Effective February 4, 2022, all members, guests, and staff must show proof of coronavirus vaccination in order to enter the building. Please email a copy of your vax record to IgotMyShot@theJ.org ahead of the start date to ensure a smooth transition.

Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival

Thursday, November 7 - Sunday, November 17, 2019

For 19 years, the annual Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival has been celebrating the scope of Jewish life, culture, and identity on the big screen. Thanks to you, NVJFF is one of the largest cultural events in Northern Virginia. 

Come experience the unparalleled power of our films; to entertain, to inspire, to change minds, to connect hearts, and to bring the diverse Jewish experience to life!

Serving all of Northern Virginia including: Fairfax, Annandale, Vienna, McLean, Falls Church, Arlington, Springfield, Herndon, Gainesville, Alexandria, and more!

We look forward to seeing you at the movies,

Sarah Berry
Arts and Ideas Director

Madeline Hintz

Cultural Arts Coordinator

Barbara Finkel and BJ Shiff
Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival Co-Chairs



Help bring this special festival to the community with a gift of $360 or an amount that fits within your budget.  We can not hold NVJFF without our generous sponsors, as income from ticket sales covers less than half of the cost of operating the festival.

Learn more here, give online here. 




Opening Night – Free Popcorn, Movie Treat, Raffle 

Thursday, November 7, 7:30pm · Cinema Arts
Jorge Gurvich | Comedy/Drama | Israel, Brazil | Hebrew,  Portuguese | 90 min
Roberto (Asaf Goldstien), a rabid soccer fan, embarks on an unplanned trip from Israel to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup with his equally fanatic, Brazilian-born father Samuel, and his 12-year-old son Itai, who despises soccer and would rather be anywhere else. The trip turns into a wild journey that changes all of them, as the three generations come to a new understanding of one another and long-buried secrets are revealed.

Friday, November 8, 12:00pm · Cinema Arts
Miya Hatav | Drama | Israel | Hebrew | 84 min
Two women from different worlds meet in a hospital, moments after a terror attack in Jerusalem. Each of them is hiding a secret. While waiting and praying for a miracle to come, they will get to know each other and learn about truth, faith, and acceptance. Bina, a religious woman, arrives at the hospital after her 25-year old son was stabbed. This is the first time she sees him since he became secular and lost contact with the family. At the hospital, Bina forms a surprising bond with Amal, a beautiful young Arab woman seemingly there to attend to her dying father. As the surprising truth slowly unfolds, they all struggle to accept the unlikely circumstances that have brought them together and learn that love can, and maybe should, replace fear of the unknown.

Friday, November 8, 2:15pm · Cinema Arts
Jorge Weller | Comedy | Israel | Hebrew | 102 min
This sentimental romantic comedy explores the relationship between Tammy, a 60ish widow, optimistic and always smiling, living comfortably in a beautiful retirement home, and Beno, a grouchy widower in his 70s struggling to pay his rent. Tammy and Beno are complete opposites...but love has its own rules. From their first unfortunate encounter, when Tammy hits Beno with her car, Tammy and Beno experience all sorts of emotional, funny struggles. They get closer, break up, get back together and fight again. But will they meet at the altar?
Generously sponsored by Judie Weiss

Saturday, November 9, 7:30pm · Cinema Arts
Isaac Cherem | Drama | Mexico | Spanish | 95 min
The independently-minded artist Ariela finds herself torn between her Syrian-Jewish family and a forbidden love in this delicate, melancholic romance that unfolds in Mexico City. Pressured to find an appropriate suitor, serendipity leads to a passionate courtship with Ivan, a non-Jewish writer who shows her a world of possibilities beyond life in her cloistered Jewish neighborhood. As their feelings deepen, Ariela must weigh their unsanctioned relationship against rejection by her family and community, where religious values and traditions run deep. Bridging the divide between generations and cultures, writer-director Isaac Cherem deftly blends romantic comedy with a hopeful journey of self-discovery and female empowerment.
Best Movie: Gaudi Awards, the Catalan Film Academy
Audience Award: Festival de Luchon
Best Actress: Naian Gonzàlez Norvind (Ariela), Morelia International Film Festival
Generously sponsored by Dara and Joshua Greene and Ellen and Raphael Katkin

Sunday, November 10, 1:30pm · Angelika
Micah Smith | Documentary | Israel | English | 60 min
The majesty and beauty of water is at the heart of this powerful documentary that follows three idealists selflessly doing their part to bring sustainable water solutions to an increasingly thirsty planet. Using solutions developed in water-deprived Israel, this visionary trio is working to change the status quo of a world where one in 10 people lack access to safe drinking water. Their work highlights the connection between food, energy, and water and underscores how solving these enormous challenges can help start healing the world. "...the Israeli experience and spirit of innovation can be to the immediate and long-lasting benefit of people all over the world when it comes to conservation and clean water technologies," says Raphael Shore, executive producer of the film.
SPECIAL PROGRAM: Post-film discussion with Paul Driessen, Senior Policy Advisor with the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise
Generously sponsored by David Selden and Julie Wallick







