New east countries on show in UK Jewish Film Festival

6 November 2015

Cinematic portraits of Jewish culture from east Europe will hit the big screen this month as the 19th UK Jewish Film Festival arrives in London, Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham and Glasgow.

Running from 7-22 November, the Festival will screen more than 80 films from 15 different countries, with the 2015 iteration featuring a new competition for Best Debut Film, as well as Q&A sessions and masterclasses with actors and directors.

East European Jewish culture will be represented in several films across different genres. The opening night gala in London showcases Romanian director Nae Caranfil’s English-language debut Closer to the Moon, a black comedy based on the true story of a gang of intellectual Jewish bank robbers in Communist Bucharest. The film stars British actor Mark Strong (Kick-Ass, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and the Academy Award-nominated American actor Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, The Departed).

Also on show is Cannes Grand Prix winner Son of Saul, the debut feature by Hungarian director László Nemes. This harrowing Holocaust drama starring poet Geza Rohrig received its UK premiere at this year’s London Film Festival and will be the favourite to win the Best Debut Film award at the JFF.

Bulgaria is represented by Bulgarian Rhapsody by first-time director Ivan Nitchev. Following three young Jewish lovers during the Second World War, the film is Bulgaria’s contender for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. Raise the Roof, a documentary by American director Yari Wolinsky, sees US artists working towards the reconstruction of the eighteenth-century Gwozdziec synagogue in Poland.

Tickets for the festival can be bought at the UK Jewish Film website.

Source: UK Jewish Film