These Jewish films are playing at the Tribeca Film Fest, Sephardic Film Fest and Israeli Film Fest in 2024

There’s always something going on in New York City — and this week is no exception. In addition to all the happenings surrounding Pride Month, this week alone three movie festivals open in Manhattan: the Israel Film Center Festival, the New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival, and the granddaddy New York fest of them all, the Tribeca Film Festival. 

What this effectively means is that dozens of movies of Jewish interest will be screening in New York City over the next two weeks — with many making their American or New York premieres.

Interested in catching a Jewish flick or two in the coming weeks? Keep scrolling for our roundup of Jewish highlights at each festival, below. 

Nathan Hilu

Jewish outsider artist Nathan Hilu, as seen in the documentary about him by Elan Golod, “Nathanism.” (Courtesy Elan Golod)

The 26th annual iteration of this festival opened on Sunday and runs through Monday, June 9 at the Center for Jewish History (15 West 16th St.). The New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival — the only Sephardic-oriented Jewish film festival in the world —  hosts events throughout the week, including the Pomegranate Awards, which honors “Sephardi excellence in the arts,” in addition to screening new and old films. This year, honorees include actress and screenwriter Reymonde Amsellem, actor and writer John Turturro, writer Stella Levi and director Alexandre Arcady.

“Looking for Chloé”

This documentary explores the history of Gaby Aghion, the Sephardic Jewish woman who founded the French fashion house Chloé in 1952. The subject of a recent Jewish Museum exhibition, Aghion introduced the idea of “luxury prêt-à-porter” outfits and dressed the likes of Brigitte Bardot and Jackie Kennedy. The documentary was released in 2023 and directed by Isabelle Cottenceau.

Friday, June 7 at 12 p.m.; a Q&A with Gaby’s son, Phillippe Aghion, will follow the screening. Get tickets here.


In the documentary “Nathan-ism,” Jewish outsider artist Nathan Hilu shares his life story while drawing his memories of leaving his home on the Lower East Side to join the U.S. Army, where he was assigned to guard Nazi war criminals during the Nuremberg Trials. The film, by Israeli-American filmmaker Elan Golod, premiered at DocNYC in the fall. 

Thursday, June 6 at 3:30 p.m.; Golud will host a Q&A and mini-exhibition of Hilu’s art following the screening. Find more information here.

“Radio Propaganda”

The Israeli documentary “Radio Propaganda” tells the story of Voice of Israel — an Arabic-language radio station that operated in the 1940s through 1960s and used propaganda and encoded messages to communicate with secret agents in the Arab world before and after the founding of Israel. 

Sunday, June 9 at 12 p.m. Get tickets here.

“Fading Gigolo”

The festival closes with a screening in honor of the 10th anniversary of “Fading Gigolo” starring John Turturro and Woody Allen, in which two friends looking to make a quick buck establish a raucous gigolo business. The film is directed and written by Turturro, who is not Jewish but often plays Jewish characters

Sunday June 9 at 7 p.m. Turturro will host a Q&A following the screening; tickets and info here.

A still from “The Milky Way” directed by Maya Kenig. (Israel Film Center)

Now in its 12th year, the Israel Film Festival showcases the largest selection of Israeli films in the Big Apple. Beginning on Tuesday, June 4 and running through Monday, June 10, the festival is screening 10 Israeli films at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan (334 Amsterdam Ave.). 

“Our selections show the cinematic quality and diversity coming out of Israel’s film industry,” Isaac Zablocki, the festival’s director and founder, said in a statement. “These films give the opportunity for our community to go beyond the news, and into the stories of a society.” 

“Legend of Destruction”

The festival opens with the world premiere of “Legend of Destruction,” an animated retelling of the conflicts within ancient Israel during the Roman Empire’s rule that led to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. Directed by Gidi Dar (“Ushpizin”) and featuring artwork by David Polonsky and Michael Faust (“Waltz with Bashir”), the film features the voices of Oscar Isaac, Evangeline Lilly, Elliott Gould and Billy Zane.

