JFilm Festival runs Apr. 28-May 8, premieres Tree of Life documentary


“To be an artist means never to avert one’s eyes.”
— Akira Kurosawa, filmmaker


FILMGOERS SEEKING eye-opening stories will find plenty to choose from in the 2022 JFilm Festival running April 28-May 8 at AMC Waterfront theater and streaming online.

Presented by Film Pittsburgh, the 29th annual JFilm Festival celebrates the diversity of the Jewish cultural experience with 18 films representing filmmakers from Israel, France, Belarus, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, United Kingdom and the U.S.

“This year’s lineup covers a range of genres,” says Film Pittsburgh’s executive director, Kathryn Spitz Cohan. “Some are light and fun, some are thought-provoking. And there are films like Patrice O’Neill’s Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Life that are riveting and deeply important, showing how our neighbors met fear with courage and confronted hate with love.”

“Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Life”; “Image of Victory”

Other history-based films include World War II-era Persian Lessons, Plan A and Valiant Hearts, Image of Victory drawn from Israel’s 1948 War of Independence and Three Minutes – A Lengthening, describing the hidden world revealed in an American tourist’s 1938 home movie of Jewish residents of the small Polish town of Nasielsk.

Fiddler’s Journey to the Big Screen is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Norman Jewison’s acclaimed cinematic reimagining of the Broadway hit, Fiddler on the Roof. The documentary is narrated by Pittsburgh’s own Jeff Goldblum and features rare on-location footage, newly discovered stills and surprising anecdotes from lead actor Topol, composer John Williams, production designer Robert F. Boyle and others.
“The Replacement; “Three Minutes – A Lengthening”
Other highlights:
  • Legendary actor Ed Asner starring in his final film, Tiger Within, the story of an unlikely friendship between an elderly Holocaust survivor and a racist, runaway teen.
  • Our (Almost Completely True) Story, a romantic comedy with Mariette Hartley, Bernie Koppell, Tess Harper, Morgan Fairchild, Peter MacNicol and Sam McMurray.
  • Pittsburgh-filmed Cha Cha Real Smooth starring Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann and Brad Garrett about a bar mitzvah party host who forms a strong bond with a mother and her autistic daughter.

The full schedule for 2022 JFilm Festival is here, program guide here.

“Tiger Within” starring Ed Asner and Margot Josefsohn