One of the largest and most respected Jewish film festivals in North America, the Washington Jewish Film Festival (WJFF) is an international exhibition of cinema that celebrates the diversity of Jewish history, culture and experience through the moving image. In addition to the annual festival, the WJFF presents an ongoing, year-round film series.
Beginning in 2019, WJFF joined forces with the Washington Jewish Music Festival to form JxJ, a multidisciplinary Festival celebrating Jewish and Israeli arts. JxJ, through both the May festival and year-round programming, serves over 25,000 people through 180+ screenings, concerts and hybrid arts presentations. The film screenings are comprised almost entirely of regional, US and world premieres. Most screenings are followed by discussions with guest filmmakers and subject matter experts.
***The May 2021 version of the festival will be a hybrid physical-virtual Festival. Some screenings/programs will be presented as drive-ins and in other outdoor physical venues. At this time, we are unsure about whether physical indoor cinema performances will happen***
Last year's festival included panels, discussions and presentations with over 80 visiting artists and filmmakers from around the world.
Recent guests have included major US and international talents such as Eytan Fox, Roberta Grossman, Elliot Gould, Agnieszka Holland, Carol Kane, Barry Levinson, Marceline Loridan-Ivens, Natalie Portman, Eran Riklis, James Schamus, John Turturro, and Liv Ullman.
The WJFF is a non-competitive festival, but does give out three audience awards: Best Narrative, Best Documentary and Best Short Film.
MISSION: WJFF exclusively looks for films that explore an aspect of Jewish identity, history or culture.
PREMIERE REQUIREMENT: All films included in the WJFF must be at least Washington, DC premieres. Accepted films shall not be screened, released on DVD, streamed on the internet or broadcast on television in the Washington, DC-metropolitan area (Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland) prior to June 30, 2020.
COMPLETION DATE: Films must have been completed in 2018 or later (2019 or 2020).
SUBTITLES: All films should be fully subtitled in English (if the original language is not English).
FORMAT: Full-length (over 40min) films must be made available on DCP. Short films can be provided on DCP or via a pro-res file.
***Any exceptions to the qualifications above must be made and agreed upon in writing in advance by the JxJ Director.