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29/10/2010

The Debt To Open UK Jewish Film Festival

The Debt, starring Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington, is to kick off the 14th annual UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF).
The film is just one of sixty-six to be shown at cinemas across central and north London, from November 4 to 21 2010, including 47 UK premieres from sixteen countries. Many will be accompanied by presentations by the filmmakers and invited speakers.
Director Kevin Asch will talk about his intriguing true tale of the Hasidic Jewish international drug smugglers, Holy Rollers (November 7), while Eve Annenberg will answer questions about her remarkable contemporary drama, Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish, designed to bring the language for the first time to a young audience (November 16).
Suzanne Bardgett, who led the team which created the Imperial War Museum's Holocaust Exhibition, will address the issues raised by A Film Unfinished, a masterful deconstruction of the now infamous Nazi propaganda film about life in the Warsaw ghetto (November 21).
Other highlights include: the UKJFF's first Comedy Clash, starring award-winning British Asian comic Shazia Mirza and the presenter of Sky Movies', The Movie Geek, Josh Howie, discussing the role of comedy in challenging stereotyping (November 9); the first UK screening for the Israeli TV series, Srugim, which has been described as an Orthodox-version of the cult British series, This Life (November 15); and an opportunity to see the unique Chinese-language cartoon about the Holocaust, A Jewish Girl in Shanghai (November 20).
Alongside the Festival, Renen Schorr (one of Israel's leading filmmakers) and Daniel Jewel (the Oscar-nominated producer of the short film Sidney Turtlebaum) will address a one-day workshop for some of the leading emerging filmmakers in the UK.
Testament to the importance of the UKJFF, is their opening night gala (November 4), a UK exclusive special preview of the major new movie The Debt. Directed by John Madden, The Debt is the powerful story of Rachel Singer (Mirren), a former Mossad agent, who had captured and killed a notorious Nazi war criminal - the surgeon of Birkenau. Now, 30 years later, a man claiming to be the doctor has resurfaced and Singer must confront her past.
Commenting on this year's Festival, UKJFF's Ambassador, actress Tracy-Ann Oberman, said: "The quality and breadth of the UK Jewish Film Festival never ceases to amaze me. From mainstream blockbusters to stylish documentaries, from comedy shorts to the indomitable Joan Rivers and the baseball playing Yeshiva, there is something to engage everyone from both within and beyond the Jewish community."
Founder and Director Judy Ironside concluded: "Our objective is to bring to audiences the best international films with Jewish themes. This year's programme is our most provocative yet with an outstanding cast of speakers and presenters to bring what we see on the screen to life."
Full listings are available at: www.ukjewishfilmfestival.org.uk
(KMcA)
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