Manor Theatre, Carmike 10, Rodef Shalom, Waterworks Cinemas, Seton Hill University
Through April 26
With more screenings than ever, the 22nd annual JFilm Festival is your hot ticket for independent and foreign cinema during April. Featuring 28 screenings from 8 countries over 11 days, the diverse festival explores and celebrates Jewish culture, the art of filmmaking, common humanity and cultural tolerance.
Setting up shop at five venues spanning Squirrel Hill to Greensburg, JFilm features programming at The Manor Theatre, Carmike 10 (South Hills Village), Rodef Shalom, Waterworks Cinemas and Seton Hill University. Subjects and genres range from informative documentaries, rom-coms and provocative narratives, to artful indies and award-winning dramas.
All films in this year’s lineup are Pittsburgh premieres, and many of them are augmented by visiting artists, panel discussions, teen programs, a short film competition and informal talks dubbed Film Schmoozes.
Don’t miss the festival’s always anticipated opening night on Thursday, April 16th, at the Manor Theatre in Squirrel Hill. The event will feature the Pittsburgh premiere of Pierre Henry Salfati’s highly acclaimed 2014 film, The Last Mentsch. Equal parts road trip and buddy caper, the whimsical film stars German Academy Award winner Mario Adorf as Menachem Teitelbaum, a 70-year-old Auschwitz survivor who unexpectedly searches for his roots and comes to terms with both his past and his identity. A post-show reception will be held at the nearby JCC-Katz Theatre.
Additional JFilm highlights include the Pittsburgh premieres of Philippe de Chauveron’s provocative satirical comedy Serial (Bad) Weddings and John Goldschmidt’s British dramedy, Dough.
Guaranteed to be a festival highlight is a special appearance by visiting filmmaker Nancy Spielberg (a certain Steven’s sister) on April 19th at Rodef Shalom. Spielberg will discuss her engaging film, Above and Beyond, which documents a group of Jewish American pilots who trained covertly and flew for Israel during its 1948 War of Independence.