by Susan H. Barocas, Director of the Washington Jewish Film Festival
Most people don’t know this, but as one Washington Jewish Film Festival ends, preparation for the next is already happening with films in production being “tracked,” filmmakers submitting new work and lots of thinking about a place for some of the many good films we just couldn’t find room for in the Festival wrapping up. And now, unbelievably, last year’s “next” is almost “now”!
After watching someplace around 300 features, documentaries and shorts plus scouring the Jerusalem and Berlin film festivals – I know, tough job – the program is set, catalog out there in public, new website up and running AND tickets selling. It’s so exciting to see that after just three days, over 800 tickets have already been sold! In fact, Festival coordinator Josh Gardner commented today that checking the ticket sales numbers is like a new drug! He’s right. Watching the numbers, seeing what the favorites are during one of our many checks, guessing which film will sell out first…Okay, no betting money has changed hands yet, but we each have our favorites!
I do have to say that it’s so encouraging to know that the program is being received well. This year we are showing more films than ever before – 62 films from 20 countries including perennial favorite sources Israel, France, Germany, Argentina, the US, Switzerland, Canada…as well as some more unusual film sources such as Tunisia, Slovakia, Russia, Ireland, Denmark and Kazakhstan.
Check out our opening night film, A Matter of Size, Israel’s award-winning romantic comedy about four very overweight guys ditching their diets in favor of becoming of sumo wrestling stars. Just click below to see the film’s trailer. But keep in mind that this film on December 3 with a matinee on the 4th and the closing night film on December 13, The Gift to Stalin, are both selling very well. So take a look and then get busy and buy your tickets sooner than later by going to WJFF.ORG. Lots of info about the schedule, venues, all the films, guests, special receptions and parties plus links to buy tickets. You can even sign up online to VOLUNTEER for the Festival. Great fun, and that’s how I got started with the WJFF way back in 1994, but that’s another story….