Tuesday, June 4, with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by a screening and Q&A at 7 p.m. Tickets and info here.

Running on Sand”

This one’s for the sports fans: Directed by Adar Shafran, “Running on Sand” tells the story of Aumari, a young Eritrean refugee living in Israel who is set to be deported. After a last-minute escape attempt at the airport, Aumari is mistaken for a Nigerian soccer player who has just signed with Maccabi Netanya.  What follows is a case of mistaken identity that’s billed as a “tale of identity, resilience, and unforeseen chances.” This screening is the film’s New York premiere. 

Wednesday, June 5 at 5:30 p.m. with a Q&A to follow. Get tickets here

“The Milky Way”

This festival concludes with the North American premiere of “The Milky Way,” a story of a desperate single mother who takes a job at an unusual, futuristic breast milk bank. Described as a “dystopian dark comedy,” the film, directed by Maya Kenig, probes the complexities of motherhood and social class. 

Monday, June 10, with a reception at 6:30 followed by a screening and Q&A at 7:30. Get tickets here

A still from “Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge.” (Courtesy of Hulu)

The Tribeca Film Festival begins this year on Wednesday, June 5 and runs through Sunday, June 16 at several theaters around Manhattan. With more than 100 films screening, a number of them center on Jewish themes this year, including a major documentary about the life and career of Jewish fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg.

The festival will also highlight the career of its founder, Robert De Niro, who turned 80 this year, and will feature conversations between celebrities such as Judd Apatow with Matthew Broderick, Anderson Cooper with Andy Cohen and Kieran Culkin with Jesse Eisenberg. 

“Diane Von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge”

Tribeca hosts the world premiere of “Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge,” about the iconic designer who created her signature wrap dress at age 22. The documentary follows von Furstenberg, a one-time princess and daughter of a Holocaust survivor, as she prepares for a museum retrospective of her life’s work, with interviews from the likes of Hilary Clinton, Fran Leibowitz and Oprah Winfrey.

Wednesday, June 5 at OKX Theater at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center (199 Chambers St.), Thursday, June 6 at AMC 19th St. East 6 (890 Broadway) and Saturday, June 15 at Village by Angelika (181-189 2nd Ave.). See times and tickets here.  

“Bad Shabbos”

The festival also hosts the world premiere of “Bad Shabbos,” a comedy/murder mystery following two Jewish couples who must figure out why a mysterious death happened over the course of a Shabbat dinner. Directed by Daniel Robbins, the film stars Kyra Sedgwick, Cliff “Method Man” Smith, Jon Bass, Milana Vayntrub, David Paymer and Meghan Leathers.

June 10, 11 and 13 at the Village East by Angelika (181-189 2nd Ave.) and June 15 at SVA Theatre (333 W. 23rd St.). Check here for times and tickets.

“Come Closer”

The first feature by Israeli filmmaker Tom Nesher, “Come Closer” will make its world premiere at the festival. The film centers on a young woman, Eden, whose brother is killed in a car accident. Overcome with grief, “her journey takes a passionate and dangerous turn when she discovers her brother had a secret girlfriend,” according to the movie’s promotional materials. 

Thursday, June 6 and Saturday, June 8 at Village East by Angelika (181-189 2nd Ave.). For times and tickets click here

“Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes”

A documentary based upon audio tapes discovered in the archive of journalist Richard Meryman, “Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes” makes its North American premiere at the festival. The film, directed by Nanette Burstein,  says audiences “are guided by Taylor’s voice as she walks the audience from the first step of her career through her time with [Richard] Burton in the 1970s.”  Taylor, who was raised Christian Scientist, converted to Judaism in 1959 and became an active supporter of Israel and Jewish causes. 

Tuesday, June 11 at SVA Theater (333 W. 23rd St.) and Wednesday, June 12 and Sunday, June 16 at Village East by Angelika (181-189 2nd Ave.). Click here for times and tickets

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button