Saturday, Nov. 2

7pm – Golda’s Balcony, The Film | USA
followed by the opening night reception at the Union Club

Tovah Feldshuh portrays the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and 44 other characters, including David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan, in the film version of William Gibson’s critically acclaimed one-woman bio-drama. An audience Q & A follows with David Fishelson, producer of both the film and the play on which it’s based.

Film-goers can celebrate the Victoria International Jewish Film Festival’s fifth anniversary at the opening night reception featuring nibbles, bubbly and music.

Sunday, Nov. 3

1:30pm – Autonomies, The Feature | Israel
Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to binge-watch the hit Israeli dystopian television drama, written and directed by the creators of Shtisel, Autonomies – with an intermission. The plot revolves around a Haredi small-time smuggler who kidnaps a little girl at the heart of a custody battle between two families – one Haredi and one secular.

6:30pm – Kosher Beach | Israel
followed by the short film How to Swim
“The Kosher Beach” is a gated strip of sand along Tel Aviv’s seashore with dedicated days for Orthodox women and men to swim separately. When the rabbis close the beach to women, the female beach-goers face a dilemma: obey authority or continue their therapeutic beach days?

8:30pm – Flawless | Israel
Three unpopular Jerusalem high school girls travel to Kiev for plastic surgery, hoping the results will attract their dream dates for the prom. The quirky drama is the first Israeli film in which a transgender woman, Stav Strashko, was nominated for Best Actress at the Ophir Awards, Israel’s equivalent of the Oscars. Flawless won four Ophirs.

Monday, Nov. 4

4:00pm – Walter Arlen’s First Century | Austria
Austrian exile composer Walter Arlen’s near-century on earth comes to life via his music and recollections in this wide-ranging documentary. This composer, who was ignored for four decades, has become celebrated, especially in Vienna, where he’s one of the major figures in the Exile Art project and museum.

6:30 pm – Fig Tree |Israel
The family of Mina, a 16-year-old Ethiopian Jewish family is desperately planning to escape the violence of Ethiopia’s civil war by immigrating to Israel. Aalam-Warqe Davidian’s coming-of-age debut film, a gripping drama, is based on her frightening childhood memories of war-torn Ethiopia.

8:30pm – Born In Jerusalem and Still Alive | Israel
When he isn’t taking care of his elderly father, Jerusalem native Ronen Matalon offers free guided tours of infamous terror attack sites in the city. On one tour he meets Asia Mulan. Struck by her thirst for life, Ronen falls in love with her, and for the first time confronts the conflicting forces of life and death.

Tuesday, Nov. 5

4:00pm – Why Am I Here? | Canada
followed by Q & A with Julius Maslovat and Helga Thorson
Longtime Victoria resident Julius Maslovat grew up knowing he was a child survivor of the Holocaust, but he had few answers for how and why he lived. In this locally produced film, which is premiering at the VIJFF, Maslovat describes the chance discoveries and dogged research that allowed him to piece together his remarkable history. 

6:30pm – Red Fields | Israel
Mami is a young woman from a southern Israel town who works as a gas station cashier.  After her husband, Nissim, is severely injured in the war, the couple goes to Tel Aviv, where they face a series of surreal events in this commentary on Israeli politics and militarization.  The film features music arranged and sung by Israeli rock star Dudu Tassa.

8:30pm – Love In Suspenders | Israel
When absent-minded Israeli widow Tami accidentally hits 70-year-old widower Beno with her car, the last thing on her mind is romance. But circumstances bring the lonely elders together.  Will their budding relationship survive their own preconceptions and children’s scrutiny? 

*These titles are subject to change due to occasional last-minute unavailability.