GPJFF is filled with exciting post-film receptions, discussions, book signings, performances, parties, and more. It’s always wonderful to see so many familiar faces and meet some of the newest additions to our GPJFF family. Whether you attended our special events or missed out on a few, our photographers made sure to document all the fun. Enjoy perusing each set of pictures and thanks again for hanging out with us!
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GPJFF38 Fall Fest – Opening Night Film | The Interpreter
The newly titled 38th Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival (GPJFF) kicked off the season with the Philadelphia premiere of The Interpreter, Martin Šulík’s powerful road trip comedy/drama (also Slovakia’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2019 Oscars!). Star Peter Simonischek, best known for his hilarious role in Toni Erdmann, attended the film for a post-film Q&A and sponsor reception.
GPJFF38 Fall Fest Screening | Anthrax
Director Shai Scherf came to Philly to talk about his riveting new Israeli thriller, Anthrax, a gripping tale (based on true events) of a group of former IDF soldiers who begin experience strange side effects after being administered an anthrax vaccination.
GPJFF38 Fall Fest – Spotlight Film | Who Will Write Our History
Who Will Write Our History premiered to a sold-out house at the National Museum of American Jewish History with director Roberta Grossman in attendance!
GPJFF38 Fall Fest Screening | Budapest Noir
Budapest Noir premiered to a sold-out theater at Reel Cinemas in Narberth with director Éva Gárdos in attendance! This stylish, engaging Hungarian noir has been a favorite at Jewish film festivals across the world.
GPJFF38 Fall Fest – From the Vaults | Gentleman’s Agreement 35mm Screening
In a very special event, Elia Kazan’s groundbreaking Oscar winner, Gentleman’s Agreement, was presented on 35mm with Cecilia Peck (daughter of Gregory Peck!) and film historian Claudine Stevens.
GPJFF38 Fall Fest – Tikkun Olam Film | Heather Booth: Changing the World
Activist and political organizer Heather Booth joined director Lilly Rivlin for the premiere of their inspiring, deeply important new film, Heather Booth: Changing the World.
GPJFF38 Fall Fest Screening | Song of Back and Neck
Paul Lieberstein (best known as Toby from The Office) and co-star/co-producer Jennifer Prediger attend the festival for their hilariously quirky new comedy, Song of Back and Neck, and a post-film happy hour at Positano Coast.
GPJFF38 Fall Fest – Closing Night Film | Promise at Dawn
GPJFF closed its 38th fall festival with Promise at Dawn, a sprawling French epic starring Pierre Niney and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
GPJFF38 Fall Fest – Film & Food Event | Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
PJFF37 – Opening Night Film | The Cakemaker
The 37th Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival opened to a packed house at The Gershman Y with The Cakemaker, Ofir Raul Graizer’s stunning dramatic debut. The screening was followed by a private reception for our incredible sponsors and supporters who have helped us keep this festival moving forward.
PJFF37 Screening: My Art
PJFF37 premiered My Art at NMAJH, the new film from writer/director/star Laurie Simmons (a graduate of Temple University’s Tyler School of Art). Actor John Rothman, who stars in the comedy, attended the screening for a post-film Q&A, charming the audience with anecdotes, personal stories, and behind-the-scenes commentary.
PJFF37 – Film & Food | Body and Soul: An American Bridge
PJFF37’s first Food & Film event kicked off at The Gershman Y with Body and Soul: An American Bridge, Robert Philipson’s masterful documentary. The film was followed by a delicious soul food brunch curated by Aprons Soul Food Restaurant. Robert himself also attended the screening for a post-film Q&A.
PJFF37 – Centerpiece Film | Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
PJFF37 presented its Centerpiece Film, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, at The Gershman Y. This sold-out screening about the life of renowned actress and inventor, Ms. Hedy Lamarr, was followed by a Q&A with its director, Alexandra Dean, and a vintage Hollywood-inspired reception.
PJFF37 – Spotlight Film | Keep the Change
PJFF37 was pleased to premiere Keep the Change at NMAJH, a charming modern day romance between two young people on the spectrum who meet and fall in love at a JCC group. Director Rachel Israel and stars Brandon Polansky, Samantha Elisofon, and Will Deaver attended the screening for a post-film Q&A.
PJFF37 Presents: Master Class with Barak Heymann
PJFF37 and Penn Cinema Studies presented an informative Master Class at the University of Pennsylvania with Israeli filmmaker Barak Heymann. Together with his brother, Tomer Heymann, Barak has created poignant documentaries that merge current social and political issues with the deeply personal. Their films have garnered prestigious awards and screenings at festivals worldwide.
PJFF37 – Closing Night Film | Harmonia
The 37th Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival concluded with Harmonia, Ori Sivan’s modern day version of the biblical tale of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar set amidst the Jerusalem Philharmonic Orchestra. Alon Aboutboul, the star of the film, was present for a post-film Q&A with PJFF’s Artistic Director, Iris Drechsler.
