24th Toronto Jewish Film Festival announces
Canadian Archival series
to spotlight works from the first 12 years
of CBC Television (1952-1964)
Featuring Wayne and Shuster, Jack Kuper and Sylvia Lennick
TJFF runs May 5 to 15, 2016 – TJFF.com
All of the screenings that are part of this programme are free ticketed events.
Continuing to lead the discussion on Jewish identity in Canadian film and TV, the Toronto Jewish Film Festival (TJFF) is thrilled to announce that their 2016 Canadian Archival series will explore Jewish representation during the first dozen years of CBC Television (1952-64). This year’s series entitled Jewish Images from the Golden Age of Canadian Television will offer 8 rarely-screened shows. All of these screenings will be free to the public.
During an almost-forgotten era of inspired TV drama and comedy, expressions of Canada’s ethnic diversity began to appear in various TV dramas and comedies. Among these shows produced at the CBC, were stories of Jewish newcomers, their children, culture and history, brought to life by the many Jewish artists who worked at the CBC during this time.
Perhaps the most notable and beloved names to come from this era were legendary comedy duo Johnny Wayne andFrank Shuster. TJFF will offer a rare opportunity to enjoy the two as they were seen in the earliest days of Canadian TV, showing three episodes from Wayne & Shuster in Black & White, a retrospective series (hosted by Shuster) that includes their iconic Shakespearean Baseball sketch and “Rinse the Bloor off My Toga”, among other comedy classics.
Also part of the programme will be a 1965 episode of “Telescope”–a must for Wayne & Shuster fans– where the duo travels to both England and the Charlottetown Theatre Festival.
On the occasion of this tribute, TJFF is also presenting their delightful 1988 musical comedy Wayne and Shuster: Once Upon a Giant for kids, parents and grandparents all of all ages, at a sensory-sensitive family screening.
TJFF will also honour Canadian actor Sylvia Lennick–famous for her line “Julie, Don’t Go” in the famous Wayne & Shuster sketch–with a double-bill of two early performances. A rarely-screened episode of CBC’s early drama anthology series “On Camera”, Mama’s Sidewalk Café tells the story of a Jewish immigrant mother (played by Lennick) and includes sequences with the characters speaking Yiddish, making it a fascinating cultural document.
Produced as part of the anthology series “CBC Folio” for Passover 1959, and based on a story by Sholem Aleichem, The Littlest of Kings features Lennick as one of three widowed sisters, whose lives are changed by a young boy who comes to fill an empty place.
A selection of Canadian author/filmmaker Jack Kuper’s work from this time period will also be part of the 24th TJFF, including an exclusive look at an unaired production of Elie Wiesel’s novel Dawn, which Kuper adapted and produced in 1963 (his directorial audition for the CBC). Sun in My Eyes, Kuper’s adaptation of his autobiographical play, will also be shown. Directed by Harvey Hart and starring Al Waxman, this show is the first Canadian TV drama to address the persecution of the Jews by the Nazis.
Two other rarely screened works written by Kuper will also be part of the programme: A 1955 “On Camera” episode, On a Streetcar presents a touching portrait of the children of working-class Jewish immigrants and their struggles in the dating world, starring a young William Shatner as a bachelor strapped for cash. Directed by a young Paul Almond, Lost in a Crowd follows the relationship between a young man looking for love and his immigrant mother (played by the legendary Vivian Nathan).
The 24th Toronto Jewish Film Festival runs May 5 to 15, 2016 at various venues across the city.
ABOUT THE TORONTO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
The Toronto Jewish Film Festival presents the best feature films, documentaries and shorts from around the world, on themes of Jewish culture and identity. The Festival is dedicated to using film for its contemporary popular value and accessibility, in order to reflect the Jewish experience internationally. The TJFF provides an opportunity to heighten awareness of Jewish and cultural diversity, to audiences of all cultural backgrounds, and to present films in their original languages with subtitles, in an effort to break down racial, cultural and religious barriers and stereotypes.
Box office info.
Festival dates – May 5 to 15, 2016
Early Bird Flexible passes – available online only until April 15, 2016
Full Festival Film Schedule available –online at tjff.com as of April 18, 2016
TJFF Ticket Pricing:
$14.00 – Single Tickets
$9.00 – Matinee Screenings
$10 – Seniors/ Students
$18.00 Special Programmes
$20.00 – Opening Night
Main Number to Call is Festival Box Office:
ORDER TICKETS ONLINE FROM TJFF.COM beginning April 21