Kiss Me Kosher

Bring On the Laughter

Victoria International Jewish Film Festival plans feel-good event

The seventh annual Victoria International Jewish Film Festival (VIJFF) begins its 2021 programming with the Feel-Good Film Festival, which will run June 6 to 10 and will be available via the VIJFF’s virtual cinema (www.vijff.ca).

In addition to presenting two feature-length comedies and a heartwarming documentary, the Feel-Good Film Festival will also feature specially-curated live-streamed stand-up comedy on its opening night.

“As this past year has been challenging, the VIJFF has programmed a shared experience around the cathartic benefits of comedy and the connections among cultures and communities,” said Deborah Bricks, VIJFF co-director. “Complementing a more expansive main festival in the fFall with a Feel-Good Film Festival now felt like thing to do—especially for the shared experience to go beyond the movie screen to envelop the live interactions of stand-up comedy, special snack boxes (nosh boxes) crafted by Spinnakers, and a ‘support local’ initiative that encourages purchasing from favourite local shops.”

The festival will open at 7:30 pm on June 6 with live-streamed comedy hosted by National Public Radio’s (NPR) Ophira Eisenberg. Ophira is a Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based comic who hosts NPR’s Ask Me Another show, which regularly engages and interviews celebrity guests.

The comedy night will also feature: The El-Salomons, a Jewish-Palestinian married lesbian comedy couple, whose comedy addresses multiple contemporary themes; Jon Fisch, a New York City-based comedian, who has appeared on both The Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert; and Shawn Pelofsky, whose comedy often riffs on having been one of only 10 Jews in her hometown in Oklahoma.

The films include: Kiss Me Kosher, an energetic German/Israeli romantic comedy touching on contemporary issues in Israeli society, leaving us with plenty to ponder and lots of laughter; Mish Mish, an illuminating documentary of family secrets within the untold history of the Frenkel brothers, pioneers of extraordinary Egyptian animation reminiscent of the early works of Walt Disney; and A Matter of Size, a warm-hearted Israeli romantic comedy that deals with body image. They can be streamed from 8:30 pm on June 6 through 8:30 pm on June 10. Tickets are by donation. For information visit vijff.ca.

Guided by the notion of tikkun olam (Hebrew for “repair of the world”), the VIJFF is a multicultural, non-religious program of the Jewish Community Centre of Victoria (JCCV) that builds capacity and connections among communities through cinema about Jewish and Jewish-adjacent themes and their intersections.

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