The festival was started in 1998 and has been held every two years at the Danish Film Institute Cinemateque in Copenhagen. In its early days, the festival started out in a small room, packed with Jewish community members and films were screened from an old projector, onto a sheet hung from the roof. Today the festival audience is made up of all manner of people from Copenhagen and abroad and the festival itself is embraced in much more positive ways than it may have been in the past.
“We have allowed ourselves to invite each other and our fellow citizens to the world of Jewish film” says Festival Leader Anne Boukris. “Here we cook up a Jewish chicken-soup of trends and topical events, inviting guests from near and far. The best thing about it all is that we are here to stay, and that we are seen with positive and appreciative eyes.”
The festival runs for 4 days, with all of the films referencing the Jewish/Israeli experience as their foundation. Films included in the programme serve to explain, illuminate and celebrate Jewish culture and open conversations that explore the complex history of the Jewish people.
“In our film program, we celebrate the imperfect, the mistaken, the crooked, the unique, and we honour leadership. We show the depths of our consciousness, we invite the audience to come under the skin of the creators and stories of the movies. We celebrate the disagreement, desperation, frustration, hope, HATIKVA, the trauma, survival, happiness, love and the future,” says Festival Leader Anne Boukris.
The Copenhagen Jewish Film Festival runs from Thursday 15th February until Sunday 25th February 2018, at the Danish Film Institute Cinemateque in Copenhagen. The full programme can be found here online (only in Danish). For more information about the festival in English, visit the festival's Instagram and Facebook pages.
"Culture includes not only culture and arts, but also the way of life and system of values. In this sense culture becomes the major power for intellectual renewal and human perfection." (European Council Report on European Cultural Policy)