Previewing the 36th Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival

After the excitement of the Philadelphia Film Festival, it’s a good reminder that other great film festivals and events in our fair city are right around the corner. One of them is the long-running Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, about to have its 36th season. The programming for the entire festival is always interesting, featuring an eclectic assortment of films around the world relating to the Jewish experience.

PJFF programming also truly captures the entire Philadelphia area in its scheduling, with events taking place at the Ritz theaters, The Gershman Y, The National Museum of American Jewish History, the Kimmel Center, International House, the Ambler Theater, the Bryn Mawr Film Institute and more.  You can see the entire lineup for the festival here, but also check out the guest speakers list, which includes filmmaker Todd Solondz.

This year, Cinedelphia is a proud community partner for the following screenings. We’re very excited about these films and we hope to see you there!

Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown (dir. Gregory Monro)

In America, Jerry Lewis mostly just had a reputation of being a manic comic, but not much more. But in Europe, especially France, he was seen as an innovative auteur, pushing technical boundaries and techniques. In Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown, the filmmakers attempt to pull back the curtain on Lewis and answer the question: buffoon, genius, or both?

Event info and purchase tickets here.


The Last Laugh (dir. Ferne Pearlstein)

How long until we can make jokes about the Holocaust? One of the most taboo subjects for comedy, this documentary explores in depth how humor can help us cope with the darkest of tragedies. To explore this, the film uses interviews and performances with Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Joan Rivers, Louis C.K., and others, as well as interviews with Jewish leaders and survivors like Renee Firestone.

There are those who believe that no subject in comedy should be off limits. However, should that be balanced against the graveness of the subject matter? This documentary explores this dichotomy in depth, but also aims to leave its audience smiling.

Event info and purchase tickets here.


Moos (dir. Job Gosschalk)

Moos (Jip Smit, who will be appearing at the screening) aspires to show business, but family demands and other relationships mean that she has no time to practice. This changes when her friend Sam comes home from the Army. While it allows her the freedom to follow her dreams, she soon finds that she is far behind the other students. With a dry comedic tone and a cast of colorful characters, this promises to be a delightful film.

Event info and purchase tickets here.


Author: Ryan Silberstein

Ryan spends his days at a company named one of the best to work for in the Philadelphia area, and his nights as a mysterious caped vigilante saving his city from the disease that is crime watching movies. He lives on a diet consisting of film, comic books, experimental beer, black coffee, and those big metal historical markers around town. Follow him on Twitter and Letterboxd.

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