For three thousand years, the Jewish people have been scattered around the world. That is why Jewish cinema is created in many different countries, alongside with special festivals that select and showcase those films. The Jewish Film Festival® in Moscow became the first of its kind in Russia. It was founded in 2015 and has been held annually ever since.
What is the Jewish cinema, after all? It encompasses far more than films made by Jewish directors or films which star famous Jewish actors. The never-ending search for Jewish identity, assimilation of diasporas and philosophy of self-determination and separation of the Jewish people in a society, return to the past, glorification of national heroes and mourning of victims, challenges of today’s world and the problem of relevance and preservation of traditions - these and many other issues attract filmmakers of all countries and continents. By searching and selecting the best Jewish films during the course of the past year we have attempted to shape an answer to the question of what these rapidly changing ethnic-themed films really are. Moscow, a large metropolitan area, a place where many cultures and nationalities live side-by-side, is one of the world’s most fitting locations for a festival that represents a dialogue of national communities.
The MJFF holds screenings of the most important and resonant Jewish films of the latest years. At the centre of the Festival is the Feature Films Competition Program, which is complemented by screenings of documentary films, short films and documentary shorts (as part of either competition programs or special screenings), as well as by discussions with experts on different topics raised in films and critics who specialize in Jewish cinema.