PJFF37 – Brunch & Film | Love Is Thicker Than Water
The final day of the 37th Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival opened with a bagel brunch with libations at The Gershman Y followed by a bonus screening of Love Is Thicker Than Water, a lovely British interfaith romantic comedy. Co-director Ate de Jong attended the event for a post-film Q&A.
CineMondays 2018 – Opening Night Film | GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II
PJFF CineMondays 2018 kicked off the season with an unforgettable, sold-out screening of GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II at the Prince Theater. The screening was followed by a Q&A with director Lisa Ades and a delicious reception.
CineMondays 2018 – Closing Night Film | Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel
PJFF CineMondays 2018 closed its fantastic season at NMAJH with the Philly premiere of Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel. With a plethora of special guests (including the Phillie Phanatic himself!), guests were treated to a baseball-themed reception following the film.
PJFF36 – Opening Night Film | One Week and a Day
PJFF’s 36th ‘Double Chai’ Festival opened at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts with Asaph Polonsky’s poignant One Week and a Day and special guest, Isaac Zablocki, Director of Film Programs at JCC Manhattan. The night ended with a private reception at The Gershman Y for VIPs, Sponsors, Supporters, and Pass Holders.
PJFF36 Presents: Sand Storm
PJFF was delighted to host the Philadelphia premiere of Sand Storm, Israel’s submission for the 89th Academy Awards, at the Ritz East with special guest Steve Dinero, Professor of Liberal Arts at Philadelphia University. Viewers were invited to attend a post-film happy hour at the nearby Positano Coast for free hors d’œuvres and drink specials.
PJFF36 – Centerpiece Film | The Last Laugh
In an unforgettable evening, comedian Judy Gold took to The Gershman Y stage for a quick stand-up routine before introducing Ferne Pearlstein, the director of PJFF’s thought-provoking Centerpiece Film, The Last Laugh. After the film, Judy and Ferne joined Robert Edwards, producer of The Last Laugh, Paul Lewis, Professor of English at Boston College, and PJFF screening committee member, Dr. Elliot Ratzman, for a very interesting discussion about the difference between comedians pushing boundaries and crossing the line when it comes to writing comedy about sensitive and tragic topics. Following the discussion, the audience was welcomed to a complimentary reception with delicious food and libations.
PJFF36 – Film & Food | Shalom Italia
PJFF hosted a tasty food and brunch event at The Gershman Y for Shalom Italia, Tamar Tal Anati’s tender new documentary. Following the film, viewers were treated to an authentic Italian spread curated by Philly’s own Gran Caffe L’Aquila and a live Skype Q&A with Tamar herself, along with Andrea and Bubi, two of the three brothers from the film.
PJFF36 Presents: Moos
The delightful Jip Smit joined PJFF to talk about her new leading role in the Dutch comedy, Moos, at the Ritz East. Guests were invited to The Little Lion for complimentary appetizers and drink specials after the film.
PJFF36 – Closing Night Film | Women in Shorts
PJFF 36 ended its unforgettable two-week run at The Gershman Y with Women in Shorts, four extraordinary short Israeli films by or about women. Special guests included Iris Zaki, director of Women in Sink, and Omer Tobi and Gil Sima, director and producer of Hounds. Following the post-film discussion led by PJFF Artistic Chair, Iris Drechsler, guests were invited to mix and mingle at PJFF’s Closing Night reception.
CineMondays 2017 – Opening Night Film | The Women’s Balcony
PJFF CineMondays 2017 kicked off the season at The Gershman Y with The Women’s Balcony, Israel’s charming box office smash from 2016. David’s Harp, a Sephardic musical group, performed for guests before the film. Special guest Shlomit Nehama, the screenwriter of the film, participated in a live Q&A following the film.
CineMondays 2017 Presents: Norman
Week two of CineMondays 2017 began with a special advanced screening of Norman, the newest star-studded drama from acclaimed director Joseph Cedar. The film was screened at the Ritz East with star Lior Ashkenazi himself. Preceding the movie, there was a small cocktail party with Lior as well at a private home in Society Hill.
CineMondays 2017 – Closing Night Film | Big Sonia
CineMondays 2017 ended its glorious run with the award-winning documentary, Big Sonia, and the Oscar-nominated documentary short, Joe’s Violin, at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The night concluded with a beautiful violin performance by Brianna Perez and Kokoe Tanaka-Suwan, the subjects of Joe’s Violin.
PJFF35 – Opening Night Film | Dough
PJFF’s 35th Anniversary Season opened with a Philadelphia premiere screening of Dough, featuring special guests John Goldschmidt and Jerome Holder and a private reception for PJFF Sponsors and Supporters.
PJFF35 Presents: Deli Man
One of the best-loved events of PJFF35, we were privileged to present the charming documentary, Deli Man, along with a catered deli lunch and fascinating discussion with an amazing panel of deli insiders!
PJFF35 Presents: A Blind Hero: The Love Of Otto Weidt
PJFF35 guests enjoyed a post-film happy hour at Old City’s Positano Coast following a screening of A Blind Hero: The Love of Otto Weidt, a powerful and moving docudrama.
