Director: Rudiger Suchsland
Rüdiger Suchsland examines German cinema from 1933, when the Nazis came into power, until 1945 when the Third Reich collapsed.
Director: Yair Agmon
Rachel, a religious and single woman in her forties, gets a lift from Haim - a secular and married farmer, and father of six. This encounter leads to the birth of Yair. Thirty years later, hoping to understand the secret affair that brought him to this world, Yair takes two separate trips with his parents: his dad takes him on a pleasure cruise, during the Israel-Gaza 2014 conflict, while his mother flies with him to the Ukraine, following the lives of "Great Hebrew Authors." Yair is now exposed to two completely conflicting narratives, which make up one story - funny, whacky, full of lies, grandeur, wretchedness - and love.
Can one be a Catholic priest and an Observant Jew at the same time? Twelve years after he was ordained as a Polish Catholic priest discovers that he was born to Jewish parents. The film follows his amazing journey: from conducting mass in a church in Poland to life as an observant Jew in a religious kibbutz in Israel. Torn between two identities he is unable to renounce either, and consequently, he is unaccepted by both religions as well as the state of Israel. Now, he is required to choose.