This year, The Miami Jewish Film Festival (MJFF) will present its 24th edition with all screenings free.
Because of the pandemic, the festival will be a hybrid of virtual and live programming events in April.
Running from April 14-29, three months later than their traditional dates in January, the festival will screen 100 feature films, including eight world premieres, over 20 North American premieres, and 45 short films. The lineup holds 39 first-time feature filmmakers representing 25 countries, and an unprecedented 47 films directed by women (32% of total program).
Drive-in locations will all take place in the heart of the Wynwood Arts District.
The opening night film of MJFF 2021 will be "Honeymood," a heartfelt romantic comedy from Israeli writer/director Talya Lavie, who returns to the festival following her previous acclaimed blockbuster, "Zero Motivation," which broke two decades of Israeli box-office records and won six Israeli Academy Awards. The closing night film will be "Howie Mandel: But, Enough About Me," a moving, funny, and uncensored profile of the versatile showman Howie Mandel that was produced during the pandemic.
Both opening and closing night film presentations will take place at the North Beach Bandshell’s open-air amphitheater in Miami Beach.
Deepening its mission to be the launchpad for the best Jewish and Israeli cinema in the world, MJFF is introducing a number of unique new programs and initiatives this year, including its inaugural Breaking Barriers/Building Bridges program that is dedicated to presenting stories that align the power that exists in the connection between the Black and Jewish communities in a time of rising racism and antisemitism. MJFF is also introducing its new Headliners program that will spotlight acclaimed standouts and selected premieres from festivals around the world, including this year’s Academy Award entries from Israel — Asia, starring Emmy-nominee Shira Haas (Netflix’s "Unorthodox") — and Latvia — "The Auschwitz Report."
Feature films receiving their World Premieres at the MJFF include the Ed Asner drama "Tiger Within"; Portuguese period drama "1618"; "Impossible Possible: The Amazon 5000 Story," the documentary chronicling a cancer survivor’s trek across the Amazon; the French biopic "The Legacy of Aristides," about Portugal’s "Schindler"; the Roberta Grossman ("Who Will Write Our History") produced "Petit Rat"; and "Who Will Remain?," a documentary portrait of acclaimed Yiddish poet Avrom Sutzkever.
New this year, MJFF is launching a section dedicated to LGBTQ+ cinema that will feature the North American Premiere of "In the Image of God," a moving documentary about a Rabbi’s struggles being born intersex and their transition to becoming a religious leader and an LGBTQ+ activist, as well as premieres of Francois Ozon’s Cannes breakout "Summer of ’85," the Israeli slapstick comedy "Kiss Me Kosher," the documentary "Marry Me However," exploring the lives of Orthodox-Jewish LGBT members who willingly choose to marry heterosexuals and raise a heteronormative family, and the film "Surviving the Silence," which delves into the unknown story behind the historic discharge of Col. Grethe Cammemeyer for admitting she was a lesbian during the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era.
Full details on the program and tickets to the festival can be found at: www.miamijewishfilmfestival.org.