PJFF35 – Centerpiece Film | A Very Semi-Serious Evening with Roz Chast
It was a packed house for PJFF35’s Centerpiece event, a Philadelphia premiere screening of the documentary Very Semi-Serious with special guest, New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast!
PJFF35 – Spotlight Film: East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem
with Special Guest David Broza
Legendary Israeli singer-songwriter David Broza joined us for a discussion and performance following the screening of the fantastic documentary East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem.
PJFF35 Presents: Red Leaves
Barbara Ribakove Gordon, Executive Director of the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry, joined us for this incredible film and Ethiopian brunch.
PJFF35 Presents: Natasha
PJFF35 guests got to mingle at Old City’s Prime Stache with Natasha star Sasha K. Gordon and director/author David Bezmozgis.
PJFF35 – Closing Night Film: Soft Vengeance –
An Evening with the Honorable Albie Sachs
PJFF35 closed with the audience favorite documentary, Soft Vengeance, and the presentation of the Tikkun Olam Award to the guest of honor himself, Albie Sachs.
CineMondays 2016 – Opening Night Film | In Search of Israeli Cuisine
PJFF CineMondays 2016 began with a SOLD-OUT screening of In Search of Israeli Cuisine, a delectable documentary that featuring local Zahav chef, Michael Solomonov. The screening featured a post-film Q&A with Michael and director Roger Sherman, along with an autograph signing and mouthwatering food reception!
PJFF34 – Opening Night Film | Anywhere Else
Actor Neta Riskin joined us for our Opening Night celebration, followed by a private reception for PJFF Sponsors and Supporters.
PJFF34 Presents: The Sturgeon Queens
Following PJFF’s Philadelphia premiere screening of The Sturgeon Queens, dozens of film and fish lovers joined us at Hamilton Hall for a Russ & Daughters Brunch and Book Talk by Mark Russ Federman, author of Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built.
PJFF34 Presents: Etgar Keret: What Animal Are You?
After PJFF’s exclusive screening of What Animal Are You?, the author himself, Etgar Keret, read two of his favorite short stories live onstage. Guests who brought their favorite Keret book or purchased one at the event were invited to attend a VIP Wine and Cheese Reception with the guest of honor.
PJFF34 Presents: 24 Days
Following our Philadelphia premiere screening of 24 Days at the Ritz East, guests joined speaker Nancy Baron-Baer, Regional Director at the Anti-Defamation League, for a post-film discussion and then headed to Positano Coast for conversation, complimentary appetizers, and drink specials.
PJFF34 Presents: Joachim Prinz – I Shall Not Be Silent
PJFF34 Presents | Zero Motivation
Winner of Best Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival (and, more recently, the most-awarded film at the Israeli Oscars), Zero Motivation was one of PJFF34’s sleeper hits! Director Talya Lavie attended an exclusive post-film reception, including complimentary appetizers and drink specials at the Continental Diner.
PJFF34 – Closing Night Film | Above and Beyond
This gripping documentary, produced by Nancy Spielberg (younger sister of Steven) and directed by Roberta Grossman (Hava Nagila, Blessed Is the Match), is packed with intrigue and suspense. Spielberg and Grossman joined guests for a Closing Night Party at Hamilton Hall.
PJFF33 – Opening Night Film | God’s Neighbors
The 33rd year began with the Philadelphia premiere of God’s Neighbors, writer/director Meni Yaesh’s gripping, Ophir Award nominated Israeli drama, at the Gershman Y. The film concluded with a live Skype interview with Meni himself, curated by PJFF Artistic Chair, Iris Drechsler.
PJFF33 Presents | Red Flag
Girls breakout Alex Karpovsky stopped by the Ritz East for the city premiere of his new comedy, Red Flag, which he also wrote and directed. Guests were treated to a post-film party at the Stratus Rooftop Lounge.
PJFF33 – Centerpiece Film | The Jewish Cardinal
Michael Berenbaum, the award-winning journalist, scholar, museum specialist, film producer and prolific author, hosted the Philadelphia premiere of The Jewish Cardinal at the Prince Music Theater.
PJFF33 Presents: My Awkward Sexual Adventure
Director Sean Garrity attended the premiere of his outrageous romantic comedy at the Ritz East which ended with a post-film party at Positano Coast.
PJFF33 – Closing Night Film | Bethlehem
PJFF33 ended its incredible year with Bethlehem at the Gershman Y. Yuval Adler’s riveting thriller won six Ophir Awards and was nominated for six more.
CineMondays 2014 – Opening Night Film | Fading Gigolo
The festival’s very first spring CineMondays season kicked off with the Philly premiere of writer/director/star John Turturro’s hilarious comedy, Fading Gigolo, co-starring Woody Allen, Vanessa Paradis, Liev Schreiber, Sharon Stone, and Sofía Vergara. The screening took place at the Prince Music Theater and concluded with a post-film reception at the Ritz Carlton.