Jewish International Film Festival 2023: A World Of Stories From The Heart Of Jewish Culture


From tales of profound journeys, captivating real-life mysteries to the unsung champions of yesteryears, the Jewish International Film Festival (23 Oct – 6 Dec) graces Australian screens once again, presenting a curated collection of Jewish cinema’s most enchanting and illuminating tales from across the world.

Featuring 55 Australian premiere films from 19 countries, the Festival will deliver a vast program; presenting 30 feature films, 20 documentaries, two series, and six short films alongside a suite of live events to audiences in SydneyMelbournePerthBrisbaneCanberra, Hobart and Gold Coast.

“In a world where stories are our bridge to understanding, this year’s JIFF is a testament to the timeless resilience and adaptability of the Jewish spirit,” said Jewish International Film Festival Artistic Director, Eddie Tamir. “As we celebrate a remarkable line-up of films, from the deepest roots of Yiddish culture to Australian stories and tales that push boundaries, we’re honoured to curate this immersive journey, offering both a reflection on the past and a beacon for the future in the 2023 edition of JIFF.”


Launching JIFF 2023 is the Australian Premiere of Matchmaking, Israel’s biggest blockbuster of 2023. Journey with Moti Bernstein, an Ashkenazi ideal, who defies tradition for Nechama, a Mizrahi beauty. Directed by the mastermind behind Magic Men, this romantic comedy, brimming with heart and humour, won the Audience Award at the Miami Jewish Film Festival. Tickets include falafel, drinks, and live tunes, ensuring a night of cultural celebration.


JIFF 2023 invites audiences to plunge deep into the heart of Australian stories, rich in history and emotion. Revenge: Our Dad the Nazi Killer thrusts us into the post-WWII era, where three brothers uncover their father’s suspected revenge spree against Nazis. A tale that unwinds through Melbourne’s streets and buried wartime secrets.

The closing night film for JIFF is The Jewish Nazi? which follows the astounding journey of Alex Kurzem, who, following the brutal massacre of his Belarusian family, was forcibly made “Hitler’s youngest soldier” by a Latvian Nazi battalion. The film shadows Alex’s migration to Sydney, his life shadowed by secrets, until a DNA revelation that becomes a testament to the complexity of human identity.

In the visually evocative I’ll Be Frank, a young Jewish Australian named Aaron reconnects with his German roots. Animated fragments of his grandfather’s memories guide him through Nazi Germany, leading to a profound reckoning with the traumas woven into his family’s tapestry.


Weaving stories of resilience, identity, and humanity’s multi-faceted nature, the feature films in this year’s line-up provide a rich tapestry of narratives to explore.

In this year’s line-up, based-on-true-story feature films capture riveting tales from the past. Stella. A Life. offers a deep dive into the tumultuous and controversial life of Stella Goldschlag. Once a victim of Nazi persecution, Goldschlag was coerced into becoming a ‘Greifer’ for the Gestapo, hunting down Jews in hiding within Berlin.  The Engineer shadows Israel’s hunt for mastermind bomb maker, Yahya Ayyash, featuring Emile Hirsch. The Goldman Case which premiered at Cannes Directors Fortnight revisits activist Pierre Goldman’s divisive 1970s trial in France. Grounded in the harrowing realities of the 1942 Nazi occupation of Poland, Love Gets a Room chronicles the tumultuous journey of a Jewish stage actress torn between pursuing love and escaping the confines of the Warsaw ghetto. And, Tzadik celebrates Red Army officer Nikolai Kiselyov’s heroics, saving Jews from Nazi horrors in Belarus.

The dark corridors of history come alive with The Jew, as Mikhail Krasnitsky embarks on a vengeful spree against former death camp guards, offering a chilling look into post-war vengeance. In its bold focus on romantic pleasures and quality of life amid barbarity, Filip breaks every film cliché about the Nazi era and the Holocaust.

Filmed in Ukraine and presented in authentic Yiddish, SHTTL paints a vivid portrayal of a bustling Jewish village on the brink of Nazi invasion, capturing the intricacies of life in the face of impending doom. Set in after the six-day war in Israel, Victory is an original musical that whirls through the world of Neta Agmon, a rising actress who becomes blinded by fame, overlooking the psychological scars war has inflicted on her loved one.

In the vibrantly chaotic world of Hummus Full Trailer, Israeli misadventures spark when a shipment mishap draws a curious blend of personalities into a wild chase across the country. In a change of pace, Delegation, is an emotional journey where young Israeli students grapple with profound facets of their Jewish identity during a transformative trip to Holocaust sites in Poland.


From gripping historical events to intimate cultural explorations, the 2023 program contains documentaries that offer fresh insight into compelling stories and unique perspectives.

Munich ’72 and A Compassionate Spy both use dramatization and documentary footage to delve into the intricacies of history, exploring seminal events with renewed perspective. While Munich ’72 recounts the harrowing tale of the 1972 Munich Olympics terror attack, A Compassionate Spy gives a fresh viewpoint on the espionage activities of physicist Ted Hall during the atomic age, intertwining personal love and global stakes. A great companion piece for anyone who saw the 2023 blockbuster Oppenheimer.

Exodus 91 brilliantly narrates Operation Solomon’s daring rescue of Ethiopian Jews, posing challenging questions about homeland, identity, and altruism. In contrast, Holy Wine offers a candid look into Israel’s burgeoning wine industry, tracing its ancient roots and modern challenges, emphasizing the dichotomy between religious and secular worlds. Exploring photographer Roman Vishniac’s poignant pre-Holocaust documentation, Vishniac unveils the depth of a photographer who captured beauty amid brewing tragedy.


The Festival presents both bite-sized and binge-watch series opportunities, including Chanshi, the critically-acclaimed TV series that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and clinched Best Comedy and Best Performance awards at Seriesfest. It delves into the audacious journey of an American Jewish woman breaking boundaries by fleeing to Israel and stars screen legend Henry Wrinkler. Additionally, Pollard offers a riveting documentary insight into the life of Jonathan Pollard, the former US Navy Intelligence analyst who became a pivotal figure in US-Israel relations after his imprisonment for sharing classified documents with Israel during the ’80s.

JIFF will also screen the complete web series Less Than Kosher. Audience award winner at Toronto FF, the series is a delightful musical comedy about modern Jewish life in Toronto.


JIFF takes immense pride in unveiling the world premieres of shorts produced through the JIFF Short Film Fund, championing the exceptional talents of 2023 winners Carolyn Saul and Chris Bennett. Alongside their films, the short film line-up showcases four more other captivating stories from other accomplished Jewish filmmakers across Australia. Attendees will have the unique opportunity to experience these tales firsthand, introduced by the directors themselves.

JIFF 2023 promises not just cinematic marvels, but a plethora of immersive events to captivate and engage film aficionados. From the exuberance of the Opening Night festivities featuring Israel’s top-grossing film of the year to insightful post-film Q&As with esteemed filmmakers and panels with historians, the festival offers an array of enriching experiences. Whether it’s an in-cinema musical tribute or exploring the nuances of Jewish stories, JIFF ensures a holistic cinematic journey for attendees.

2023 Jewish International Film Festival Dates:

Classic Cinemas: 23 October – 29 November
Lido Cinemas: 24 October – 28 November

Ritz Cinemas: 24 October – 28 November
Roseville Cinemas: 2 November – 19 November

State Cinema: 2 November – 12 November

Luna Palace Cinemas: 16 November – 6 December

New Farm Cinemas: 16 November – 26 November

Dendy Cinemas: 15 November – 22 November

Dendy Cinemas Southport: 16 November – 22 November

Stay up to date with JIFF:

Press Release

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