If you asked for abundance for 2020, it has arrived in the form of a huge film festival. Let’s begin the decade with cinema and culture! Since The Golden Globe Awards were last night, we’re extra excited to explore films at one of Miami’s biggest annual cultural events. This month, the Miami Jewish Film Festival is the city’s cultural gem, it’s one of the three largest Jewish film festivals in the world and it takes place in our city from January 9th until the 23rd. Take a look at this year’s program and go to the movies!

There are 107 films; so check your calendar, get familiar with the events, watch the trailers and get tickets asap to not miss the chance to see international films in Miami. The lineup includes extraordinary films, directors will be in attendance, there will be live music and even free events. Decisive info to let your fam and friends know: the films will be shown in 14 locations, more than 100 films from 25 countries, featuring 6 World Premieres, 6 International Premieres, and 7 North American Premieres.

Free movies under the stars at Miami Beach SoundScape

As locals we like to take in as much culture as possible, so while in the same area, check out the films at O Cinema on South Beach and then go to SoundScape for MJFF’s Wallcast series.

Don’t miss the Miami premiere of Curtiz, directed by Támas Yvan Topolánszky. His feature film debut depicts the legendary Hungarian film director Michael Curtiz during the production of Casablanca. Watch Curtiz at 6pm at O Cinema on Sunday, January 13th and at 8pm enjoy Casablanca (1942) at SoundScape.


See the film nominated for The Golden Eye Award at the Cannes Film Festival, Forman v. Forman at 6pm on January 13th. The film captures the life of director Miloš Forman, some of his greatest films were: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Hair, and Amadeus. The documentary directed by Helena Trestíková and Jakub Hejna collects rare archival footage narrated by Miloš’ son, Petr Forman. Following this film, Amadeus will be shown at 8pm at Miami Beach SoundScape Park.

Live music to accompany films

Greater Miami Youth Symphony for Crescendo, the South Florida Jewish Chorale for The Conductor, cantorial music for the world premiere A People’s Soundtrack. A duet performance featuring Broadway’s most iconic songs for On Broadway, and Wagner, Hand & Pflug performing music by The Band for Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band.

Late Night Screenings

Venture out of your shtetl to see a late night screening at Coral Gables Art Cinema. Cabinet of Dr. Caligrai (1920) will be shown on January 11th at 11 pm. The centennial celebration of this film will be shown with a live music score by sound artist Richard Vergez. The 4K remastering of The Shining (1980) on January 18th at 11:30 pm to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s film.


Yiddish films

Free screenings for the 80th anniversary presentations of Her Second Mother (1940), Overture
to Glory
(1940), and Teyva (1939) will be shown at The Betsy Hotel South Beach.

New films

There’s a long list of new films to see. Some special screenings to check out: Director Barbara Bentree will show Dave Grusin: Not Enough. Israel’s official Academy Award entry for Best International Feature Film, Incitement will be shown with Director Yaron Zilberman in attendance. Director Dani Menkin will introduce his film Aulcie. Director Beth Elise Hawk will show her anticipated film Breaking Bread. Producer Cheri Gaulke will present Dancing Dogs of Dombrova, Producer Krzysztof Terej will be at the screening of The Coldest Game.


Most of the films at the festival won’t be shown in theaters near you during regularly scheduled programming, so don’t pass up on the rare opportunity to see the unique selections at MJFF: Pavel Lungin’s Esau with Harvey Keitel and Lior Ashkenazi, Albert Dabah’s Extra Innings, Dalit Kimor’s Mrs. G., My Name is Sara directed by Steven Oritt, My Polish Honeymoon by Élise Otzenberger, Ruth: Justice Ginsburg in Her Own Words by Freida Lee Mock, The Booksellers by D.W. Yound, Adriana Lopez Sanfeliu’s Elliott Erwitt, Silence Sounds Good and so many more!

Films presented at MJFF embrace humanistic qualities of respect, integrity, and compassion: the joys and laughter of life, deep pain such as grief, the ups and downs of family, and love. MJFF exists to show how important telling stories is and how necessary it is for everyone to see them. Take advantage of the films that are part of MJFF’s 23rd program and don’t kvetch that there’s nothing to do in Miami!

Make sure to get your tickets, your beshert’s and bubbe’s too. MJFF offers $15 single tickets and Festival badges.

Cover photo by Empire.