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.
The WJFF annually serves over 16,000 people through 80+ screenings, nearly all of which are regional, US or world premieres. Most screenings are followed by discussions with guest filmmakers and subject matter experts.
Last year's festival included panels, discussions and presentations with over 60 visiting filmmakers from around the world.
Recent guests have included major US and international talents such as Eytan Fox, Elliot Gould, Agnieszka Holland, Carol Kane, Logan Lerman, Marceline Loridan-Ivens, Eran Riklis, Natalie Portman, James Schamus, John Turturro, and Liv Ullman.
Awards & Prizes
The WJFF is a non-competitive festival, but does give out three audience awards: Best Narrative, Best Documentary and Best Short Film.
Additionally, the festival annually spotlights the career of an exceptional film artist through the WJFF Visionary Award, which recognizes creativity and insight in presenting the full diversity of the Jewish experience through moving image. The 2016 honoree was Armin Mueller-Stahl.
Rules & Terms
WJFF exclusively looks for films that explore some aspect of Jewish identity, history or culture.
All films included in the WJFF must be at least Washington, DC premieres. Accepted films shall not be screened, released on DVD, webcast on the Internet or broadcast on television in the Washington, DC-metropolitan area (Northern Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland) prior to June 30, 2017.
Films must have been completed no earlier than 2015.
Any exceptions to the qualifications above must be made and agreed upon in writing in advance by the WJFF director.
All films should be fully subtitled in English (if the original language is not English).