‘Karaoke,’ ‘Fiddler’ Doc Highlight Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival

After two years of irregularities and uncertainty, the Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival is back with an event that more closely recognizes what so many participants are longing for — but also offers opportunities to those who’d rather watch from the comfort of their homes.

Now in its 28th year, the TCJFF is designed to build bridges, entertain, and create dialogue, the Festival offers a universal medium through which Jewish history, traditions, political viewpoints, the arts, and personal relationships can all be viewed with the goal of experiencing life from another angle.

“We are so excited about this year’s Festival which, for the first time, will feature in-person screenings and parties as well as virtual-on-demand films you can watch at home any time throughout the Festival,” said Riv Shapiro, Minnesota JCC Arts & Culture Producer. “We are proud to introduce a lineup that represents several female filmmakers as well as stories from a wide range of the Jewish diaspora: an Israeli romantic comedy, a documentary from Spain, dramas from France, Germany, Syria and much more.”

Highlights for this year’s Festival include the Minnesota premiere of the acclaimed Israeli drama, Karaoke followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker and Opening Night party; Fiddler’s Journey to the Big Screen plus an appearance and Q&A with Neva Small (“Chava”); and a Closing Night film and event at MSP FILM at the Main Cinema – A Serious Man (13th Anniversary!) followed by a Bar Mitzvah Party with DJ Mike 2600.

To enjoy the Festival, simply purchase a Festival Pass, which represents a $100 savings and first access to reserve your seats. A VIP Festival Pass also includes an invitation to the pre-film program/meet & greet with Neva Small (“Chava”, Fiddler on the Roof), snacks, and beverages at in-person screenings, and a swag bag with treats to enjoy while streaming at home. 

Individual tickets are now on sale.

For more information, to view trailers, or to purchase tickets, visit: www.tcjfilmfest.org.




November 10, 2022, at the Capp Center St. Paul • 6:30 p.m.

Meir and Tova are a Sephardic, upper-middle-class couple, seemingly resigned to live out the rest of their semi-retirement in the banal comforts of an upscale apartment complex in a Tel Aviv suburb. When Itsik, a sexy bachelor from Miami, moves into the building’s penthouse, their lives are gleefully upended. Energized by their newfound friendship with Itsik, Meir and Tova undergo personal transformations, but will their relationship as a couple be a casualty of expressing their individual desires? When Itsik begins to pull away from Meir and Tova, the couple’s obsession with the bachelor grows into a full-blown identity crisis. 

The film is followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with director Moshe Rosenthal and a special Opening Night party (with karaoke provided by Twin Cities Karaoke) following the screening!

2022 | Drama | 103 min | Hebrew | English subtitles | Mature content, smoking, drugs, sexual content



November 13, 2022, at the Sabes Center Minneapolis • 2 p.m.

In a Syrian border village in the early 80s, little Sero attends school for the first time. A new teacher has arrived with the goal of making strapping Panarabic comrades out of the Kurdish children. To enable paradise to come to earth, he uses the rod to forbid the Kurdish language, orders Assad’s veneration, and preaches hate of the Zionist enemy- the Jews. The lessons upset and confuse Sero because his long-time neighbors are a lovable Jewish family. With a fine sense of humor and satire, the film depicts a childhood that manages to find light moments between dictatorship and dark drama. The director’s personal experiences inspired the film.

The film is followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with director Mano Khalil.

2021 | Drama | 124 min | Kurdish, Arabic, English, Hebrew | English subtitles | Strong language, violence

FREE Movie Matinee


November 14, 2022, at the Sabes Center Minneapolis • 1 p.m.

The 100-year story of the iconic restaurant chain Horn & Hardart, the inspiration for Starbucks, where generations of Americans ate and drank coffee together at communal tables. From the perspective of former customers, we watch a business climb to its peak success and then grapple with fast food in a forever-changed America.

Reservations and pass perks are not included for this screening. All are welcome on a free, first-come, first-serve basis.

2021 | Drama | 79 min | English| English subtitles


November 17, 2022, at the Capp Center St. Paul • 6:30 p.m.

With great affection, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Daniel Raim captures the humor and drama of director Norman Jewison’s quest to re-envision the beloved stage hit Fiddler on the Roof as a wide-screen epic. At its heart, this delightful documentary becomes an exploration of how the experience of making Fiddler deepens Jewison as an artist and revives his soul.

Followed by Q&A with Neva Small (“Chava”) in the original Fiddler on the Roof film) In-Person

2022 | Documentary | 88 min | English | Brief gunshot

*VIP Festival Pass holders are invited to join us at the Capp Center St. Paul at 5 pm. for a special pre-screening event with Neva Small. Includes refreshments, meet & greet, sing-along, and photo/autograph opportunity.


A SERIOUS MAN – Thirteenth Anniversary

November 19, 2022, at MSP Film at The Main Cinema • 6:30 p.m.

Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern physics teacher, watches his life unravel over multiple sudden incidents. Though seeking meaning and answers amidst his turmoil, he seems to keep sinking. This year marks thirteen years since the Coen Brothers released A Serious Man, which was filmed and takes place throughout the Twin Cities and features your cousin or dentist or cantor on the big screen. 

For Closing Night of the Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival, the Minnesota JCC, and the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul (MSP Film) are throwing A Serious Man the Bar Mitzvah party it deserves! Come out to watch this beloved film on the big screen at The Main Cinema, followed by a Bar Mitzvah-themed party with light food, dancing, and beer & wine for purchase. Included in TCJFF Festival and VIP passes.

