Vancouver Jewish Film Festival to celebrate 25th year

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      In the wake of the Vancouver International Film Festival, a slew of other film festivals are set to take place, including the Vancouver Polish Film Festival (which kicks off today) and the Vancouver Asian Film Festival.

      Among them is one of the city's longest running film festivals: the Vancouver Jewish Film Festival. (It's the longest running Jewish film festival in Canada.) It's a significant occasion for the VJFF—the festival, which runs from November 7 to 14, will be celebrating its 25th anniversary.

      Here's a quick rundown of just some of this year's numerous highlights.

      The rousing coming-of-age adventure romp The Zigzag Kid, about an ambitious 13-year-old boy who aspires to be like his police inspector father, opens the festival. (Isabella Rossellini stars in a supporting role.)

      Design and architecture enthusiasts will want to check out Sukkah City, a documentary about a New York City architectural competition to design a sukkah. A sukkah is a temporary dwelling for the weeklong Sukkot festival. If you didn't know what it was, don't worry—most of the architects in the competition didn't know what it was at first either, as the trailer reveals.

      Several Canadian-made documentaries figure prominently at the festival.

      In The Real Inglorious Bastards, director Min Sook Lee reveals the real story behind Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds to tell the true-life tale of a trio on a mission to strike back at Nazi Germany.

      Here's Lee talking about the film on The Morning Show.

      Montreal director Lewis Cohen questions where the stereotype of Jewish people and money came from in Jews & Money.

      Alan Zweig's When Jews Were Funny takes a look at the historical role that Jewish comics played in North American humour.

      Meanwhile, the role of Jewish Americans in the development of the Broadway musical is explored in the documentary Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy.

      Elsewhere in the program, gay issues are explored in the festival's queer cinema selection Out in the Dark (Alata), in which an Israeli lawyer falls in love with a male Palestinian student.

      Like the opening film, the closing film, Hunting Elephants (Latzud Pilim), is also a coming-of-age story featuring a young male protagonist. In the Israeli crime comedy, a 12-year-old boy who teams up with three elderly men to rob a bank in order to solve their financial problems. (Patrick Stewart also stars in a supporting role.)

      This closing film will be followed by a wine reception with live jazz by Joel Bakan and Rebecca Jenkins.

      For more details about the festival, and to browse through the full list of films, visit the VJFF website. Also, watch for more forthcoming coverage of the festival by the Georgia Straight.



      Shelley Osipov

      Oct 29, 2013 at 8:03pm

      All the films look great!
      Should be a fantastic festival.

      The film, "Hunting Elephants", in Hebrew is Latzud Pilim - not Lilim.