2016 Festival Staff:

Michael Silverman- Chair
Jordana Halpern – JCC Cultural Arts Director
Katie Wzontek – JCC Cultural Arts Assistant
Troy Frymire – Designer
Laura La Tona - Webdesigner/Webmaster

2016 Festival Committee:

Marsha Ashton, Micaela Ben Abraham, Joseph Enis, Joan Forman, Marlene Katzel, Helen Kierstead, Michael Kozower, Arlyne Lepie, Richard Lepie, Karla Madrid, Rebecca Silverman, Debbie Simons, David Williams, Lynne Williams, Karen Wiseman, and volunteers


For 31 consecutive years, the Buffalo International Jewish Film Festival has unfailingly brought outstanding independent films with Jewish themes to Western New York. Over those years we screened films in the former JCC Auditorium, the new Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre, the Amherst Dipson Theatre and even the theatre at the Albright Knox Art Gallery.

This year we’re offering 10 exceptional films (each shown twice), May 6-12 at the Amherst Dipson Theatre, now featuring Barcaloungers. Two films, “Felix and Meira” (Canada) and “A La Vie” (France) debuted to great acclaim at last year’s Sarasota Film Festival. “Gett: The Trial Of Viviane Amsalem” (Israel) won the Ophir Award for Israel’s Best Picture in 2014, and had a perfect Critics’ Rating of 100% last year. “Once In A Lifetime” (France) and “The Last Mentsch” (Germany) have won Best Narrative Feature and Best of Fest awards at international film festivals. The film “Dough” (UK/Hungary), which features Shakespearean actor Jonathan Pryce, premiered in Canada at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, and opened the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival this past year. “Hunting Elephants” (UK) stars another British film legend, Sir Patrick Stewart, in a touching yet hilarious caper.

As for documentaries, “Karski And The Lords Of Humanity” (Poland/Russia/US) tells the story of Jan Karski, a Polish diplomat, resistance fighter, and spy who was also featured in the film “Shoah”. The director of the sublime musical docudrama “In Silence” (Czech Republic/Slovakia), Zdenek Jirasky, has won numerous international awards. And “Deli Man” (US), is quickly becoming well-known and loved by many. It features luminaries Larry King, Jerry Stiller, and Alan Dershowitz.

Of Note: on Saturday May 7, our opening night screening of Deli Man will also include a Deli Party with catered dinner and drink. Following the Sunday afternoon screening of “Gett”, a panel of local rabbis will discuss the status of divorce in Israel and elsewhere. It is advised that patrons obtain tickets in advance. Come early, come often. These are all must-see films!

Michael Silverman
Chair, BIJFF

Mission Statement:

The Buffalo International Jewish Film Festival is dedicated to providing an educational and entertaining cultural experience for the general community of Western New York. Through the power of exceptional world-class cinema, the festival aspires to convey the diversity of Jewish experience while recognizing the commonality of Jewish values.

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