Atlantic Jewish Film Festival Opens in Halifax

A Sweet Release...

Posted: October 20, 2014

Atlantic Jewish Film Festival Opens in Halifax

(Halifax, NS) Movies from France, Israel, the UK and the USA make their Halifax debut as the Atlantic Jewish Council presents the GALA-Party2014  Atlantic Jewish Film Festival (AJFF) from November 13-16, with seven films screening in Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane and the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History (1747 Summer Street).  With something for all ages from feel-good musical comedy to searing drama,  the Festival is also presenting the AJFF Gala Party on Saturday, November 15 at 9:00 p.m. at the Museum.  With funding from the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, private sponsors and corporate support, the AJFF hopes to provide something for everyone, Jewish and non-Jewish, young and old, religious and secular.

Winner, Grand Prix to Best French TV Drama (Festival de Luchon), the opening film is The Jewish Cardinal, in French with English sub-titles, telling the true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, who maintained his cultural identity as a Jew even after converting to Catholicism at a young age and later joining the priesthood.  Appointed Archbishop of Paris by Pope Jean Paul 11, he found himself a mediator between the Carmelite nuns wishing to install a convent very close to Auschwitz and the Jewish community. View the official trailer here.

Other films being presented this year include The Zig Zag Kid and How to Re-establish a Vodka Empire, screening Saturday evening with British director Dan Edelstyn in attendance.

Commented organizer Edna Levine of the AJC, “We’re really building on the local appetitie for quality film, and have tried very hard to choose a diversity of movies that will appeal to a broad range of audiences. Our aim is to allow audiences to explore the Jewish world through film, from the funny to the serious.”

AJFF-Banner1The Festival runs from the evening of November 13 to November 16, closing with the the powerful and wrenching 24 Days, a cinematic adaptation of a book written by Ruth Halimi about the kidnapping and torture of her son, Ilan Halimi, in 2006. Winner of the Lia Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival, a jury member said:  “This suspenseful drama manages to avoid clichés and intricately presents the experience of anti-Jewish violence in France. This is a film of great social significance that shows the tragic consequences that arise when violence is ignored and when racist stereotypes are accepted."

On the lighter side, there will be a screening of the Israeli film Cupcakes (“Feelgood Israeli musical comedy” – The Guardian), as well as The Outrageous Sophie Tucker ("Hugely enjoyable. Will prompt an outburst of Sophiemania."- The Toronto Star).

 There will also be a gala party at the Museum of Natural History following the screening of How to Re-establish a Vodka Empire featuring Middle Eastern food, vodka cocktails and music from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 15, with British filmmaker and vodka entrepreneur Dan Edelstyn in attendance.




the jewish cardinalTHE JEWISH CARDINAL

France, 2013, 90 Minutes (French with English sub-titles)
Produced and directed by Ilan Duran Cohen
Screening at Cineplex Cinemas Park Lake, 5657 Spring Garden Road
Thursday, November 13 at 7:00 p.m.

The true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger, the son of Jewish-Polish immigrants who maintains his cultural identity as a Jew even after converting to Catholicism at a young age, and later joining the priesthood. As a priest he finds a platform to celebrate his dual identity as a Catholic Jew. “Emotionally rich and intellectually satisfying!” –Allen Ellenzweig, The Jewish Daily Forward

See the official trailer here.
See the Press Kit here.


USA, 2014, 96 minutes
Produced by Lloyd and Susan Ecker and directed by William Gazecki
Screening at Museum of Natural History, 1747Summer St.
Friday, November 14, 1:00 p.m.

The rags to riches story of Sophie Tucker, the iconic superstar who ruled the worlds of vaudeville, Broadway, radio, television, and Hollywood throughout the 20th century. Before Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Bette Midler, Marilyn Monroe, and Mae West, Sophie Tucker was the first woman to infatuate her audiences with a bold, bawdy and brassy style unlike any other.

Click here for the trailer and the latest news.
Check out the Sophie Tucker website.


UK, 2012, 75 minutes
Produced and directed by Daniel Edelstyn (who will be in attendance)
Screening at Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer St. (AJFF Gala Party at 9:00 p.m.)
Saturday, November 15, 6:00 p.m.

British filmmaker Daniel Edelstyn became obsessed with his family history after discovering his grandmother's journals in the attic. When he travels to the Ukraine in search of his roots and discovers that the vodka distillery established by his great grandfather is still in operation he decides to become a liquor entrepreneur and import the vodka to the UK. A funny and charming screwball documentary.

Watch the trailer and learn about purchasing the film here .


the zigzag kidTHE ZIGZAG KID
Belgium/Netherlands, 2012, 95 minutes (English sub-titles)
Produced by BosBros, directed by Vincent Bal
Screening at Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer St.
Sunday, November 16, 1:00 p.m.

A witty, spirited, and action-packed adventure about an almost-thirteen-year old over-imaginative boy named Nono, his world of confusion, fears and fantasies. Based on the novel by Israeli writer David Grossman, this film uses wit and humour to explore the most fundamental questions of good and evil.

Read the reviews here.


WELCOME….AND, OUR CONDOLENCES (Double Feature with Cupcakes)
Israel, 2012, 26 minutes (Hebrew with English sub-titles)
Produced by Haim Mecklberg and Estee Yacov-Mecklberg, directed by Leon Produvsky
Screening at Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer St.
Sunday, November 16, 3:00 p.m. (followed by Cupcakes)

The year is 1991, the beginning of the massive Jewish immigration wave from the USSR to Israel. The already traumatic experience reaches absurd proportions when the family’s old aunt dies on the plane. Now, the family will have to go through various levels of bureaucracy with an immigrating corpse.


France, 2013, 100 minutes (Hebrew with English sub-titles)
Directed by Etyan Fox

A group of friends in a Tel Aviv suburb get together to watch Universong, a Eurovision-like television song contest. They are not impressed with Israel's entry. When they compose a song to cheer up one of the group and make a cellphone video of it, their song becomes Israel's entry for the next year.  Variety says “Israeli helmer Eytan Fox’s candy-colored musical is an endearingly goofy celebration of the right to be yourself.”

Why did Etyan Fox make this film? Find out here.


24_days_-_us_poster_sm24 DAYS
France, 2014, 110 minutes (French with English sub-titles)
Produced by Alexandrea Films, Orange Studios, New Light Films, directed by Alexandre Arcady
Screening at Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane, 5657 Spring Garden Road
Sunday, November 16, 7:30 p.m.

January 20, 2006. After Friday night dinner with his family, 23 year old Ilan Halimi called an attractive girl he had met at work and made plans to meet her for coffee. The next time his family heard from him it was through an on-line message from kidnappers demanding a ransom. Based on the book written by his mother, Ruth Halimi, this harrowing film revisits the 24 nightmarish days in which Halimi and her ex-husband received nearly 700 calls, ransom demands, insults and threats from their son’s captors, who targeted Ilan because of his Jewishness.

Find out more about this film here.


AJFFSquareMore detailed information about films and screening times is available through the Festival’s website.  Tickets can be purchased beginning October 24 through Ticket Atlantic at the Scotiabank Centre, online, at all Atlantic Superstore ticket outlets or by calling 902-451-1221 or toll free 1-877-451-1221.   All tickets are $12 Regular and $10 for Students/Seniors.  The AJFF Gala Party tickets are $15.  There is free parking at the Museum of Natural History during all AJFF screenings.


1 Comment »

  1. Many thanks for this!

    Comment by Peggy Walt — November 6, 2014 @ 11:49 am

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