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One of the featured films will be a documentary about the famed annual Wolodarsky cribbage tournament
The upcoming Winnipeg International Jewish Film Festival from May 21- June 7 offers something for everyone: Award-winning Films, Special Guests, Talk Backs, Parties, and more.




One of the highlights of Winnipeg’s spring cultural calendar is the Winnipeg International Jewish Film Festival, a presentation of award-winning feature and documentary films from around the world, on subjects of Jewish identity, culture, history, diversity.
The festival, held at the Berney Theatre, Rady JCC, 123 Doncaster St., which, this year, runs from May 21- June 7, is presented by the Rady JCC and The Asper Foundation, with support from the Babs Asper Centre for Cultural Arts, Winnipeg Free Press and Jewish Post and News.  
Film lovers will truly be spoiled for choice: this year’s lineup includes sweeping period dramas, quirky comedies, food flicks, love stories, family dramas, and history-minded features and documentaries.

In total twenty-seven local, Canadian and international films will be screened.  Special events will follow many screenings with guest directors, producers and speakers, in what are sure to be fascinating discussions. “The Winnipeg International Jewish Film Festival this year presents the best in Jewish cinema from around the globe,” said Tamar Barr, Rady JCC Interim Executive Director, “We have selected films that demonstrate and celebrate the breadth and depth of Jewish culture, creativity, identity, diversity and resiliency. We are thrilled to see our festival grow each year in audience attendance and buzz. We invite everyone to come out to the Rady JCC to enjoy these amazing, inspiring, and captivating films.”

Enlightening, entertaining and, sometimes, unexpected post-film events have become a signature of the Winnipeg International Jewish Film Festival, and this year is no exception. Emmy-nominated director Roberta Grossman will be in attendance to present her documentary Who Will Write our History which she co-produced with Nancy Spielberg.

Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman, the duo behind the hit web series YidLife Crisis are coming to Winnipeg with Chewdaism:  A Taste of Jewish Montreal, a fun, food-and fact-filled nosh-umentary.

In what looks like the makings of a fascinating event, Rena Boroditsky, Executive Director of Chesed Shel Emes, the local Jewish community funeral chapel and mortuary, will lead a discussion following one of the quirkiest odd couple road movies ever: To Dust, starring Matthew Broderick as a stoner community college professor and Géza Röhrig as his new BFF, a Chassidic cantor on a quest to understand death and dying.

The Spotlight Film, Family in Transition, a Best Documentary winner at DocAviv, 2018, will take place at  The Winnipeg Cinematheque, with a special post-film event led by Winnipeg Comedy Festival co-founder Lara Rae. The documentary is a candid and sympathetic look at a family living in a  small city in Northern Israel, one of whose senior members shares a long time wish to transition.

More festival highlights include the Canadian premiere of Golda’s Balcony, The Movie, the 2019 cinematic adaptation of the smash Broadway hit starring Tovah Feldshuh.

If you can’t decide between an evening of music or movies, look no further than  It Must Schwing!-The Blue Note Story, a fascinating documentary about the two Jewish-German emigres who founded the famed Blue Note jazz record label. Innovative visuals (the movie was executive produced by the great film maker Wim Wenders) accompany the great soundtrack.  It Must Schwing! Headlines the Festival’s Centrepiece Film & Reception series, and will feature a talkback with James Manishen, Artistic and Operations Associate with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and Kinzey Posen, musician, local jazz expert and longtime co-producer of CBC’s After Hours.

And, back this year is the Shorts on Sherbrook Film Crawl, an evening of drinks, laughs and short films at two of Sherbrook Street’s hottest venues.  The Film Crawl was inaugurated last year and immediately sold out. This year’s crawl promises to be as fun-filled as last, with, on its roster, an equally alluring line up of art-house, experimental and thought-provoking short films from around the world.

Plan on playing hookey for an afternoon or two: Some truly outstanding matinees are on this year’s festival schedule, including Promise at Dawn, a bio-film based on the life of French literary great Romain Gary, staring acclaimed French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg in a Cesar-nominated performance as the writer’s mother.

The festival is also featuring acclaimed Israeli director Avi Nesher’s riveting true life-based film, The Other Story, about a rebellious young woman fleeing what she sees as the chaos and hedonism of her resolutely secular family for the disciplined comforts of Orthodox religion, to their great dismay.
That film has some dark comic moments as does the innovative The Unorthodox, directed by Eliran Malka, best known as the creator of the hit Israeli TV series Shababnikim. The Unorthodox is loosely based on the story of the founding of Israel’s Shas political party, which created a movement for Israel’s disenfranchised Sephardic community.

And what better way to close the festival than with a summer beach party inspired  by The Last Resort, a cinematic ode to Jewish Miami Beach of the 1970s, and The Great Wolodarsky Cribbage Tournament,  an endearing short film about an extended family annual Winnipeg Beach  get together, directed by Israeli filmmaker and family member Ma’ayan Rypp.

These events and many more unforgettable films are all at the 2019 Winnipeg International Jewish Film Festival.
Tickets and the full schedule are available at (204) 477-7510 or

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