Houston Jewish Film Festival Celebrates a Decade

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Posted by: Diane Lee, HJFF Committee Chairwoman

Houston Jewish Film Festival
This year's Houston Jewish Film Festival  kicked off on Saturday, March 8 complete with a red carpet, popcorn, champagne and a toast to the previous chairs of the festival, and is celebrating its 10 year anniversary.  This year’s festival features 28 films shown over 16 days. 

The Houston Jewish Film Festival opened to a sell out audience. The Festival opened with Bethlehem, a powerful story about an Israeli secret service agent and his Palestinian teenage informant.  The film opened in Los Angeles and New York last week. However, the Houston Jewish Film Festival provided the only currently scheduled showing of the film.  

One of the festival’s co-founders Doreen Joffe described the festival as “a place to bring to our community a gem of a movie that we might not have the opportunity to otherwise see.” The festival provides Houstonians an opportunity they might not otherwise have to see a film such as Bethlehem.  Doreen and her good friend Sharon Kagan had a vision to enhance the Houston Jewish community’s cultural offerings. They founded the festival and have worked passionately each year to give our community a tremendous event. In honor of Sharon and Doreen, we will screen Gloomy Sunday, their favorite film from the past decade of Houston Jewish Film Festivals, on Wednesday, March 12. This is the extraordinary drama set in 1930’s Budapest about a love triangle juxtaposed with the onslaught of WWII. 

Because of Sharon and Doreen’s inspiration, the festival has screened 176 films to a total audience of over 24,000 people.  With your support, we are hoping bring the total to 28,000 over the next two weeks.

Upcoming film screening highlights that you won't want to miss:

The Real Inglorious Bastards

A documentary that tells the true account behind Quentin Tarantino’s mega-hit.
Tuesday, March 11, 5:00 PM with a repeat screening Friday, March 21, 1:00 PM
Both screenings at ERJCC

Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did for Love

A documentary celebrating this musical legend.
Thursday, March 13, 1:00 PM with a repeat screening Saturday, March 15, 6:00 PM
Both screenings at MFAH

Hunting Elephants

Comedy about 12 year-old Yonatan who teams up with his grandfather and friends to rob a bank, seeking revenge for his father’s death.
Thursday, March 13, 5:00 PM with a repeat screening Saturday, March 22, 6:00 PM
Both screening at ERJCC


A drama based on true events of Walter Suskind who saved almost a 1,000 Jewish children during World War II.
Sunday, March 16, 5:30 PM with a repeat screening Sunday, March 16, 8:00 PM
Both screenings at Holocaust Museum Houston

We hope to see you at some of the upcoming films. For the complete line-up and ticket info visit


Photo: Film Committee Past Chairwomen (From L to R): Barbara Bronstein, Sue Goott, Doreen Joffe, Diane Lee, Irene Weingarten, Susan Schneider, Mignon Wolf. Not pictured: Sharon Kagan

Category: Arts and Culture