Sunday, November 10, 3:30pm · Angelika

Erez Tadmor | Short | Israel | Hebrew | 22 min
As missiles rain down on Tel Aviv, a frustrated Israeli couple faces a series of misadventures after an early morning call from the fertility doctor in this frantic, funny and surprise-filled film. Israeli Academy Award winner for Best Short Film.

Lukas Nathrath | Short | Germany | German | 24 min
A teen threatened and brutally bullied by his classmates when they discover he is Jewish, must decide if he will further endure the humiliations - or find a way to hold his own and stand by his identity. Based on actual events in Berlin in 2018.

Shirly Sasson-Ezer
 and Dana Keidar | Short | Israel | Hebrew | 19 min
A Jewish-Bukharan woman learns of a crazy superstition from her grandmother that changes her attitude towards family, femininity and her own desires. ClujShorts International Short Film Festival 2019 - Best Script.

Vidi Bilu | Short | Israel | Hebrew | 18 min
A deaf woman, dreaming of a career as a full-fledged dancer in a well-regarded troupe, conceals her deafness from the examiners and the other dancers to fight for her place. Written by Tami Assouline through the Gesher Multicultural Film Fund's incubator for deaf filmmakers.

Sunday, November 10, 7:30pm · Angelika
Barry Avrich | Documentary | USA | English | 83 min
The story of the last living Nuremberg prosecutor, a brave young man who stood up and said that the only way we can stop injustice in the world is with justice. After witnessing Nazi concentration camps shortly after liberation, Harvard-educated Ben Ferencz became the lead prosecutor in the Einsatzgruppen case at Nuremberg, which has been called the biggest murder trial in history. He was 27 years old and it was his first trial. The diminutive Ferencz was not tall enough for the lectern without elevation. All 22 Nazi officials tried for murdering over a million people were convicted. Ferencz went on to advocate for restitution for Jewish victims of the Holocaust and later for the establishment of the International Criminal Court. This movie demonstrates how one determined person can make a world of difference. 
 Post-film discussion with Ambassador David Scheffer, as seen in this film, he is the first U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues (1997-2001) and led the U.S. delegation in the U.N. talks establishing the International Criminal Court. 
Generously sponsored by Barbara and Jim Finkel

Monday, November 11, 7:30pm · Cinema Arts
Uri Borreda | Documentary | Israel | French, Hebrew | 60 min
The Boxing Team at Auschwitz is central to this incredible story of a man who, having narrowly avoided the gas chambers, faked his way onto the team; the pro who mentored him; and his heart-stopping encounter with the infamous Dr, Josef Mengele. This is the distinguished journalist Noah Klieger's story of survival and lifelong commitment to Holocaust commemoration. His friend, Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel, wrote that reading Klieger's autobiography was like diving into the events of the 20th century. After the war, the Belgian-born Klieger helped smuggle Holocaust survivors into British-ruled Palestine and was even a member of the crew of the renowned ship Exodus - 1947. In 1948, he immigrated to Israel and fought in the War of Independence. Klieger passed away in December 2018 at the age of 92. At the time of his death, he was regarded as the 'world's oldest living journalist.'
SPECIAL PRICING: In honor of Veteran’s Day, all Veterans and Active Duty Military are welcome to join us for $9

Generously sponsored by Atlantic Settlement Group – Richard Oppenheim;
Generously sponsored by Rochelle and David Zohn

Tuesday, November 12, 7:30pm · Angelika
Silvia Quer | Drama | Spain | Spanish, Catalan, French | 96 min
Based on the story of Elisabeth Eidenbenz, the young Red Cross nurse who saved the lives of 600 infants during the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Eidenbenz runs the Elne maternity home in the south of France during the 1930s and '40s, as hundreds of refugees escape the Nazis and Franco's regime. Eidenbenz breathes new life into an abandoned villa, transforming it into a birth clinic to save mothers and children. Despite tremendous hardship, the villa becomes a safe haven resounding with children's laughter. But threats take shape: Gestapo agents demand that she hand over all Jewish refugees, while the clinic's deputy becomes heavily involved with La Résistance - putting at stake the lives of everyone in the maternity.
Best Movie: Gaudi Awards
Audience Award: Festival de Luchon
Best Actress: Noémie Schmidt, Schweizer Fernsehfilmpreis

