Save the Date: Edmonton Jewish Film Festival starts May 21 at Metro Cinema

By Susan Schiffman

(AJNews) – The Edmonton Jewish Film Festival Committee is cooking up something wonderful!

Putting together a good film festival is a bit like making a good kugel. There are lots of opinions about what should be in it.  Some want raisins, others pineapple, some honey others brown sugar, some sour cream others no dairy. You can’t please all the people all the time.  But, when you get it right and it’s delicious, just about everyone will agree.

This year, the Edmonton Jewish Film Festival Committee has made a really good kugel for the community. They have found great films and struck the right mix of genres and geography to keep just about everybody happy.

Opening night is Tuesday, May 21, featuring Running on Sand, a delightful Israeli film that hits the sweet spot between light-hearted comedy and serious drama. The film, which is the story of an Eritrean asylum seeker in Israel, stars several African migrant actors, including the very engaging lead actor Chancela Mongoza. It delivers a heartfelt message about treating people with respect and dignity, no matter where they come from.  The screening will be held at Metro Cinema/Garneau Theatre at 7 p.m., preceded by a sponsors’ reception at 5:30 p.m. Grateful thanks to the Pertman family for sponsoring the opening film.

On Sunday afternoon, May 26, get ready for something new and different—a Fiddler on the Roof sing-along.  Come see the 1971 classic film, wear a costume if you so please, bring the kids and grand kids, and be prepared to sing-along. The very talented Michele Miller will lead the crowd in song. On Tuesday, May 28, at 7 p.m., there will be more nostalgia for the boomer crowd, with a screening of Remembering Gene Wilder, a tender and eye-opening tribute to a brilliant and much-loved Jewish comedian.

Woven in between the in-person shows are four online films. This is where you will find the more serious historical films. March 68, is a gripping story of young love, set against the Antisemitic backdrop of the student uprisings in Poland in 1968.  Shadow of the Day is also a love story, this time set against the menace of rising fascism in rural Italy in the late 1930s.

The festival will finish with some laughs and lots of irreverence. Closing night, Thursday, May 30, at the Capitol Theatre in Fort Edmonton Park, showcases Jewish Canada with Less Than Kosher, an offbeat comedy, written and directed in Toronto, starring an all-Canadian cast. The film has won audience awards at Jewish film festivals throughout North America.  The very charismatic Shaina Silver-Baird, co-writer and leading actress and her colleague Director Daniel Rosenberg will join us after the show for a Q and A.

Proceeds from the festival will support Edmonton Partnership2Gether, our partnership with the communities of the Northern Galilee Panhandle. This year’s project will bring a group of Israeli teens to Camp BB, connecting them to local teens and giving them a respite from war and trauma at home.

Tickets for in-person shows are $15, online tickets are $10, and an all-access pass is $80.

The Edmonton Jewish Film Festival is very grateful to all our sponsors and supporters for helping to bake this perfect kugel for the community. For film descriptions, tickets, or to sponsor go to

Susan Schiffman is the Coordinator of the Edmonton Jewish Film Festival.

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