The 2019 lineup is now live! This year's festival returns from February 6 through February 26. Tickets go on sale on Monday, January 28. Now is the time to build out your wish list so you can move your picks right into your cart the minute they go on sale!
This year's festival will feature 180 screenings with over 70 films from 24 countries.
“We’re proud to bring audiences a lineup that will not only be exhilarating and entertaining but challenging and compelling,” says Kenny Blank, Executive Director of AJFF. “Our filmgoing experience is shaped by the social and political tides of our time, and certainly this year’s lineup includes films that will provoke audiences to think in new ways and see their world in a new light. From dramas that tug on the heartstrings, to comedies that lift our spirits, and documentaries that both inform and entertain, there is a rewarding and enriching movie experience awaiting audiences of all faiths and backgrounds.”
This year, moviegoers can expect to find a diversity of films representing a range of genres—drama, comedy, romance, horror, documentaries and biographies, and more—as well as a variety of topics, including life in Israel, anti-Semitism, the LGBTQ experience, the arts, journalism, social justice issues, among others. In line with AJFF’s mission to use the power of film to create community dialogue, screenings will transcend the traditional movie experience with select post-film Q&A conversations with filmmakers, actors, community leaders, academics and other experts such as: actor Nevo Kimchi from Shoelaces on Opening Night; director Lisa Dapolito of Love, Gilda; director Avi Nesher of The Other Story; author and filmmaker Amanda Sthers of Holy Lands; photographer and subject of the film Henri Dauman for Henri Dauman: Looking Up; actor Géza Röhrig and director Shawn Snyder for To Dust; Oscar-nominated actress Lena Olin of Enemies, A Love Story; and television host Steak Shapiro and filmmakers Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman for Chewdaism: A Taste of Jewish Montreal on Closing Night.
The festival also brings a number of world, U.S., and Southeast Premieres including the East Coast Premiere of the gangster thriller, Carbon and the Southeast Premiere of the French dramedy, Simon and Théodore.
See the world on film this year with numerous international features. A Fortunate Man, a sweeping romance set in 19th century Copenhagen, hails from Denmark; It Must Schwing!: The Blue Note Story, a toe-tapping story of two German-Jewish immigrants who created the most iconic jazz label in industry history, comes to us from Germany; and The Interpreter, a bittersweet road movie full of melancholic humor that transverses complex moral and historical territory is from Slovakia.
Young Professionals Night kicks off with the North American premiere of Mexican film Leona, an empowering story of a young woman who finds herself torn between her Syrian-Jewish family and a forbidden love. Many of the films in this year’s lineup also highlight life in Israel including the Opening Night film Shoelaces and The Unorthodox.
There is nothing that can quite match cinema’s ability to transport you into the lives of others, fictional or not. Step into the shoes of Israel’s media-savvy Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in King Bibi: The Life and Performances of Benjamin Netanyahu or dive into the life of modern journalism’s founding father Joseph Pulitzer in Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People.
Many films this year tackle issues of topical concern. Working Woman and The Tale embody the #MeToo movement with their portrayals of sexual harassment and abuse. The focus shifts to gender identity in Family in Transition, earning accolades for its account of an Israeli father who decides to become a woman. A captivating look at the growing underbelly of white nationalism, and the countervailing voices it inspired, can be seen in the exposé Alt-Right: Age of Rage.
For fans of short films, there are four shorts programs to enjoy throughout the 2019 festival. These programs offer a different way to experience the artistry of storytelling and feature a variety of genres, styles, and subject matter. This year, audiences can look forward to the world premiere of Tuesdays are for Burekas and Vanity of Vanities and numerous other U.S. and regional premieres.
Crowd-pleasing cinema takes center stage with Holy Lands, a comedic family drama starring James Caan, and classic films like The Frisco Kid, an offbeat buddy adventure and Western comedy starring Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford. The festival ends with a hilarious journey following two best friends who have returned to their hometown to explore their heritage through food in Chewdaism: A Taste of Jewish Montreal.
Sort through more of the lineup here by schedule venue, type, country, or subject.
We cannot wait to share these films with you and see you this year!