NORTH MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – The 25thand The annual Miami Jewish Film Festival, the largest Jewish film festival in the world, is back and following COVID protocols.
The North Beach Bandshell is one of seven outdoor amphitheaters featuring more than 100 films on the program for this year’s event. In addition, some films will be screened virtually, just like last year.
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However, the festival organizers are doing everything they can to bring people back to the big screens.
“Our top priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of all of our Miami Jewish Film Festival attendees,” said Igor Shteyrenberg, the festival’s executive director. “We serve over 50,000 moviegoers during our two week festival, and it’s of the utmost importance that we put people’s safety first and profit second.”
This means all safety protocols are in place with social distancing and capacity limits.
“It’s incredibly difficult. There are a lot of permits, complex conversations, and so many things that we had to go through just to be able to present an entire outdoor festival,” explained Shteyrenberg.
Thursday night’s world premiere is the made in South Florida heartwarming comedy “iMordecai” starring Emmy Award-winning actor Judd Hirsch in the title role.
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The film, shot before the pandemic, is about the family of a holocaust survivor who now lives in Aventura and tries to understand technology in the 21st century.
“When I read it, I realized, Oh, we’re not just going to where he came from and not what made him a survivor, but look at this, you’re going to start a whole new life there. age of 80. And he paints! I said if that’s not a filmable story, I don’t know what is,” Hirsch said.
Asked which TV series he’s probably most famous for, “Taxi,” the actor fondly recalled, “It was like yesterday, and it’s like 40 years ago,” Hirsch said. “I could tell you what it was like in any episode, any of the moments we had in Taxi.”
As for this festival, Hirsch and everyone involved agree, they are more than happy to show movies in person again.
“Well, I think that’s magic and maybe a good example of how to do it in another era,” Hirsch said. “We believe that the best possible experience people can have going to the cinema is to do so in person. There’s nothing quite like an in-person ensemble experience when people can truly experience the magic of new movies together,” Shteyrenberg said.
The Miami Jewish Film Festival runs until January 27.
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For more information: miamijewishfilmfestival.org