2022 Jewish Film Festival Introduction

We are thrilled to present the Jacob Burns Film Center’s 21st annual Jewish Film Festival, Oct. 6–20, 2022.

This year’s selection includes more than two dozen entertaining, thought-provoking, mesmerizing, and often humorous films, including narratives and documentaries from Israel, the US, and around the world.

We’ll kick things off with acclaimed Israeli director Moshe Rosenthal’s Karaoke, a personal, beautiful, and humorous portrait of midlife self-discovery laced with poignant wisdom. We close this year’s festival with the buzzed-about Israeli TV sensation The Chef, from the award-winning producers of Fauda (JFF 2016) and Shtisel.

In between, we’ll highlight a great array of films by exceptionally talented women directors. Orit Fouks Rotem’s groundbreaking debut, Cinema Sabaya, presents a deft and heartfelt portrait of art’s capacity to unite a disparate group of Jewish and Arab women; Amanda Kinsey’s vibrant and surprising tribute to Jews’ decisive role in shaping the American West, Jews of the Wild West; and Pini Tavger’s finely textured coming-of-age drama that shines a light on immigrant life in Israel, More Than I Deserve, which was nominated for seven Israeli Academy Awards.

Continuing to highlight extraordinary cinematic films from around the world, we are also showing The Man in the Basement, a tense French psychological thriller; iMordecai, a funny, heartwarming movie starring Judd Hirsch (TV series Taxi) and Academy Award-nominated actress Carol Kane (Hester Street); Farewell, Mr. Haffmann, a riveting guide through the world of Vichy France, where lives are irrevocably shaped by the twin scourges of war and the black market; Schächten—A Retribution, a stirring drama about a young Jewish businessman who carries a burning resentment for the crimes the Nazis perpetrated against his family decades earlier; and a beautiful, lyrical rhapsody to honest emotion and human connection, Where Life Begins.

An inspiring shorts program, Exciting New Voices Close to Home, highlights the work of Westchester born and raised creative artists Ethan Fuirst (The Victorias) and Sophie Parens (Zaida), who use insight, humor, and preternatural skill to shine new light on the Jewish experience.

In addition, we’ll host two special screenings of the 4K restoration of Michael Roemer’s 1969 deadpan, hilarious “Kosher Nostra” mobster masterpiece, The Plot Against Harry.

I greatly look forward to seeing you in person at the Theater!

-Bruni Burres, festival curator


For over 25 years, Bruni Burres has been a passionate leader with a proven track record of developing and executing innovative projects at the intersection of arts, culture, and human rights/social justice. She is a Senior Consultant for Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, strategizing and deepening its international work with individual artists and organizations. Bruni is also a mentor and partner with the Close Up Documentary Training program for emerging filmmakers from Southwest Asia and North Africa, and an advisor with Doc Society’s Good Pitch, which develops strategic and effective distribution campaigns for extraordinary documentaries. From 1991 to 2008 Bruni was the director of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, which she also cofounded. Bruni is the cowriter and associate producer of Beyond My Grandfather Allende, which won best documentary at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and co-writer and producer of Whose Country? by Mohamed Siam, which had its US premiere at the 2016 New York Film Festival.


For more information, visit: https://burnsfilmcenter.org/series/2022-jewish-film-festival

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