By Liz Lopez

The Austin Jewish Film Festival (AJFF), now in its 17th year, exists to highlight incredible filmmaking and to make cross-cultural alliances throughout the Austin community, building bridges with thoughtful engagement and entertaining audiences through the medium of Jewish films and Jewish filmmakers. “This festival is for everyone, even those who aren’t Jewish,” said David Finkel, co-director of the festival. “If you love great films and rich storytelling, and are the least bit curious about Jewish culture, come to AJFF. Unlike a bar mitzvah you don’t need a formal invitation. You’re invited!  As we say, the festival is ‘For Jew and You Too!’”

AJFF has a lineup of compelling foreign, independent and U.S. films, along with engaging programs and speakers for several of the films. On Saturday, November 2, director Marcus H. Rosenmüller’s film, The Keeper, was screened at the Long Center Rollins Theater. This is a dramatization of Bert Trautmann, the soccer player’s history with the Manchester City Football Club and his time as a German soldier during World War II. It is a very engaging film and I hope it is released in theaters or another platform in order to reach a broader audience.

Here are some highlights of some of the films for the rest of the festival:

Beyond the Bolex, Director: Alyssa Bolsey – There will be a Skype program with the film director.                  

Shoelaces, Director: Jacob Goldwasser – A 2018 AJFF Audience Favorite

Golda’s Balcony, Director: Scott Schwartz – Q&A following the film with producer David Fishelson

The Unorthodox, Director: Eliran Malka. Join the Austin Jewish Film Festival and Cine Las Americas for a presentation of this film on Wednesday, November 6th at 7:30pm at the Regal Arbor at Great Hills. Use the AJFF discount code 19HJ10 for a 10% discount off individual ticket purchases at this year’s festival.

The Closing Night Film, Tel Aviv on Fire, is preceded by the short films “Yidlife Crisis: Double Date” and “Shabbos Goy.”

Tel Aviv on Fire tells the story of a hapless Palestinian intern on a well-liked Arab soap opera, popular in both the Territories and Israel, Salam must navigate through an Israeli checkpoint every day to get to the Ramallah studio. In order to gain favor with the commander of the checkpoint, Salam allows him to suggest changes to the show’s plot that would see a sultry Arab spy fall in love with an IDF general. Torn between the demands of the army officer and the show’s Arab financial backers on how the love story will end, Salam devises a final masterstroke. Co-screenwriter Dan Kleinman will be in attendance for a  Q&A. Use promo code AFF19 for 10% off any individual tickets you choose to purchase. during AJFF.

For more details about each film, visit https://austinjff.org/tickets-pricing/  and also to learn more about the launch of the AJFF Monthly Film Series in partnership with Shalom Austin, coming in early 2020.

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