The Washington Jewish Film Festival kicks off its 24th year this week. Between February 27 and March 9, 64 films from 18 countries will be shown in the District. While the festival is honouring legendary Israeli film maker Avi Nesher and showcasing Polish cinema, there are (as always) a number of great French films on the agenda.
A complete schedule of the festival can be found on at wjff.org. One of the films I’m personally curious about is The Jewish Cardinal, about former Archbishop of Paris Jean-Marie Lustiger. Known as the Jewish priest, he maintained his Jewish identity despite converting to Catholicism at a young age and rising through the ranks of the Church. I’m also looking forward to John Turturro’s Fading Gigolo featuring Woody Allen and Vanessa Paradis. Turturro, who directed and acts in the film, will be interviewed by WJLA-TV/ABC7 after the March 7th screening. I also think the closing night film “Cupcakes” sound adorable as does “Snuggle With the Stars,” a pajama-party at the Navy Memorial’s underground theater to watch the Oscars® broadcast on a giant 2-story HD screen, while sipping champagne and munching on snack food and pizza.
You can download the film on iTunes for a fee but if you’re in DC, you can also screen them for free at Malmaison and Napoleon Bistro and Lounge. Starting on February 3rd, Napoleon will screen Augustine and Le jour des Corneilles (2/3 at 7PM), Au galop and Comme un Lion (2/4 at 7PM) and J’enrage de son Absence and Mobile Home (2/5 at 7PM). After that the festival continues at Malmaison with La Vierge, les Coptes et Moi and Mariage à Mendoza (2/6 at 7PM) and all of the short films on the 8th.
I haven’t seen or heard much about any of the films (Augustine does screen on Netflix right now though) so I can’t really tell you much about them. Let me know if you see any of them and they are any good though!!