TJFF, May 1 – 11, 2014 – the 22nd edition brings a world of great filmmaking to Toronto.

TJFF picA World Of Great Filmmaking Comes to Town

Toronto Jewish Film Festival – May 1 to 11, 2014

Prepare for world premieres, provocative sexual themes, comedy, classic horror, “lost” treasures, geopolitical issues and intensely personal storytelling. It’s all there in this year’s Toronto Jewish Film Festival – May 1 – 11, 2014 – an annual event which has reflected the world back to us in all its joy, anguish and glory for 22 years.

A pan-cultural showcase that examines Jewish identity around the world, this year TJFF features movies from 23 countries, including Argentina, France, China, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Philippines, Sweden, the U.K., U.S. and Venezuela. As well, it is among the world’s largest showcases of works from the flourishing Israeli film industry.

This year’s TJFF is a boon for eager film enthusiasts with 2 World Premieres, 4 International Premieres, 5 North American Premieres, 44 Canadian Premieres and 20 Toronto Premieres.

The Festival boasts an A-list array of features, from small to epic. Among them: a Special Presentation of The Pin, a haunting love story set in WWII Lithuania that is the first-ever Yiddish film produced in Canada; Argentina’s Academy Award submission The German Doctor (about a family’s relationship with a kindly doctor with a Nazi past), Anywhere Else (direct from its prize-winning debut at the Berlin Film Festival); the endearing comedy Hunting Elephants starring Patrick Stewart (in which a 12-year-old misfit plans a bank robbery with the residents of his grandfather’s seniors home), the acclaimed French-Israeli espionage thriller Kidon featuring a terrific ensemble cast that includes Tomer Sisley and Bar Refaeli; and the bittersweet comedy about family dysfunction, Marvin, Seth and Stanley starring Alex Karpovsky (HBO’s Girls).

TJFF’s documentary line-up is also impressive, with World Premieres of The Outrageous Sophie Tucker and A New Life On the Land (about the rich, overlooked history of Canadian Jewish farmers); plus Natan, the little-known story of Bernard Natan, an alleged pornographer who became the head of Europe’s most powerful studio Pathé-Natan in the 20s and 30s (the film was selected by Indiewire as one of the “10 Best Films” of the 2013 Edinburgh International Film Festival); the touching and hilarious Comedy Warriors: Healing Through Humour (about injured American war vets who channel their feelings into stand-up comedy, and are mentored by celebrated comedians, such as Zach Galifianakis and Lewis Black) and The Sarnos – A Life In Dirty Movies (about the adult filmmaker known as “the Ingmar Bergman of 42nd Street”).

The Toronto Premiere of The Length of the Alphabet, a touching portrait of acclaimed Jewish Iraqi-born Montreal author and Order of Canada recipient Naïm Kattan, will be part of a special spotlight honouring Canadian filmmaker Joe Balass. This retrospective will focus on his award-winning Iraqi-Jewish film trilogy, which also includes Nana, George & Me (a heartwarming, and sometimes shocking look at two Iraqi Jewish lives: one a traditionally raised woman, and the other a completely unconventional gay man), and Baghdad Twist (a powerful collage of archival images, home-movies and family photographs from Iraq that together form a complex portrait of a time and place that no longer exists).

Horror fans have a home at TJFF, as the Festival attempts to define the Jewish horror film, which proves to be an exciting new variation to the genre. Films include Roman Polanski’s The Fearless Vampire Killers (featuring Polanski’s ill-fated wife Sharon Tate), God Told Me To by master of 1970s American exploitation cinema, Larry Cohen (Q, It’s Alive); the 1960 TV production of The Dybbuk (directed by a young Sidney Lumet) and the Golem-themed X-Files episode, Kaddish. There will also be a free talk by author and professor Mikel Koven, who will explore Jewish representation in horror movies.

The always-fascinating Archival series includes the delightful 1938 Yiddish musical comedy Mamele starring Molly Picon (dubbed “the Queen of the Yiddish Musical”); the 1981 documentary I Remember Barbra (reminiscences from Brooklynites about the girl who would be Barbra Streisand); a rare screening of actor Al Waxman’s first directorial effort, the very charming Tviggy from 1969; and a free showing of Spadina, a documentary on the history of this Toronto thoroughfare and how the traditionally Jewish neighbourhood became Chinatown.  Produced in 1984, Spadina remains a well-made piece of filmmaking and historiography, and has since become an invaluable document. As well, in a tribute to the late Sid Caesar, there’s Ten From Your Show Of Shows (the 1973 compilation of the Caesar-hosted sketch comedy that launched the careers of Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Woody Allen), which will be introduced by David Margolick, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.

Finally, the voices of short-film directors ring loudly and provocatively with the programme Sex And Secrets. Also in the short film stream: From Russia With Falafel, showcasing the work of Russian-Israeli filmmakers.


Box office info.

Festival dates – May 1 -11

Early Bird Flexible passes – available online only until Friday, April 11

Full Festival Film Schedule available –online at as of Monday , April 14

TJFF Ticket Pricing:

$13.00 – Single Tickets

$8.00 – Matinee Screenings

$9 – Seniors/ Students

$8.00 – Horror/ Fantasy Series Films

$20.00 – Opening Night

Main Number to Call is Festival Box Office:



Advance Box Offices:


In Person –

Toronto Jewish Film Festival Box Office (basement level)* – April 17 –  April 30

19 Madison Ave.

Sunday – Friday 12pm – 6pm

*no wheelchair access – please call 416-324-9121 for assistance by phone


Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk – April 22 – May 1

5095 Yonge St. (North York Centre subway stn)

Monday to Sunday – 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm


Festival Box Offices:

Toronto Jewish Film Festival Box Office (basement level)*

19 Madison Ave.

Monday – Sunday 12pm – 6pm

*no wheelchair access – please call 416-324-9121 for assistance by phone


Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk* – 5095 Yonge St. (North York Centre subway stn)

Famous Players Canada Square Cinemas* – 2200 Yonge St.  (Eglinton subway stn)

Bloor Hot Docs Cinema* – 506 Bloor St  W. (Bathurst subway stn)

Koffler House, U of T*  – 569 Spadina Crescent.  (1 blk north of College or 2 ½ blks south of Harbord)

The ROM Eaton Theatre* – 100 Queen’s Park Circle (Museum subway stn)

*Opens 1 hour before 1st venue screening of the day and closes 30 minutes after last venue screening of the day.