There are more than 200 films that will be a part of the MSP Film Society’s 41st annual MSP International Film Fest, and many of them are of Jewish interest.
The 2022 festival, which kicks off on May 5, is a hybrid event with a full slate of in-person screenings at the new MSP Film at the Main theater (formerly the St. Anthony Main Theater in Northeast Minneapolis), screenings at partner venues, and virtual screenings for select films.
One of the bigger names in a film of Jewish interest is Dakota Johnson, who is the producer and start of Cha Cha Real Smooth, where she plays a young mom of a teenage girl who befriends a b’nai mitzvah party starter.
“This is one of the films that I am most excited about,” said Becca Mayo, the MSP Film Society’s outreach and marketing coordinator. “I’ve been following this film since it premiered at [the] Sundance [Film Festival], and I was really hoping we’d be able to book it for the festival. So many people, even if they’re not Jewish have gone to [bar and bat mitzvahs].”
Hear more from Mayo on the next Who The Folk?! Podcast, coming Sunday to your podcast platform of choice.
Several of the films are in other languages with subtitles, such as Alegria, which is the debut feature film by Violeta Salama that focuses on the Sephardic diaspora.
“It comes down to how well our programmers know our audience,” Mayo said. “This is the 41st year and the programmers that we work with, they’ve been working with us for years as well. So at this point, we, we know what our audience likes to come out to.”
One film that will be at the festival this year is Boycott a documentary by Julie Bucha about the trend of state legislatures passing bills that “silence those who support the BDS movement.” Bucha will be attending the screenings for a Q & A after.
“I’m not really going to say my opinion on BDS, but if this film is stirring up a lot of feelings in the community, I would – even more so then – implore that they attend this screening and come to the Q&A, but also to come with an open mind,” Mayo said. “The filmmaker, Julia Bacha, started her career in Cairo, Egypt. And so her perspective, being outside of America is going to be entirely different than our experience here.”
For more on the films of Jewish interest, check the MSP Film Society website. Use the promo code TCJFMSPIFF41 when you order for a discount.