Virtual Cinema | Houston Jewish Film Festival | February 28–March 11 February 17, 2021

The Houston Jewish Film Festival is part of a global itinerary of festivals exploring the Jewish experience through movies that focus on identity, history, and culture. Presented by the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston, the 2021 edition takes place from February 28 to March 11 (with a sequel in April), streaming 12 diverse films that you can watch from home.

The MFAH has partnered with this annual festival for many years and expects to return as an in-person venue in 2022. Film curator Marian Luntz recommends a few of her favorites from this year’s lineup.

In this comedy, a newly married couple leaves their sumptuous hotel suite on their wedding night to return a gift from the groom’s ex. Writer/director Talya Lavie also made the memorable Zero Motivation (2014).

Saul and Ruby’s Holocaust Survivor Band
A klezmer band formed by Florida retirees and Holocaust survivors is the subject of this documentary. Unique and compelling, it's a story about having the courage to live one’s dreams and find meaning in life at any age. Your ticket includes a live musical performance and Q&A following the movie!

A mother/daughter relationship takes unexpected turns in this drama about two Russian immigrants in Israel. A sensation at Israel’s Ophir Awards, the film was named Best Picture. Shira Haas (from Netflix’s Unorthodox, a Golden Globe nominee) plays the daughter.

Hollywood and World War II
Courage and the desire to document the truth led four Hollywood directors to make films for the U.S. War Office during World War II. Among the filmmakers featured in this documentary is William Wyler (The Best Years of Our Lives). MFAH audiences may recall meeting his daughter, Catherine Wyler, in November 2019 when she presented a Veterans Day screening of The Memphis Belle: The Story of a Flying Fortress, a 1944 documentary about B-17 bomber pilots.

Visit Houston Jewish Film Festival for more information.

Underwriting for the Film Department is provided by Tenaris and the Vaughn Foundation. Generous funding is provided by Nina and Michael Zilkha; The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea; Franci Neely; Carrin Patman and Jim Derrick; Lois Chiles Foundation; ILEX Foundation; L’Alliance Française de Houston; and The Foundation for Independent Media Arts.