About Us

Philosophically guided by the Jewish notion of tikkun olam (תִּיקּוּן עוֹלָם)—Hebrew for “repair of the world”—the Victoria International Jewish Film Festival (VIJFF) is a multicultural, non-religious program that builds connections among communities and cultures through cinema about Jewish and Jewish-adjacent themes and their intersections.

Films programmed by the VIJFF are curated by a committee representing a diversity of views on such Jewish and Jewish-adjacent themes as: inter-cultural outreach and community building; 2SLGBTQ+ identity and representation; human rights and immigrant and refugee issues; redressing colonialism; and the intersections of Judaism (orthodox, conservative, and reform) with other cultures and/or faiths.

Launched in 2015, the VIJFF is a project of the Jewish Community Centre of Victoria (JCCV), a charitable, non-religious organization, which since 1988 has been providing Jewish cultural and community programs in Victoria and across Vancouver Island..

Principles

Inter-Cultural Connections

To build connections among cultures and communities through the universality of cinema, by presenting films featuring Jewish and Jewish-adjacent themes that are less broadly available.

Diversity and its Intersections

To broaden awareness of cultural diversity and its intersections with Jewish culture, by programming films that transcend particular people, places, and politics by conveying universal themes, shared values, and common ground.

Cinema Aesthetics

To enhance an appreciation of film artistry and cinematic communication, by celebrating films, their creators, and their diversity of genres and viewpoints on complex subject matter.

People

Deborah Bricks

Co-Director (strategy, logistics, & marketing)

“Being part of the VIJFF combines my background in event management, with my passion for arts & culture, and my desire to share my Jewish heritage within the Jewish community and beyond.  This is my 6th year with the festival (2nd as co-director), and it has been incredibly fulfilling to help it evolve and grow.”

Farley Cates

Co-Director (film selection, programming, & outreach)

“I’m actively involved with arts and cultural communities in the greater Victoria area.  As a film buff with a background of involvement with film festivals in Winnipeg, the VIJFF has provided me with a wonderful outlet.  Reviewing and advising the selections of Jewish-themed films from around the world is a very culturally rewarding experience.”

Larry Gontovnick

“I’m involved with the VIJFF because it is an important community outreach project of the Jewish Community Centre of Victoria.  The VIJFF is a wonderful, highly anticipated event that brings Vancouver Island’s Jewish community together.  I also enjoy supporting the creativity and enthusiasm of the organizers and the volunteers.”

Sophie Groves

“I’m involved with the VIJFF, because I think the festival offers a fantastic opportunity to bring the community together, to celebrate storytelling, and to share art and culture. As an artist and an educator, I know that there is great power, and great joy in community and art. I look forward to finding even more ways to bring the two together at this year’s festival.”

Jan Nolan

“I’ve always loved watching films—being transported to another time or place; exploring someone else’s perspective.  The VIJFF enables us to bring Jewish experiences from around the world into our community.  The festival makes an important contribution to the cultural life of Victoria as a whole.”

April Nowell

“I’m Ashkenazi and originally from Montreal.   I’ve lived in Victoria for a long time but have only recently become more involved in the local Jewish community.  I love films and have always attended this festival whenever I could.  Being a part of the jury this year is both a privilege and a great joy!”

Andy Muchin

“I’m involved with the VIJFF to help to present an important aspect of Jewish culture – new movies from around the world – to the Greater Victoria Jewish community and beyond. I’m convinced that enjoying, learning from, and sharing Jewish culture benefits each of us and builds community.”

Praise

“The VIJFF has established itself as a must attend event among movie lovers; and we could not be prouder to sponsor a festival that celebrates Jewish filmmakers and promotes cross-cultural connections.”

~ Hal Decter & Audra Poole – VictoriaRealEstatePros.com

 
“We’ve been fans of the film festival since the beginning and always enjoy the diverse selection of films. It’s been a great way to connect with ideas of the wider Jewish world, and be part of an audience with fellow Jews, not a common experience in Victoria.”

~ Janna Ginsberg Bleviss

 
I am extremely grateful to the entire VIJFF team for the effort, expertise and discernment they bring to choosing and presenting the films we see at the VIJFF.  The Festival gives people of all stripes the opportunity to come together, and share in the richness and diversity of the Jewish culture and heritage.

~ Ruth Wicks

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