Virginia Festival of Jewish Film

by | Dec 24, 2018 | Featured

Presented by Alma & Howard Laderberg and Patricia & Avraham Ashkenazi

January 21 – January 30

As one of the longest-running Jewish film festivals in the nation, the mission of the 26th Annual Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma & Howard Laderberg and Patricia & Avraham Ashkenazi, is to educate and engage diverse Tidewater communities, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, by presenting world-class film premieres, repertory cinema, and associated programs that are inspired by Jewish history, heritage, and values.

An Act of Defiance

Free with RSVP required
Monday, January 21, 6 pm

TCC Roper Performing Arts Center
340 Granby Street, Norfolk

Director: Jean van de Velde; Netherlands; 123 min. English, Afrikaans

In this riveting historical drama, 10 political activists—including Nelson Mandela and his inner circle of Black and Jewish supporters—face looming death sentences after they are caught up in a raid by the apartheid South African government. Bram Fischer, a sympathetic lawyer, risks his career and freedom to defend these men.

Director Jean van de Velde (The Silent Army) skillfully balances a nail-biting political thriller with spectacular courtroom intrigue, while paying tribute to the legendary figures who bravely fought segregation and corruption in South Africa.

Film followed by panel discussion. In partnership with United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Community Relations Council and Hands United Building Bridges (HUBB).


When Heroes Fly (Episodes 1 & 2)

Thursday January 24, 7:15 pm
Tickets: $10. Limited seating available, pre-purchase strongly suggested.

Cinema Café Kemps River
1220 Fordham Drive, Virginia Beach

Director: Omri Givon; Israel; 45 min each. Hebrew with English Subtitles

Viewed as the go-to nation for original drama, from Homeland and Fauda to False Flag and The A Word, Israeli exports are being snapped up around the globe and fast becoming a staple of millions’ television-watching preferences. The latest new hit series out of Israel is proving to be no exception.

The Israeli television series When Heroes Fly will be available on Netflix in early 2019 and has already received global praise and awards, including recognition as best series at the first

CanneSeries Festival, a competition aimed at highlighting international television shows, before even hitting the airwaves in Israel in May 2018.

Inspired in part by a book of the same name by the late Amir Gutfrend, When Heroes Fly follows four friends and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) veterans of a special commando unit who survived the Second Lebanon War with both physical and psychological scars. Eleven years later, the friends reluctantly reunite to track down Yaeli—the sister of one and the ex-girlfriend of another—who they all believed was killed in an accident in Colombia years before.

Don’t worry. A second season following the first 10 episodes has already been confirmed.

Free for military with RSVP required by January 17.


The BIG Saturday Night Celebration of Jewish Film and Champagne Reception

Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel

Saturday, January 26, 7:15 pm
Tickets: $35 includes BIG Saturday Night Celebration of Jewish Film and champagne reception; Under 21: $18

Sandler Center for the Performing Arts
201 Market Street, Virginia Beach

Directors Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, Jeremy Newberger; 91 mins.USA, Israel, Japan, South Korea; English

A new chapter in the enduring love story of Jews and baseball, Heading Home is the stirring underdog chronicle of the unexpected triumph of Israel’s national baseball team at the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Absolutely no one was betting on Team Israel, but that was before they beat Cuba, South Korea, Taiwan, and the Netherlands. Team Israel’s scrappy line-up included several Jewish MLB players—including former Red Sox catcher Ryan Lavarnway, former New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis, and former pitcher for the Houston Astros Josh Zeid—who found themselves exploring their Jewish identity for the first time while representing Israel on the world stage. A home run for audiences of all ages.

Featuring special guests Ty Kelly, Team Israel and New York Mets player and Seth Kramer director. In partnership with BBYO and Hillel.


The Samuel Project

Sunday January 27, 2 pm
Tickets: $10

TCC Roper Performing Arts Center
340 Granby Street, Norfolk

Director: Marc Fusco; USA; 92 min. USA; English

A film for both parents and grandparents to share with their children, The Samuel Project stars Hal Linden of Barney Miller fame as Samuel, a grandfather reconnecting with his grandson when he is made the subject of a high school project. Eli (Ryan Ochoa from ICarly) discovers that his grandpa, a Jewish dry cleaner, was heroically saved from Nazi capture in Germany. After some hesitation, Samuel agrees to tell his story for the project—a story he hasn’t told in more than 75 years.

Featuring special guests Hal Linden and Ryan Ochoa. In partnership with United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Holocaust Commission.


Mal Vincent’s Pick

Cast a Giant Shadow

Monday, January 28, 7:15 pm
Tickets: $10

Naro Expanded Cinema, 507 Colley Avenue, Norfolk

Director: Melville Shavelson; 146 min. USA; English

A cast led by Kirk Douglas and Angie Dickinson with cameos by Frank Sinatra and John Wayne, Cast a Giant Shadow is a Hollywood account of American army expert David ‘Mickey Stone’ Marcus’s role in helping the fledgling Israeli Defense forces in 1948.

Douglas stars as American Army officer Mickey Marcus, who finds love, but tragically never learns Hebrew while organizing the young Israel Defense Forces into a military that can defend and supply a foothold in Jerusalem.

Join famed Virginian-Pilot film critic, Mal Vincent, for his 10th annual Hollywood tell all!


Budapest Noir

Wednesday, January 30, 7:15 pm
Tickets: $10. Includes adult content. Limited seating available, pre-purchase strongly suggested

Beach Cinema Alehouse
941 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach

Director: Éva Gárdos; 95 min. Hungary; Hungarian with English subtitles

A hard-boiled reporter investigates the brutal murder of an escort, leading him into the dark underworld of 1930s pre-Nazi Hungary, in the stylish thriller Budapest Noir. When a young Jewish woman is found beaten to death, no one is interested in solving the bizarre crime, except the cynical, but doggedly inquisitive Zsigmond Gordon (Krisztián Kolovratnik), who feels things are not what they seem. The murky clues eventually lead to a shadowy world of pornographers, brothels, crime syndicates, communist cells, and the highest echelons of power, just as Hungary’s fascist-leaning government prepares to align with Hitler. The more people try to scare him away, the more determined Gordon is to discover the truth. A politically-charged tale of corruption and betrayal, this richly atmospheric murder mystery keeps rapt audiences guessing until its surprising climax


Film Festival Ticket Pricing

Full Festival Pass $70 | The BIG Saturday Night Film & Celebration: $35 Under 21: $18 | Individual Film Ticket: $10

Special group pricing available, contact Callah Terkeltaub at

For tickets or more information: 757-321-2338 or

Kids Night Out Babysitting at the Simon Family JCC available for the BIG Saturday Night Celebration of Jewish Film and champagne reception

(Registration required at the JCC Front Desk, limited availability, first come, first served)