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The 34th Annual Orange County International Jewish Film Festival 2023-2024

Founded by University Synagogue

Now in its 34th season, the OCJFF showcases Jewish-themed feature and documentary films from November through March. Founded by University Synagogue and co-sponsored by 8 partner organizations, the festival welcomes people of all faiths and backgrounds.

Register Here

Co-sponsored by: ADL, Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’alot, OC Hillel, OC Community Scholar Program, Reform Temple of Laguna Woods, Temple Bat Yahm, Temple Beth Tikvah, Congregation B’nai Tzedek, Heritage Pointe Senior Living

Virtual Film Festival Process

  • The Film Festival will begin Wednesday, November 15, 2023.
  • Registration will be available until two days prior to each film showing, Monday at 2:00 PM.
  • The film link and password, along with a Zoom Link for the Sunday film discussion, will be emailed to all registrants one day prior to the film showing.
  • Each film will be available to view for a 48 hour period.  Access begins at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday morning and will continue through Thursday until 11:59 p.m.
  • The link will not be available after the 48 hour period and payments are non-refundable.

If you do not receive the film link by 3:00 p.m., one day prior to the film, please email nicole@universitysynagogue.org

 

Pricing (per household) $12 per film or $100 for the series (all 11 films).

 

FIlm Festival Schedule

LEONARD BERNSTEIN & THE ISRAEL PHILHARMONIC 

December 13th

A new film that tracks the decades-long relationship between the maestro and the Orchestra.

The film includes interviews, archival images, and special video footage, and is hosted by playwright, actor, and pianist Hershey Felder.  The Museum and the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra presented this program exploring Leonard Bernstein’s remarkable legacy in Israel.

Bonus Short Film: THE CARETAKER

This German film was inspired by actual events.

A caretaker of a large museum has a special connection to art.

He attempts to preserve the paintings before they are packed and shipped to Berlin.

In German with English subtitles

THE SHADOW OF THE DAY

January 3rd

A love story, against the backdrop of fascist Italy and racial laws.

The film takes place in a picturesque, provincial town in central Italy, The Shadow of the Day is a dramatic and gripping love story set in the late 1930s. Luciano, a wounded World War I veteran and a fascist sympathizer, runs a classy restaurant overlooking the town’s ancient square. He believes he can live his life according to his own set of rules.  A young woman is hired to work in his restaurant.  Affection creeps in between the two, among the dangers Luciano faces is the onset of WWII!

Directed by Giuseppe Piccioni. a multiple award winning director.

In Italian with English subtitles

EXODUS ’91

January 17th

An extraordinary story about an Israeli diplomat, Asher, on a mission to bring 15,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel as he faces a crisis of faith in himself and his country.  Asher’s faith is tested as he navigates bureaucracy and politics.

In English, Hebrew, and Amharic

THE GOLDMAN CASE

January 31st

A courtroom dramatization of the trial of a radical French activist turned criminal that builds to a gripping climax!

The Goldman Case opened this year’s Cannes Directors’ program, acclaimed by Variety and film critics alike as an intelligent but mainstream  performance.  The action never leaves the confines of the court, yet effectively presents Goldman’s case as a drama as Goldman keeps springing surprises on his exasperated legal team. The trial expands beyond the question of his innocence extending towards an inquiry into institutional corruption and injustice.  At one point Goldman, a French activist turned criminal, refuses to call any witnesses in his defense stating, “I’m innocent because I’m innocent”!, proclaiming to be disgusted by courtroom theatrics.

The actor playing Goldman, Arieh Worthalter, has been described as galvanizing.

In French with English subtitles

AMERICA

ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE 80%-100%

February 14th

A thoughtful and sensual drama with strong performances.

Eli is an Israeli swimming coach living in the United States. A phone call notifies him that his father, passed away. Eli travels to Tel Aviv to deal with the estate. On his short trip he decides to visit his childhood friend, Yotam who is running a small and beautiful flower shop in Jaffa, together with his fiancé Iris, a talented florist!

Praised by reviews of its cinematography and fine acting.

In Hebrew with English subtitles

SHTTL

February 28th

A unique story of a way of life in its final moments.

The story of the inhabitants of a Yiddish village at the Ukraine and Poland border, 24 hours before the 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany (aka the Barbarossa operation) which would take their lives.

SHTTL is an evocative film featuring Moshe Lobel who appeared in Broadway’s Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof.

In Yiddish with English subtitles

ALL ABOUT THE LEVKOVICHES

March 13th

An elderly boxing coach gets along with everyone except his own son.  The death of his wife forces father and son to face their differences..

In Hungarian with English subtitles

THE NARROW BRIDGE

March 27th

A highly acclaimed and powerful Australian documentary centers around four Palestinian and Israeli families gathered at a memorial.  At the site the families unite although they are on different sides.

Rotten Tomatoes comment in part:

"[The film] resonates for some time after the final frames, and as devastatingly sad as it is, the filmmaker’s message was one of hope."

In English, Hebrew, and Arabic

BALTIC TRUTH

FOR YOM HASHOAH

May 1st

Baltic Truth is hosted by the award winning Israeli performer, David (Dudu) Fisher of Les Miserables.  During the first few months of WWII almost the entire Jewish community of the occupied Baltic states was executed. This was accomplished with the help of the local population.  Baltic Truth reflects the need for accuracy of the Holocaust.

In English

Sun, July 14 2024 8 Tammuz 5784