Wednesday, November 13, 7:30pm · Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse
Marcus H. Rosenmüller | Drama | U.K. | English, German | 113 min
The fascinating true story of forgiveness about Bert Trautmann, a WWII German soldier and prisoner-of-war, who, against a backdrop of British post-war protest and prejudice, becomes a footballing icon by securing the position of Goalkeeper for Manchester City. His signing causes outrage but Bert receives support from an unexpected direction: Rabbi Alexander Altmann, who fled the Nazis. Bert's love for Margaret, an Englishwoman, carries him through. His winning career includes years of devoted performance on the field including playing with a broken neck in the 1956 FA Cup Final. Fate soon twists the knife for Bert and Margaret, when their love and loyalty to each other are put to the ultimate test. The film features Downton Abbey’s John Henshaw and Harry Melling, who played Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter series. Can you spot them?  
Doors Open at 6:30pm
Click here for parking info
Generously sponsored by Congregation Etz Hayim
Generously sponsored by Deborah and David Yaffe

Thursday, November 14, 7:30pm · Cinema Arts
Eliran Malka | Drama | Israel | Hebrew | 92 min
Tired of being pushed around by the ruling Ashkenazi establishment, a disenfranchised Sephardic father launches an improvised campaign to establish influence in 1980s Israel. In this comic drama, Ya'akov Cohen, is incited to act when his daughter is expelled just for her ethnicity. Ya'akov has no political experience, but he has a belief that he and other Sephardic Jews should be able to hold their heads up high. He and two friends start the first ethnic political group in Jerusalem, with an operation characteristic of who they represent: people working their way up from the bottom. Their underdog activism transformed an entire country. Today, the Shas party is an empire influencing an entire society. Director Eliran Malka is the creator of the hit Israeli TV series Shababnikim.
Generously sponsored by BJ and Allon Shiff and Ellen Gale

Friday, November 15, 12:00pm · Cinema Arts
David Fishelson | Drama | USA | English | 86 min
Tovah Feldshuh delivers a mesmerizing, award-winning performance as Golda Meir in this final masterpiece by the author of "The Miracle Worker," William Gibson. This film is a rare, multi-camera shoot from the play's original run, which was recently unearthed from a safe. The rise of Golda Meir, from Russian schoolgirl to Prime Minister of Israel, is one of the most amazing stories of the 20th Century. With over 500 sold-out performances, this play made Broadway history as the longest-running, one-woman show. Its star, Feldshuh, was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress. See this hit Broadway show for the price of a movie ticket. Winner of Audience Choice Awards in 11 Film Festivals.
SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with film producer, David Fishelson, following the film - OPEN TO ALL. Lunch with producer SOLD OUT.
Generously sponsored by The Mather
Generously sponsored by Tamara and Ed Faggen

Saturday, November 16, 7pm · Cinema Arts
Nikolaus Leytner | Drama | Germany | German | 109 min
Sigmund Freud walks into a cigar shop...A tender and gripping coming-of-age story about a young man working in a Viennese tobacco shop and his friendship with its most famous customer. Based on the international bestseller by Robert Seethaler, this heart-breaking film follows 17-year-old Franz who journeys to Vienna to apprentice at a tobacco shop. There he meets Sigmund Freud, a regular customer, and the two very different men form a singular friendship. When Franz falls in love with the music-hall dancer Anezka, he seeks advice from the renowned psychoanalyst (who admits that to him, the female sex is as big a mystery as it is to Franz). With the Nazis' arrival in Vienna, Franz, Freud, and Anezka are swept into the maelstrom of events.
Opening remarks from Anke Popper, Deputy Director of the German Information Center, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

Saturday, November 16, 9:15pm · Cinema Arts
Elise Otzenberger | Comedy/Drama | France | French | 88 min
Anna and Adam, a young Parisian couple with Jewish origins, are about to travel to Poland for the first time. They are just married and, technically speaking, this will be their honeymoon. They will attend a ceremony in memory of the Jewish community in the village of Adam's grandfather, which was destroyed 75 years ago. Adam is not enthusiastic but sees it as an occasion to spend some quality time with his wife, away from their baby. Anna, on the other hand, is both extremely anxious and overly excited about the trip to her grandmother's country. She is hoping to reconnect with her roots and finally discover more about her own family's mysterious history. In this alternately zany and serious travel tale, they encounter a journey full of surprises during which they discover much more than intended.

