Indianapolis Jewish & Israeli Film Festival

Sun.-Thurs., Aug. 25-29, 2019

Presented by            

The Indianapolis Jewish and Israeli Film Festival showcases the diversity that exists within Jewish and Israeli films, entertains, educates, and shines a spotlight on Israel’s thriving film industry. Audiences are sure to enjoy this varied selection of culturally significant films that are inspirational, educational, exciting, and engaging.

Tickets: $10 per film, $15 for a double feature two-film day pass (Sun., Tues., and Wed.), $60 for a Festival Pass good for all eight films + two shorts!

Dinner from the J Café also available for pre-purchase Mon.-Thurs.

• Sunday (Aug. 25): Opening reception featuring Greek-style hors d'oeuvres between film screenings
• Monday (Aug. 26): Hear ALS survivor Jenni Berebitsky and her mother Joyce speak after the screening of Grateful: The Jenni Berebitsky Story.
• Thursday (Aug. 29): Take a tour of the Hasten Hebrew Academy's newly renovated Holocaust Museum (reserve your spot when you buy your tickets). Closing dessert reception featuring Audience Choice Award winner announcement.

Sun., Aug. 25

The Athenaeum (401 E. Michigan St., Indianapolis) 

Come downtown and enjoy two great films on the festival’s opening night! The Athenaeum is just off Mass Ave – there’s no better place in Indy to spend a beautiful summer Sunday night.

5:30 pm - Magic Men


Sponsored by  (John and Diane Abrams)

Israel, 2014; dramedy; Hebrew (with English subtitles); 100 minutes
Directors: Guy Nattiv, Erez Tadmor | Production Company: Pie Films


From Oscar-winning filmmaker Guy Nattiv, this is the story of a 78-year-old Greek man and his Hasidic rapper son, who have been estranged for many years. They embark together on a road trip from Israel to Greece, searching for an old magician who saved the father's life during World War II.

SIGNIS Jury Award, Religion Today Film Festival (2014)
Audience Award, Maui International Film Festival (2014)
Best Audience-Voted Feature, Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema (2014)
Best Actor - Makram Khouri, Israeli Academy Awards (2013)

Enjoy hors d'oeuvres featuring Greek flavors between films!

8 pm - The Sign For Love


Presented in partnership with 

Israel, 2017; documentary; Hebrew (with English subtitles); 75 minutes
Directors: Elad Cohen, Iris Ben Moshe | Producer: Nati Adler


Ever since El-Ad’s mother told him “Raising you is like raising three kids,” he felt guilty for being deaf. Growing up gay only exacerbated his feelings of loneliness. But eventually, El-Ad started a family of his own through a shared parenting arrangement with his friend Yaeli, who’s also deaf. This film is his first-person account of the life he created for himself, and his attempt to show viewers his version of family and parenthood.

Audience Choice Lolly Award for Best Feature, XPOSED International Queer Film Festival (2019)
Best Documentary Film, Side by Side Film Festival (2018)
Audience Award, Docaviv Film Festival (2017)

Mon., Aug. 26

HHAI Cultural Arts Center (6602 Hoover Rd., Indianapolis)  

Dinner from the J Café may be pre-purchased on this page! Pick up on-site and enjoy in the atrium beginning at 5 pm.

6 pm - Grateful: The Jenni Berebitsky Story


Short film included with your ticket!

USA, 2018; documentary; English; 17 minutes
Director: Paul Nethercott | Producer: Amy Pauszek


At age 33, Indianapolis Jewish community member Jenni Berebitsky had been married for 2 ½ years, had a 15-month-old son, and was just finishing her residency as a naturopathic physician when she was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Best of Festival, Docs Without Borders Film Festival (2019)
Audience Award, Indy Film Fest (2019)
Audience Choice, Best Documentary Short; Sedona International Film Festival (2019)
Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ “All My Relations” Inclusion in Film Award
, Central States Indie FanFilmFest (2019)
Audience Choice, Indy Shorts International Film Festival (2018)
Best Documentary, Circle City Film Festival (2018)
Award of Merit, Special Mention; Accolade Global Film Competition


Don’t miss this chance to hear Jenni/her mother Joyce/film producer Amy Pauszek/director Paul Nethercott speak!


Gloomy Sunday

Presented in partnership with 

Germany/Hungary, 1999; drama; 112 minutes
Director: Rolf Schübel | Production Company: Studio Hamburg Filmproduktion

NOTE: This film is not suitable for children due to sexual content

A 20th anniversary screening of this classic film. Set in Hungary during World War II, the film follows Ilona and the three men who fall in love with her: Laszlo, a Jewish restaurant owner; Andras, a pianist who was inspired to write the song “Gloomy Sunday”; and Hans, a German businessman.

Audience Award, Coachella Vally Festival of Festivals (2001)
Best Direction, Best Cinematography, Bavarian Film Awards (2000)
Best Screenplay, German Film Awards (2000)
Golden Lady Harimaguada, Las Palmas Film Festival (2000)
Guild Film Award - Gold, Guild of German Art House Cinemas (2000)
OCIC Award - Honorable Mention, Mar del Plata Film Festival (1999)

While this video does not have English subtitles, the film itself will.

