The Toronto Jewish Film Foundation celebrates its 31st Festival with in-person and virtual screenings from June 1-11, 2023. Co-founded in 1993 by Artistic Director, Helen Zukerman, the TJFF was created to heighten awareness of Jewish cultural diversity in Toronto and around the world.  The Canadian Archival series shines a light on the rarely seen Jewish contributions to Canadian film and television. TJFF is presented by the Toronto Jewish Film Foundation, which runs programmes and events throughout the year. 

This year’s TJFF  program offers a diverse lineup, including new engaging Canadian films, dozens of moving international features, and stories from all over the world, from Uganda to Ukraine. There’s even a modern-day musical set in Toronto! 

This year, the festival will be screening 77 films from 20 countries, including 28 Canadian premieres both in person and online. Stories will be told from a small Jewish community in rural Uganda, to a Yiddish Ukrainian village on the border of poland – there’s even a musical-comedy set here in Toronto. Whether you’re looking for a moving documentary, an intense drama or a hilarious comedy, this year’s lineup has something for everyone.

In addition to regular screenings, there will also be several Q&As, tributes to the legendary Saul Rubinek and Paul Morrison, a FREE screening in the park with live karaoke and more. The Man in the Basement, which will open the Festival on June 1st, 2023 at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema with director Philippe Le Guay in attendance.

Be sure to check out the following queer-themed presentations.

The Festival will also offer several Free Events, including:

  • An Afternoon with Saul Rubinek, where the actor-writer-director will reflect on his career now spanning five decades, with clips highlighting his legacy in film and television.
  • TJFF Archival Series (available online Canada-wide), honouring the works of Oscar-nominated filmmaker Paul Morrison with the curated series Capturing the British Jewish Experience, and Canadian icon Saul Rubinek with rarities from the CBC archive.
  • Nina and Friends (available online Canada-wide), Puppeteer Nina Keogh (Today’s Special, Mr. Dressup) offers unique access to the history of children’s television and insight into the contributions of many other Jewish artists to the industry.
  • Outdoor Screening of Karaoke, Winner of the Jerusalem Film Festival Audience Award, and nominated for 14 Ophir Awards (Israeli Oscars) including Best Film.
  • OY Canada: A Short Film Programme, a collection of short films showcasing a mix of filmmaking styles, offers a window into the physical and mental spaces that help define today’s Canadian Jewish experience.

The full 2023 Festival lineup can be found hereTickets can be purchased online

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About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.