The 22nd UK Jewish Film Festival Announces Working Woman for its Opening Night Gala and Promise At Dawn as its Closing Night Gala
The UK Jewish Film Festival is delighted to announce this year’s Festival Galas for its 22nd edition. The festival will run from 8th-22nd November 2018 at cinemas across London, Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Brighton and Glasgow.
This year’s Opening Night Gala is the UK Premiere of Working Woman, directed by Michal Aviad and starring Liron Ben Shlush, Menashe Noy and Oshri Cohen and has been nominated for the Dorfman Best Film Award and will celebrate its Gala Screening at the BFI Southbank on 8th November. This remarkable new Israeli drama could hardly be more timely. Orna, an ambitious career woman, takes a new job as a real estate marketing manager, selling luxurious apartments to overseas buyers. Determined to prove herself to Benny, her new boss, she is willing to sacrifice her family life and free time. But when Benny’s flirting turns into harassment, Orna struggles to restore her sense of dignity and self-worth. Superbly acted and written, Working Woman is a cautionary tale for our times.
The Closing Night Gala is Promise At Dawn starring Charlotte Gainsbourg (Best Actress Cesar Nomination) and Pierre Niney and directed by Eric Barbier. Nominated for the Dorfman Best Film Award and Best Screenplay Award, the Gala Screening will take place at Curzon Mayfair on 22nd November and then at the Komedia Brighton on 28th November. Charlotte Gainsbourg shines as the overbearing Jewish mother in this powerful adaptation of Romain Gary’s memoir. Believing in his potential from infancy and relentlessly pushing him to fulfil it, she was instrumental in her son becoming one of France’s 20th century literary giants. Although she is often delusional, her resourcefulness saves them from destitution in Lithuania and takes them to their promised land, France. Heartbreaking and funny in equal measure, Promise at Dawn is an ode to mother-child relationships – specifically Jewish yet universally relatable.
The festival’s special Centrepiece Gala is the London Premiere of Three Identical Strangers, an extraordinary documentary directed by Tim Wardle which won the Special Jury prize at Sundance Film Festival. Raised by their respective adoptive families within a hundred-mile radius of each other, triplet siblings Robert Shafran, Eddy Galland and David Kellman were oblivious to the fact that each had two identical brothers until a chance meeting brought them together, aged 19, for the first time since birth. Their astounding story, which became a worldwide sensation in the early 1980s, catapulted them to fame with the trio landing a cameo in Desperately Seeking Susan and becoming a fixture in Studio 54. But even more incredible was the reason, unknown to them at first, that led to their separation in the first place. This astonishing, stranger-than-fiction documentary masterfully tells a story whose sanguine elements could not mitigate the gross injustice at its core.
This year’s festival includes a wonderful array of film premieres, special events, panel discussions and Q&As with leading directors, producers, actors, journalists, academics and others. The full festival programme will be announced in due course.
Chief Executive of UK Jewish Film, Michael Etherton said “We are proud to announce Working Woman, Three Identical Strangers and Promise at Dawn as our gala films for 2018 - from Israel, USA/UK and France respectively. Working Woman is incredibly current, tackling the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace, and we are delighted that an amazing 38% of our films this year are from women filmmakers. Our Centrepiece Gala, Three Identical Strangers, is one of the most extraordinary and disturbing true stories of recent years, and Promise at Dawn has all the drama and epic scale that one could hope from a Closing Night Gala."
As recently announced, the UK Jewish Film Festival is honoured to have been added to the prestigious BAFTA Qualifying Festivals List for its Short Film categories. Short films screened at the UK Jewish Film Festival will now be eligible to be considered for the British Short Film and British Short Animation awards, as long as they fulfil all other eligibility criteria.
About UK Jewish Film
At the core of UK Jewish Film’s values is the notion that film is universal. It crosses cultures and divides and has the ability to unite, engage and educate diverse audiences through the telling of cinematic stories that provide varied perspectives on Jewish and Israeli life and culture.
UK Jewish Film aims to develop a culture where Jewish film is recognised and enjoyed by the widest possible audience, and to bring Jewish related film to the heart of British cinema culture.
UK Jewish Film welcomed 30,000 visitors last year through its flagship, annual UK Jewish Film Festival, its international festivals, as well as its 450 additional year-round screenings and previews at venues across London and the UK. Its wide range of films include feature films, documentaries, shorts and archive films, which reflect the diversity of Jewish and Israeli life and culture. Since its inception UK Jewish Film has welcomed over 300,000 visitors. Its popular video on demand platform brings its unique provision of film to many more. The organisation also runs acclaimed education programmes that reach hundreds of young people each year including through its schools programme harnessing the power of film to combat antisemitism.