Lights, Camera, 20 Years of Action!

Welcome to our 20th season celebrating extraordinary films and filmmakers from every corner of the Jewish world! Art should move you, and this year’s lineup will have you dancing, eating, reading, talking and applauding for 10 magic-filled days and nights.

Legendary Israeli singer-songwriter David Broza will Rock N’ Reel our Opening Night, Thursday March 31, 2016 with a live appearance at the premiere of his new rockumentary EAST JERUSALEM, WEST JERUSALEM. The festival continues through Sunday, April 10 with 22 international first-run films featuring Tony winning actor Jonathan Pryce, Nobel Prize Laureates Isaac Bashevis Singer and Yitzchak Rabin, Massachusetts painters Jill Hoy and Jon Imber, Israel’s “Wonder Woman” Gal Gadot, New York actress Sas Goldberg and Philadelphia’s Zahav Restaurant chef Michael Solomonov. On Closing Night, you’ll get a sneak preview of Professor Sam Kassow’s upcoming Warsaw Ghetto documentary.

Serving up titles from France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, our set list includes foodie flicks, fun-filled comedies, heart-tugging dramas, and films about famous Jews in music, politics, books and art. There will be plenty of opportunities to meet, eat, think and drink with 15 invited filmmakers, actors, musicians, authors, playwrights, artists, scholars and a celebrity chef.

This year we return to our favorite venues and welcome new cinema and program sponsors. The Mark Twain House will host our first-ever Reel Talk – Reel Laughs comedy night with Hartford’s Sea Tea Improv troupe.

Our world-class film festival is the creation of many individuals and organizations. In the lead role are our festival funders - the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s Annual Campaign, the Jewish Community Foundation and the Mandell JCC Pillars Society. Thanks to more than 100 Mandell JCC corporate partners, local businesses, theaters and media sponsors and generous individual and family philanthropists, the Mandell JCC is able to bring you this glorious community event.

Without them there would be no applause. Thank You!

We are grateful to our hard-working committee of film aficionados, the Mandell JCC staff behind-the-curtain, our business partners, vendors and volunteers who ensure your enjoyment and the smooth flow of events. They are a remarkable team!

When the lights dim and the screen flickers on, it is YOU, our extraordinary and loyal fans, who have brought us to this moment.

We look forward to celebrating two decades of the best contemporary independent and international Jewish cinema with even more films, fun and food! Buy your tickets early, clear your schedule and until we see you at the movies, Thank You!

Nicole Greenblatt, Chair
Harriet J. Dobin, Director
20th Annual Mandell JCC Hartford Jewish Film Festival