The 18th Jewish Film Festival is around the corner and the lineup this year includes an array of local and international films premiering at the Jerusalem Cinematheque, December 24-29, 2016.

Over the six day festival, some 40 films will be screened including the opening film Denial, directed by Mick Jackson, based on one of the most fascinating court cases of the 20th century — the real story of Prof. Deborah Lipstadt, who was sued by controversial historian David Irving after she labeled him a Holocaust denier.

Holy Zoo, a documentary by Katharina Waisburd, will close the film festival. It is the story of Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo, where Israeli Jews and Arabs work together, coexisting in a unique cosmos of cooperation.

Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe. Photo courtesy
Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe. Photo courtesy

In between, the festival’s bill includes films on intermarriage in the Jewish world and cinematic approaches to the challenges of Jewish identity in our day and age; tributes to great Jewish thinkers and artists, family secrets, women’s cinema in the Haredi world, a tribute to Ethiopian Jewry, screenings of restored copies of The Dybbuk (Poland 1937) and Fiddler on the Roof, to be screened with an audience sing-along, launch of film critic and researcher Dr. Pablo Utin’s new book and musical tributes and launch of the Israeli musician documentation website – a Mifal HaPais project, under the artistic direction of Yoav Kutner.

Highlights include The Tenth Man, directed by Argentine director Daniel Burman – a movie about a man’s return to his childhood neighborhood in the Jewish quarter of Buenos Aires, and his renewed relations with his father and the traditions that once connected them; A Time to Say Goodbye by German director Viviane Anderegeen – a coming-of-age comedy that offers a glimpse into contemporary German-Jewish life from the point of view of a son of mixed parents; and Cloudy Sunday – premiere of Greek director Manoussos Manoussakis’s film, set in Thessaloniki under the German occupation, telling the story of forbidden love between Estrea, a young Jewish girl, and Giorgos, the brother-in-law of famed composer Vassilis Tsitsanis.

The festival, in collaboration with the Jewish Funders Network and the Genesis Prize Foundation, will also present lectures, panels, shows, and conversations with filmmakers.

Bang! The Bert Berns Story. Photo courtesy
Bang! The Bert Berns Story. Photo courtesy