The 7th annual Victoria International Jewish Film Festival (VIJFF) begins its 2021 programming with a Feel-Good Film Festival, which will run June 6-10 and will be available via the VIJFF’s virtual cinema. In addition to presenting two feature-length comedies and a heartwarming documentary, the Feel-Good Film Festival will also feature specially-curated live-streamed stand-up comedy on its opening night.“As this past year has been challenging, the VIJFF has programmed a shared experience around the cathartic benefits of comedy and the connections among cultures and communities.” said Deborah Bricks, VIJFF co-director. “Complementing a more expansive main festival in the Fall, which will present seven narratives and documentaries, with a Feel-Good Film Festival now felt like thing to do—especially for the shared experience to go beyond the screen to envelop the live interactions of stand-up comedy, special snack boxes (nosh boxes) crafted by Spinnakers, and a support local initiative that encourages purchasing from favourite local shops.”
The festival will open at 7:30pm on June 6th with live-streamed comedy hosted by National Public Radio’s (NPR) Ophira Eisenberg. Ophira is a Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based comic who hosts NPR’s Ask Me Another show, which regularly engages and interviews celebrity guests. The comedy night will also feature: The El-Salomons, a Jewish-Palestinian married lesbian comedy couple, whose comedy addresses multiple contemporary themes; Jon Fisch, a New York City-based comedian, who has appeared on both The Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert; and Shawn Pelofsky, whose comedy often riffs on having been one of only ten Jews in her hometown in Oklahoma.
The films can be streamed from 8:30pm on June 6th to 8:30pm on June 10th. They include: Kiss Me Kosher, an energetic German/Israeli romantic comedy touching on contemporary issues in Israeli society, leaving us with plenty to ponder and lots of laughter; Mish Mish, an illuminating documentary of family secrets within the untold history of the Frenkel brothers, pioneers of extraordinary Egyptian animation reminiscent of the early works of Walt Disney; and A Matter of Size, a warm-hearted Israeli romantic comedy that deals with body image. Tickets are by donation. For information visit vijff.ca.
Guided by the notion of tikkun olam (Hebrew for “repair of the world”), the VIJFF is a multicultural, non-religious program of the Jewish Community Centre of Victoria (JCCV) that builds capacity and connections among communities through cinema about Jewish and Jewish-adjacent themes and their intersections.