HAVA NAGILA (THE MOVIE) (Free Community Day)
Sunday, November 17, 11am · Reston Community Center
Roberta Grossman | Documentary | USA | English | 75 min
The song you thought you knew.  The story you won't believe. The hilarious and entertaining tale of the history, mystery, and meaning of the ubiquitous Jewish standard that follows the around-the-world journey of the song from Ukraine to YouTube.
COMMUNITY DAY: This is a free film with brunch and dance instruction!
Learn THE dance... the Hava Nagila from Israeli Folk Dancer, Sigi Saadia, and enjoy a bagel brunch compliments of the Reston Community Center.


Sunday, November 17, 1:30pm · Angelika

Marc Kornblatt | Documentary Short | USA, Israel | Hebrew | 6 min
A retired Tel Aviv photographer and vintage camera collector has a treasure trove of stories to share. Won’t you stop by his shop to hear them?

Yonatan Nir & Dani Menkin | Documentary | USA, Canada, Israel | English, Hebrew, Inuit | 71 min
Jaffa-born Amos Nachoum is one of the greatest underwater photographers of all time. He calls himself a "soldier of Mother Nature" who is dedicated to "the beauty of life, rather than the misery." Fascinated by the most fearsome creatures on Earth, he has developed a unique approach that puts him face-to-face with his subjects without any protection. He swam with crocodiles and killer whales, with anacondas and great white sharks, but one major predator has always eluded him—the polar bear. Determined to give it one last shot, we follow Amos to the freezing waters of the Canadian Arctic as he prepares for his ultimate challenge. Includes spectacular images of undersea life.

Sunday, November 17, 3pm · Angelika
Daniel Syrkin | Comedy | Israel | Hebrew | 155 min
In this critically-acclaimed farce, Avishai, a leading contender for the Nobel Prize in Economics, is found dead by four lifelong friends—five days before the award is to be announced! Determined to keep him in the running, they decide to conceal his death. It seems like a simple task, but their quest unravels in this hilarious, endearing portrait of mature friendship that resonates like The Big Chill meets Weekend at Bernie's.
Winner: Two Israeli Television Academy Awards

Closing Night

Sunday, November 17, 7:30pm · Angelika
Alexis Gillespie | Documentary | USA | English | 90 min
The upbeat story of free-spirited dancers in New York (mostly Jewish) who were seduced by the sultry music of Cuba and a dance called the mambo in the 1950s, sparking a worldwide dance craze. Their passion for Latin rhythms earned them the nickname—Mamboniks. Mamboniks focuses on how two cultures, Jewish and Latin, met on the dance floor, highlighting the power of music and dance to bring people together. Set in New York, Miami Beach, the Catskills, and Havana, this lively show features the infectious Afro-Cuban sounds of Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, and Pérez Prado as well as rare movie footage.
SPECIAL PROGRAM: Peabody Award-winning director, Lex Gillespie, will join us for Q&A following the film.


Films originating from and relating to Germany are generously sponsored by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
The Mather

All Israeli films are sponsored in part by the Embassy of Israel
Congregation Etz Hayim
Barbara and Jim Finkel
BJ and Allon Shiff and Ellen Gale
David Selden and Julie Wallick


Atlantic Settlement Group-Richard Oppenheim
Anita and Steve Dienstfrey
Clear Sky Financial, LLC
Tamara and Ed Faggen
Lisa Miller and Ben Finkelstein
Dara and Josh Greene
Ellen and Rafe Katkin
Judie Weiss
Deborah and David Yaffe
Rochelle and David Zohn


Almassian & Assoc. Inc. Tax & Accounting Firm
Robert and Robin Berman
Congregation Olam Tikvah
Linda and Tex Blair
Janet S. Horwitz
Debbie and Chet Kessler
Susan and Bill Kristol


Community Organizations
Agudas Achim Congregation
Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation of Ashburn, VA
Congregation Adat Reyim
Congregation Beth Emeth
George Mason University Hillel
Temple B'nai Shalom


Sue and Ken Cohn
Joan Ehrlich and Robb Deigh
Sidney Formal
Audrey Goldstein and Doug Sanderson
Dawn and Jack Kaye
Connie and Al Pesachowitz
Melinda and Mark Roth



NVJFF Staff 
Sarah Berry, Arts and Ideas Director
Madeline Hintz, Cultural Arts Coordinator
NVJFF Committee Co-chairs
Barbara Finkel
BJ Shiff

2019 Festival Committee:
Linda Blair
Tex Blair
Anita Dienstfrey
Steve Dienstfrey
Jim Finkel
Sidney Formal
Audrey Goldstein
Joshua  Greene
Ellen Katkin
Ronnie Oppenheim
Mark Roth
Melinda Roth
Sigi Saadia
Deborah Yaffe

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Box Office email: boxoffice@theJ.org
Box Office phone: 703.537.3000

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