Followed by A Serious Man Bar Mitzvah Party

2009 | Comedy/Drama | 105 min | English | Rated R

Virtual Film Lineup


A Palestinian father embarks on a perilous journey to reach his hospitalized son in this tense yet tender family drama about the human toll of oppression. Due to economics, construction worker Mustafa and his wife live separated by the West Bank wall. After his son has an accident, Mustafa is denied access at an Israeli checkpoint due to a bureaucratic technicality, forcing him to hire a driver to smuggle him to the other side. Thrown in with a motley crew of strangers, desperate Mustafa must surmount myriad hurdles and indignities to be at his child’s bedside. A Venice Film Festival audience prize winner, writer-director Ameen Nayfeh’s superb debut feature is Jordan’s submission for the Best International Feature Film Oscar.

Film followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with director Ameen Nayfeh, courtesy of Austin Jewish Film Festival.

2020 | Drama | 96 min | Arabic | English subtitles | Language, smoking, brief violence


The town of Melilla, an autonomous Spanish city on the north coast of Africa, provides a stunning backdrop to this family drama. Having turned her back on her Jewish heritage, Alegría lives a quiet life in Melilla where Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities converge. When her family arrives to organize her niece’s Orthodox Jewish wedding, Alegría must reconnect with her past. With her best friend and Moroccan helper, she endeavors to ensure that the wedding will be celebrated according to the unique traditions of Melilla. Based on the director’s own experiences, Alegría pays homage to a city whose blended culture reflects the characters’ interconnected dramas.

Film followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with director Violeta Salama.

2021 | Drama | 105 min | Spanish | English subtitles | Language, smoking

Minnesota Premiere


In this heartfelt ode to the unifying power of art, nine women register for a video workshop hoping to learn basic filmmaking techniques from young director Rona. As the strangers, both Arab and Jewish, share the raw footage they shoot each week with their classmates, they are confronted not only by the vast differences in their circumstances but also by striking points of connection. Growing closer, the students develop a strong, supportive community, even as they begin to grow suspicious of Rona’s motives. Drawn from filmmaker Orit Fokus Rotem’s experiences leading similar workshops in the Israeli towns of Acre and Givat Haviva, Cinema Sabaya is an unvarnished and genuinely engaging exploration of the joy of learning to see and to truly being seen.

Film followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with director Orit Fokus Rotem.

2020 | Drama | 92 min | Arabic, Hebrew | English subtitles | Mention of domestic abuse, mature content


2022 | Documentary | 88 min | English | Brief gunshot


2022 | Drama | 103 min | Hebrew | English subtitles | Mature content, smoking, drugs, sexual content


2021 | Drama | 124 min | Kurdish, Arabic, English, Hebrew | English subtitles | Strong language, violence

Minnesota Premiere


This charming and uniquely Israeli Rom-Com, adapted from Omar Barak’s best-selling novel, Wedding Rush, marks the directorial debut of comedian, singer and actor, Guri Alfi (The Human Resources Manager, Shababniks, The Chef). The story-within-a story features Yarden (Dina Senderson of HBO Max’s Uri and Ella), an ambitious young writer for a daily newspaper, who confesses to a blind date about the Faustian bargain struck with her sleazy editor and lover, Amos (Lior Ashkenazi): in exchange for his help in publishing her book, she will undertake a series of columns about modern romance, based on the dating disasters of her best friend. What could possibly go wrong?

Film followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with producer Asaf Nawi, courtesy of Austin Jewish Film Festival.

2021 | Comedy | 92 min | Hebrew | English subtitles | Mature content, language

Minnesota Premiere


Actress and now debuting director, writer and composer Aurélie Saada pours a tremendous amount of personal nostalgia into Rose, a heightened emotional drama steeped in love for her North African Jewish roots, from music (all written by Saada) to food — the credits even include her recipe for “makroudh,” a date-filled cookie. The film stars legendary French actress Françoise Fabian (Luis Bunuel’s Belle de Jour and Eric Rohmer’s My Night at Maud’s) as a recent widow whose sorrow gives way to a deep thirst for life. This helps her realize that there is still time for her to redefine herself as a woman, all while emerging from under her children’s straight jacketing concerns. Rose is an all-embracing effusion of Jewishness, both Sephardi and Ashkenazi, that promises to be a sure-fire crowd-pleaser.

Film followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with director Aurélie Saada, courtesy of Austin Jewish Film Festival.

2021 | Drama | 102 min | French | English subtitles | Smoking, language, mature content

Minnesota Premiere


A broken string, fractured echo chamber, rusting valves. 100 musicians meet for four days of rehearsals. They speak different languages. Their instruments are broken. An orchestra of professional and amateur musicians, young and old, set out on a journey against all odds, to a one-time concert. Hidden among the cracks, we discover a lyrical and engaging take on the members of the orchestra, on what is broken and whole and on the determined attempt, if only for a moment, to create harmony in a discordant city.

2021 | Documentary | 79 min | Hebrew, Arabic, English | Hebrew & English subtitles

Minnesota Premiere


The beautiful island of Majorca is home to the Xuetas (pronounced Chuetas), descendants of the Jews forced to convert during the Spanish Inquisition. Despite their adoption of Catholicism, they faced continuous discrimination until the middle of the 20th century. This film looks at both the past and present difficulties faced by the Xuetas, through eye-opening interviews where people of Xueta heritage discuss both their desire to reclaim their Jewish heritage and their concerns about potential rejection by the international Jewish community.

Film followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with directors Dani Rotstein and Felipe Wolokita, courtesy of the Austin Jewish Film Festival.

2021 | Documentary | 63 min | Spanish, English | English subtitles | Historical violence

Narrative and Documentary Shorts

Limited only by their runtime, short films transcend traditional storytelling and are an important part of cinema, storytelling, and culture. Lineup coming soon!