Monday, April 13, 2009

The 2009 Toronto Jewish Film Festival Launches This Weekend

The Toronto Jewish Film Festival launches its 17th edition this weekend, running from April 18 to 26, 2009. A full schedule of screenings and events as well as ticket information is available on the festival website: There is a wide variety of films being screened, from documentaries like the two-part "Being Jewish in France (Comme un Juif en France)" to comedies including "Bart Got a Room" featuring William H. Macy, and dramas such as the Hungarian and Romanian co-production "Gruber's Journey". There are even some Classical Hollywood musicals—"Bells Are Ringing," starring Judy Holliday and Dean Martin, and "The Band Wagon," featuring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, both directed by Vincente Minelli.

On the festival website, Executive Director Helen Zukerman explains that due to economic concerns, they have tried to make the festival affordable and accessible by keeping prices in line, offering some free programmes, and expanding its reach into Richmond Hill with two screenings. Chair Aviva Zukerman Schure also describes the festival's initiative FilmMatters, a Trillium-supported project that seeks to attract students of all denominations to free screenings throughout the year and at the festival. These films address contemporary issues arising from the multicultural nature of the city, including topics of diversity, stereotyping and racism.

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