(New York Jewish Week via JTA) — Now in its 31st year, the New York Jewish Film Festival, the annual cinematic celebration of Jews from around the world, kicks off on Wednesday. Its organizers are determined to stage the event, even amid the spread of the omicron variant.
This year’s festival runs from Jan. 12 through Jan. 25, and is co-presented by New York’s Jewish Museum and Film at Lincoln Center. Narrative films, shorts and documentaries are all in the program, as well as one of the last onscreen performances by Jewish actor Ed Asner. In acknowledgment of the pandemic, the festival will offer a mix of both in-person and virtual screenings. (Lincoln Center requires proof of full vaccination for all in-person film screenings.)
Which films should you check out? Here are some highlights from this year’s program, compiled by the New York Jewish Week.
“Neighbours” (Opening film: Jan. 12, in-person)
The year is 1980, and an intrepid young storyteller, Sero, lives with his Kurdish family on the Syrian/Turkish border. With a 6-year-old’s curiosity and naivete, Sero experiences the tumultuous changes happening in his region through small, life-changing events, including the death of his mother and the arrival of a new teacher whose curriculum mainly consists of antisemitism and Syrian nationalism. These new…