On October 3, the Opening ceremony of the 7th Moscow Jewish Film Festival (MJFF) – which is taking place in Moscow from October 3 to October 12 – took place at the Oktyabr Cinema. The audience enjoyed the Russian premiere of the animated drama Where is Anne Frank by the Israeli director Ari Folman, Oscar nominee, Golden Globe, César, and Asia Pacific Screen Awards winner.
The Festival, supported by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, Blavatnik Family Foundation, Genesis Philanthropy Group, Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, KARO Art project, and AZIMUT Hotels, was honored by distinguished guests and dignitaries.
“The reflection of the human life will always be a subject of interest to filmmakers, and the Festival allows us to get acquainted with many films that reveal something about their authors — young people from different countries, each of them representing the Jewish culture. Said Rabbi Alexander Boroda, the president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Russia.
“At the same time, their films tell about feelings and moral dilemmas familiar to every person, and so I think everyone will find the program of the Festival interesting. This year, films dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Babi Yar massacres take a special place in the program, for they talk about the colossal tragedy which has not been widely covered on film. The festival format is a very useful cultural practice, and in our times it is especially important to have open conversations about moral values,” he concluded.
“The visual and emotional concept of the Festival image this year is based on Fire! Fire has taken many different forms in Jewish history. It is the Burning bush, which is the Almighty himself, and the fiery hail, without which we would not have left Egypt. It is the Hanukkah fire, which has miraculously burned for eight days, and it is the Shabbat fire, which we light up every week. And, of course, it is a fire of our souls, which illuminates the world like a candle. It might sound grandiloquent, but I will say that the motto of this year’s Festival is close to my heart: “The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord,” said Egor Odintsov at the start of the Opening ceremony of the 7th Moscow Jewish Film Festival.
The screening program includes over 50 pictures from all over the world — among them European and Russian premieres of feature films and documentaries from the USA, Latvia, Italy, Argentina, Germany, Poland, UK, France, Portugal, Israel, and other countries.
The Festival program traditionally presents the best contemporary films on Jewish themes. Besides the screenings, the Festival will host educational events and Q&A sessions with film creators. The screenings will take place at multiple venues including Oktyabr Cinema (as part of Karo Art project), Documentary Film Center, Illuzion Cinema, Moskino Zvezda, and Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center.
The guests of the Festival included Roman Abramovich, Russian-Israeli businessman; Alexander Boroda, religious and public figure, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, Director General and Founder of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center; Alexander Ben Zvi, the Ambassador of Israel to Russia; Emmanuil Vitorgan, theatre and film actor, People’s Artist of Russia; Sofia Kapkova, producer, Founder of the Documentary Film Center and online documentary streaming platform Nonfiction; Sam Klebanov, Russian and Swedish film industry executive, distributor, producer, and TV host; Sitora Aliyeva, Program Director of the Sochi Open Russian Film Festival Kinotavr; artist Nikas Safronov; and others.
The Festival opened with the animated documentary drama Where is Anne Frank, which was introduced by Israeli director Ari Folman and producer Alexander Rodnyansky.