Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival Opens Oct. 20

When the JCCs announced the partnership between the Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival and the Twin Cities Film Festival, both organizations talked about the excitement of the partnership coming together. The result is 10 outstanding films to celebrate the 24th year of the TCJFF. This year’s Festival includes comedies, drama and documentaries – all Minnesota premieres!

“There is power in collaboration and we are thrilled to have found the perfect partner to ensure success for now and for the future,” said Robyn Awend, JCC Twin Cities Cultural Arts Director. “The Twin Cities Film Fest shares our vision that film provokes discussion and evokes empathy. Working together, we can bring our community together share the consciousness of Jewish culture, history, and artistry through the magical medium of film.”

The festival will open on Oct. 20 at the newly re-opened St. Paul JCC, which will serve as the grand opening of The Johnson Family Center for Performing Arts (1375 St. Paul Ave, St. Paul). The new center has theater-style seating, and state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, all serving to enhance the theater-goers experience.

The closing day films, on Oct. 28, will both be shown at the Sabes JCC (4330 S Cedar Lake Road, St. Louis Park). All other films will be screened at the ShowPlace ICON at The West End in St. Louis Park.

Schedule Of Films

Saturday, October 20

Humor Me

7:30 p.m.

Location: St. Paul JCC 

This charming comedy tells the story of Nate, a once acclaimed New York playwright who is struggling to finish his new play when his wife leaves him, taking their son. Desolate, broke and unable to pay the rent, Nate begrudgingly moves in with his widowed father, Bob, in his New Jersey retirement golf community, Nate stumbles on a senior citizen theater troupe staging a musical. Ultimately, the father and son realize they each have their own forms of storytelling and come to appreciate their differences.

Directed by Sam Hoffman | USA, 2018 | English | 93 minutes

Suggested Ages: 13 – Adult (language)

The evening will begin with Havdallah and conclude with a dessert reception following the film.

Sunday, October 21

Operation Wedding

3 p.m.

Location: ShowPlace ICON at the West End

An inspiring story of freedom from Leningrad, 1970. What started as a fantasy, Operation Wedding, a group of young Soviet Jews who were denied exit visas, plots to “hijack” an empty plane and escape the USSR. The group’s pilot would take over the controls and fly the 16 runaways into the sky, over the Soviet border, on to Sweden, bound for Israel. 45 years later, filmmaker Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov and her mother, Sylva, retrace the group’s journey from a Soviet airport to a KGB prison, revealing the compelling story of her parents, leading characters of the group, “heroes” in the West but “terrorists” in Russia, even today.

Directed by Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov

Israel, Latvia, 2016 | English, Hebrew, Russian with English subtitles | 62 minutes

Suggested Ages: 13 – Adult

The Testament

5 p.m.

Location: ShowPlace ICON at the West End

Yoel is an international expert in Holocaust research. While undertaking a new research project on a massacre that took place in Austria during the final days of the war, he discovers classified documents which hint that his survivor mother is living under an assumed identity. The further he plunges into his research the more he doubts his mother’s Jewish identity. A mystery about a man who is willing to risk everything to discover the truth.

Directed by Amichai Greenberg | Israel, Austria,

2017 | Hebrew, German, English, Yiddish with

English subtitles | 94 minutes

Suggested Ages: Adult (content)


7:30 p.m.

Location: ShowPlace ICON at the West End

Set in the Hasidic enclave of Borough Park, Brooklyn, 93QUEEN follows a group of tenacious Hasidic women who are smashing the patriarchy in their community by creating the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps in New York City. With unprecedented – and insider – access, 93QUEEN offers up a unique portrayal of a group of religious women who are taking matters into their own hands to change their own community from within.

Directed by Paula Eiselt | USA, 2018 | English

85 minutes | Suggested Ages: 13 – Adult

Tuesday, October 23

Across The Waters

7:30 p.m.

Location: ShowPlace ICON at the West End

A musician and his family make a frantic escape from Nazi-occupied Denmark, in this white-knuckled Danish drama. Enjoying the nightlife in 1943 Copenhagen, jazz guitarist Arne Itkin initially dismisses his wife Miriam’s concerns about rumors of the round-up and deportation of Danish Jews. A night raid, however, forces the couple to flee with their young son to the fishing village of Gilleleje, where refugees await passage to Sweden by boat. As the Gestapo and Danish collaborators close in, the family puts its fate in the hands of strangers whose allegiances and motives are not clear.

Directed by Nicolo Donato | Denmark, 2017

Danish with English subtitles | 95 minutes

Wednesday, October 24

Who Will Write Our History

8 p.m.

Location: ShowPlace ICON at the West End

In November 1940, days after the Nazis sealed 450,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, a secret band of journalists, scholars and community leaders decided to fight back. Led by historian Emanuel Ringelblum and known by the code name Oyneg Shabes, this clandestine group vowed to defeat Nazi lies and propaganda not with guns or fists but with pen and paper. For the first time, their story is told as a feature documentary that includes new interviews, rarely seen footage and stunning dramatizations to transport us inside the Ghetto and the lives of these courageous resistance fighters.

Directed by Roberta Grossman | Poland, USA,

2017 | English, Polish, Yiddish with English subtitles | 94 minutes

Suggested Ages: 13 – Adult

Thursday, October 25


7:15 p.m.

Location: ShowPlace ICON at the West End

The story of a complicated relationship between an aging father and his special needs, adult son, whom he abandoned while he was still a young boy. Reuben’s kidneys are failing and his son, Gadi wants to donate one of his own kidney’s to help save his father’s life. However, the transplant committee objects claiming that Rueben, acting as Gadi’s sole legal guardian, does not have the right to authorize such an invasive procedure.

Directed by Yaakov Goldwasser | Israel, 2018

English, Polish, Yiddish with English subtitles

90 minutes | Suggested Ages: 13 – Adult

Saturday, October 27


8:15 p.m.

Location: ShowPlace Icon

Inspired by real events, an emotionally scarred writer is sent to teach a group of juvenile delinquents in a small Israeli town, where he discovers a talent for encouraging his students to express themselves through filmmaking and forms a special bond with one troubled teen.

Directed by Eliran Elya | Israel, 2017 | Hebrew, with English subtitles | 88 minutes

Suggested Ages: 18+ (language)

Sunday, October 28

Sammy Davis , Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me

3 p.m.

Location: Sabes JCC

Never-before-seen interviews and photographs from Sammy Davis, Jr., who strove to achieve the American Dream in a time of racial prejudice and swirling political change, are the subject of this entertaining and compelling documentary. Davis was the veteran of increasingly outdated show business traditions; he frequently found himself bracketed by the bigotry of white America and the distaste of Black America; and he was the most public Black figure to embrace Judaism, thereby yoking his identity to another persecuted


Directed by Sam Pollard | USA, 2018 | English

100 minutes | Suggested Ages: 13 – Adult

An Act Of Defiance

Closing Night!

Sunday, October 28 at 7:30 P.M.

Location: Sabes JCC

In this riveting historical drama, 10 men – some black, some Jewish – were arrested for conspiring to commit sabotage against the Apartheid state and its government. Led by fellow defendant Nelson Mandela and represented by courageous lawyer Bram Fischer, the group members plead not guilty, shifting attention instead to the corrupted and grossly unjust political system. This powerful and captivating true story captures a seminal moment in the fight against racism and explores the little known of South African Jews in consigning Apartheid to history.

Directed by Jean van de Velde | Netherlands, South Africa, 2017 | English, Afrikaans | 123 minutes

Suggested Ages: 13 – Adult

Dessert reception following the film.

For Tickets and more information, check out the event’s website, or call (612) 615-8233.