Austin Jewish Film Festival Announces 2019 Dates

Austin Jewish Film Festival Announces 2019 Dates

"The Keeper" - AJFF's opening night film at the Rollins Theater at the Long Center on November 2nd. Credit: Menemsha Films.

By Kristen O'Brien

The Austin Jewish Film Festival is kicking off its 17th year with a splash. Making a few extra waves this year, AJFF ramps up its marketing and messaging for the festival with an all-inclusive campaign, “For Jew and You Too.”

The festival, which runs from Nov. 2-8, opens with a party and film from director Marcus H. Rosenmüller at the prestigious Long Center Rollins Theater. “The Keeper” is based on the true story of Bert Trautmann, a German prisoner of war who played professional soccer for Manchester City, England, after the Second World War, from 1949 to 1964.

“This new campaign is purposefully designed to be fun and attention getting,” said David Finkel, festival co-director. “Our new marketing team has come up with a bold new look for the festival as well as engaging slogans that you’ll be seeing soon.”

With this new playfulness, AJFF has taken a significant step to raise awareness of the festival in Austin and beyond, and extend its reach to attract more people within and outside of the Jewish community, especially targeting a younger audience.

“We live in troubling times,” said Finkel. “Film is a great way to build bridges and start conversations. We aim to grow this festival to further our work of fostering connections between different people, thus increasing understanding and reducing hate. At the same time, cultural Judaism is perceived as "cool," so we’re working to enable more opportunities for younger people to engage with Jewish expression.”

The festival, started in 2002 by David Goldblatt, with Cindy Pinto coming on board soon after, was created to expand the Jewish conversation and make cross-cultural alliances throughout Austin. Both are now on the executive board and continue to support the festival, building bridges throughout the community with films that offer thoughtful engagement and entertainment for audiences of all ages.

The festival seeks to promote cultural understanding and tolerance while presenting the best Jewish films from the United States and around the world. Cynthia Winer and David Finkel, AJFF co-directors, work with numerous professionals in the community who donate their time and energy pro-bono.

“AJFF may be the only sizeable Jewish Film Festival in North America that is entirely run by a volunteer group,” said Winer. “We are so grateful to everyone who gives of their time to make this festival a reality.”

This year, AJFF is excited to bring a lineup of compelling foreign and independent films, as well as films from the United States, that will fascinate and inspire audiences. Engaging programs and speakers are planned for several of the films. The week-long festival starting Nov. 2 will showcase films at the Regal Arbor @ Great Hills following the opening night at the Long Center. Tickets and full details of all films and programs are available at austinjff.org.

For more information visit austinjff.org. To get involved with this year’s festival more directly, email info@austinjff.org. ■

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