#TJFF: 2022 TJFF SPECIAL GUESTS ANNOUNCED
The 30th edition of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival (TJFF) is celebrating a return to the cinema where it all began at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema with a special “Blue Carpet” Opening Night at the Ontario premiere of PLAN A by the Paz Brothers. The “Blue Carpet” will be hosted by none other than TJFF’s Artistic Director and co-founder Helen Zukerman. Two musical highlights include live performances at the ROCK CAMP screening with former Fantasy Rock ‘N’ Roll campers, along with The Mamaliga Klezmer Band’s live musical accompaniment for the recently discovered and restored silent film BROKEN BARRIERS.
Notable local and international guests joining the celebrations in person are:
- Doron Paz and Yoav Paz (PLAN A);
- Founder Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp, David Fishof (ROCK CAMP);
- Director Julia Mintz (FOUR WINTERS);
- Director David Hoffert, producers Paul Hoffert, Brenda Hoffert and Jeff Preyra, as well as family of Leo Spellman (THE RHAPSODY);
- Director Mano Khalil (NEIGHBOURS)
- The Mamaliga Klezmer Band (BROKEN BARRIERS)
- Marilyn Lightstone (Honouring Marilyn Lightstone)
Special Guests & In-Person Events
*Opening Film with a Special “Blue Carpet” Event
PLAN A, dirs. Doron Paz and Yoav Paz (Germany/Israel)
Based on Dina Porat’s book Vengeance and Retribution are Mine, a group of Holocaust survivors seek revenge and plan to kill millions of Germans by poisoning Nuremberg’s water supply. Stars Michael Aloni (Shtisel), Syliva Hoeks (Bladerunner 2049) and August Diehl (Hidden Life).
Guests in attendance: Directors Doron Paz and Yoav Paz.
ROCK CAMP, dirs. Renée Barron and Douglas Blush (United States)
Music fans are given the chance to live out their musical fantasies at the annual Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp in Las Vegas. Campers are mentored by counsellors, including Roger Daltrey, Gene Simmons and Alice Cooper as they prepare for a live performance with their idols.
Guests in attendance: David Fishof, Founder of Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp. Screening followed by performances from Fantasy Rock ‘N’ Roll Canadian campers.
Centrepiece Film – Documentary
*David A. Stein Award Winner
FOUR WINTERS: A STORY OF JEWISH PARTISAN RESISTANCE AND BRAVERY, dir. Julia Mintz (United States)
Four Winters celebrates the 25,000 Jewish partisans who escaped into the forests of Eastern Europe to resist the Nazis, carrying out deadly acts of sabotage, staging ambushes and waging clandestine warfare. Featuring interviews with five of the last surviving partisans, two of whom (Faye Schulman and Sara Ginaite) raised families in Toronto.
Guest in attendance: Director Julia Mintz.
THE RHAPSODY, dir. David Hoffert (Canada)
At 99, late composer Leo Spellman, a Polish-Canadian Holocaust survivor, sets out on a journey toward artistic liberation. Through his journey to bring his lost musical masterpiece to the stage, his tale of survival is revealed through his secret wartime diary read by actor Stephen Fry, animation, and interviews with family and colleagues. The film also showcases the powerful performance of his composition at the Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto at which he was present.
Guests in attendance: Director David Hoffert, producers Paul Hoffert, Brenda Hoffert and Jeff Preyra, as well as family of Leo Spellman.
NEIGHBOURS (Nachbarn), dir. Mano Khalil, (Switzerland/France)
Winner of the Grand Prize at the Mons International Film Festival, the semi-autobiographical story by director Mano Khalil highlights the plight of the Kurdish people through the eyes of a sensitive child.
Guest in attendance: Director Mano Khalil.
Special Musical Event:
BROKEN BARRIERS (Khavah) dir. Charles E. Davenport
Long thought lost but recently discovered and restored by the National Center for Jewish Film, this 1919 silent film is the first American cinematic adaptation of Sholem Aleichem’s Tevye stories, famously brought to life in Fiddler on the Roof. This film focuses not on Tevye the milkman, but on daughter Khavah, who falls in love with the gentile boy Fedka.
Live Musical Accompaniment by The Mamaliga Klezmer Band
Free In-Person Canadian Archival Series Events:
Honouring Marilyn Lightstone
From a working class Jewish family in Montreal, Marilyn Lightstone emerged as one of Canada’s foremost actors. TJFF honours her lengthy career as an actor, writer and producer including the free screening of: FROM ANCIENT EGYPT TO THE HIT PARADE: A MARILYN LIGHTSTONE SCRAPBOOK (1967-2021). This event is part of a larger tribute to Marilyn Lightstone, with 4 additional titles available online to viewers across Canada.
Free Screening at Zoomer Hall, ZoomerPlex
Guest in attendance: Marilyn Lightstone.
Jack + Zero:
A special screening series honouring two performing legends of American theatre, film and television – Jack Gilford and Zero Mostel, including a free outdoor screening of A FUNNY THINGS HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM (1966). This event is part of a larger archival series called, Jack + Zero, with 4 additional titles available online to viewers across Canada.
Free Outdoor Screening at Lipa Green Grounds
TJFF will screen over 70 titles from 16 countries. Films will screen in person from June 9 to 15 at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, Innis Town Hall, Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk, and Leah Posluns Theatre, with more films available through the TJFF Virtual Cinema in Ontario from June 16 to June 26. Further in person screenings, including closing night, will also take place June 23-26, 2022.