Tues., Aug. 27

HHAI Cultural Arts Center (6602 Hoover Rd., Indianapolis)  

5:30 pm - Shoelaces

Israel, 2018; drama; Hebrew (with English subtitles); 90 minutes
Directors: Jacob Goldwasser | Production Company: Transfax Film Productions


This film tells the story of a complicated relationship between an aging father, Reuben, and his son with special needs, Gadi, whom he abandoned while he was still a young boy.

Audience Favorite, Baltimore Jewish Film Festival (2019)
Best Feature Narrative, Cherry Hill Volvo Cars Jewish Film Festival at the Katz JCC (2019)
Audience Award, Seattle Jewish Film Festival (2019)
Best Feature Film, Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival (2019)
Audience Award, Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (2019)
Audience Award, Boston Israeli Film Festival (2019)
Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film, Israel FIlm Festival in Los Angeles (2018)
Best Supporting Actor (Dov Glickman), Ophir Awards (Israel's Academy Awards) (2018)


Dinner from the J Café may be pre-purchased on this page! Pick up on-site and enjoy in the atrium between films.

7:45 pm - Rescue Bus 300

Israel, 2018; docu-drama; Hebrew and Arabic (with English subtitles); 75 minutes
Director: Rotem Shamir | Production Companies: DNA Productions, LightStream Israel


This intense film is based on the 1984 hijacking of bus line 300, while on its way from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon. When terrorists boarded this nighttime bus, 41 innocent passengers and a bus driver were thrust into a nightmarish ride.

Wed., Aug. 28

HHAI Cultural Arts Center (6602 Hoover Rd., Indianapolis)  

5:30 pm - The Unorthodox


Israel, 2018; drama; Hebrew (with English subtitles); 99 minutes
Director: Eliran Malka | Producers: Idit Paran, Rachel Paran, Ra'anan Gershoni


When Yakov Cohen’s daughter is expelled from school for ethnic reasons, he decides to fight back. Little did he know he would end up creating a movement for Israel's disenfranchised Sephardic community, founding the Shas political party, and reshaping Israeli society.

Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Photography; Montreal Israeli Film Festival (2019)

Dinner from the J Café may be pre-purchased on this page! Pick up on-site and enjoy in the atrium between films.

8 pm - Muhi: Generally Temporary


Israel/Germany, 2017; documentary; Hebrew (with English subtitles); 86 minutes
Directors: Rina Castelnuovo, Tamir Elterman | Production Companies: Medalia Productions, Neue Celluloid Fabrik


Muhi, a spirited boy from Gaza, has been living in an Israeli hospital for seven years. Caught between two homes and two peoples, he is unable to return to Gaza. But his time at the hospital is running out, and Muhi now faces the most critical choices of his life.

SILVER NANOOK (Discovery of New Subjects & New Heroes), Flahertiana International Documentary Film Festival (2018)
AMNESTY International Award - Special Mention, Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival (2018)
Mayor of Tel Aviv-Jaffa Award for Best Debut Film, Docaviv Film Festival (2017)
GOLDEN DOVE AWARD for Best Long Documentary, DOK Leipzig (2017)
Audience Choice Award, UK Jewish Film Festival (2017)
Golden Kapok Awards for Best Documentary Feature and Director; Guangzhou Documentary Film Festival (2017)
Best Documentary of 2017, Israeli TV Channel 10 (2017)


Thurs., Aug. 29

HHAI Cultural Arts Center (6602 Hoover Rd., Indianapolis)  

Dinner from the J Café may be pre-purchased on this page! Pick up on-site and enjoy in the atrium beginning at 5 pm.

Before or after the film screenings (at 5 pm or 8:30 pm), take a tour of the Hasten Hebrew Academy's newly renovated Holocaust Museum! Maximum 25 people per tour. Reserve your spot when you buy your tickets.

6 pm - Dear God


Short film included with your ticket!

Israel, 2014; drama; Hebrew (with English subtitles); 13 minutes
Directors: Guy Nattiv, Erez Tadmor | Producers: Amitan Manelzon, Shemi Shoenfeld


One day, a beautiful, mysterious woman puts a note between the holy stones of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Aaron, a guard, decides to fulfill her deepest wish. From Oscar-winning filmmaker Guy Nattiv.

Best Short Audience Favorite Award, Cherry Hill Jewish Film Festival (2016)
Best Film in "Movieland" programme, Asterfest Film Festival (2016)
Award of Excellence and Best Editing Award, Bangalore Shorts Film Festival (2015)

The Invisibles

Germany, 2017; drama; German (with English subtitles); 110 minutes
Director: Claus Räfle | Producers: Frank Evers, Claus R
äfle, Jörg Schulze

In June 1943, Germany declared Berlin “judenfrei”—“free of Jews.” But at that moment there were still 7,000 Jews living in the Nazi capital: hiding in attics, basements, and warehouses, protected by courageous Berliners while desperately trying to avoid deportation. Only 1,700 lived to liberation. The Invisibles tells the stories of four survivors, interweaving their testimony with dramatizations of their years spent underground.

Audience Favorite - Silver Award, Mill Valley Film Festival (2017)

Enjoy a dessert reception after the film to close out the festival, where the Audience Choice Award winner will be announced!

Dinner from the J Café will be available FOR PRE-PURCHASE ONLY to be enjoyed in the HHAI Cultural Arts Center atrium Mon.-Thurs. Scroll down to purchase alongside your tickets!

Sponsors and Support 

(as of July 29, 2019)