Founded in 2011, the Michiana Jewish Film Festival (MJFF) has been a growing success in the community. Through its partnership with the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (DPAC) and the University of Notre Dame, the Jewish Federation brings superb, and sometimes cutting edge and controversial, Jewish-themed cinema to the greater Michiana community.
Due to our continued success, many of our films sell out, filling the Browning Cinema’s 212 seats. Please purchase tickets in advance at the DeBartolo Box-office to avoid missing out.
If you would like to volunteer to help with the Michiana Jewish Film Festival please contact The Jewish Federation by email or by calling 574-233-1164.
We can accept sponsorships year round! Whether you want to make a personal donation or underwrite a night of the festival with your buisness logo, please feel free to contact us for more information.
Come for the films, stay for the company!
Schedule for the 2019 Film Festival
Monday Evening's Films — Sponsored by Cari & Barry Shein
Monday, May 13, 5:30 PM — Shalom Bollywood
Shalom Bollywood is a song-and-dance-filled celebration of the world’s largest film industry revealing the unlikely story of the 2,000-year-old Indian Jewish community and its remarkable stars who shaped Bollywood cinema’s Golden Age. At the advent of the Indian film industry 100 years ago, it was taboo for Hindu and Muslim women to perform on screen, so Indian Jewish women took on female lead roles and dominated the industry for decades. With access to rare archival footage, this fascinating, one-of-a-kind documentary tells the extraordinary tale of Bollywood cinema through the lives of Jewish icons at the heart of it from the turn of the 20th century to the present day.
Monday, May 13, 8:00 PM — Redemption
Menachem, a former frontman for a rock band, is now religious, and a father to a six-year-old. When his daughter is diagnosed with cancer, he must find a creative solution to fund the expensive treatments. He reunites his band for one last tour. The journey to save his daughter exposes old wounds and allows him to reconnect with his secular past. Menachem understands that only a new connection to his past and to his music can pave the road to his own redemption.
Tuesday Evening's Films — Sponsored by the Kurt & Tessye Simon Fund for Holocaust Remembrance
Tuesday, May 14, 5:30 PM — Who will Write our History
In November 1940, days after the Nazis sealed 450,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, a secret band of journalists, scholars and community leaders decided to fight back. Led by historian Emanuel Ringelblum and known by the code name Oyneg Shabes, this clandestine group vowed to defeat Nazi lies and propaganda not with guns or fists but with pen and paper. Now, for the first time, their story is told as a feature documentary. The film mixes the writings of the Oyneg Shabes archive, interviews, rarely seen footage and dramatizations to transport us inside the Ghetto and the lives of these courageous resistance fighters. They defied their murderous enemy with the ultimate weapon – the truth – and risked everything so that their archive would survive the war, even if they did not.
Tuesday, May 14, 8:00 PM — The Accountant of Auschwitz
70 years after the end of the war, 94-year-old Oskar Gröning was charged with the murder of 300,000 Jews. The defendant’s age and his role in overseeing the confiscation of the victims’ possessions on arrival at the camp sparked worldwide debate on his culpability and fitness to stand trial. This powerful documentary explores complex legal and moral questions that affect not only our remembrance of the Holocaust but also the promise that it will never happen again.
Wednesday Evening's Films— Sponsored by WNIT
Wednesday, May 15, 5:30 PM — From Cairo to the Cloud
In 1896, Solomon Schechter, a Cambridge University professor, came upon an extraordinary discovery inside a rundown Cairo synagogue: a vast room containing sacred ancient religious texts, manuscripts, and letters. This documentary deftly details that amazing treasure trove, which includes handwritten documents by the influential physician and philosopher Moses Maimonides, as well as more commonplace correspondence and lists that reveal the ebb and flow of life in medieval Egypt during a period when Jewish, Muslim, and Christian communities coexisted.
Wednesday, May 15, 8:00 PM — 93Queen
Within the ultra-Orthodox enclaves of Brooklyn, Rachel “Ruchie” Freier, a lawyer and mother of six, is revolutionizing the role of women in daily life by training them to work as EMTs—an alternative to Hatzolah, the all-male Jewish volunteer ambulance corps. Ruchie’s belief that Orthodox women deserve female EMTs drives her to overcome her community’s objections and to bring her vision to reality.
Thursday Evening's Films — Sponsored by Merrill Lynch—Kahn Associates
Thursday, May 16, 5:30 PM — Shoelaces
In this award-winning emotional Israeli family dramedy, mechanic Reuven reluctantly takes in his exuberant adult special-needs son, Gadi, after his ex-wife’s untimely death. As Gadi becomes accustomed to life with Reuven, Reuven’s world turns upside down from his newfound obligations of supervisor and caregiver. Yet, something has awoken in Reuven since Gadi came back into his life. In discovering that he enjoys both the responsibility and affection afforded by parenthood, Reuven vows to make up for his past failings before it is too late.
Thursday, May 16, 8:00 PM Short Film—Grateful: The Jenni Berebitsky Story
(Showing before the second feature film.)
Two and a half years into her marriage, with a 15-month old son, one month after completing her medical residency, at the age of 33, Jenni was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. After the initial shock, Jenni continued to set goals and achieve them.
Thursday, May 16, 8:20 PM — Chewdaism: A Taste of Jewish Montreal
The film follows two Montrealers through an entire day’s worth of eating in and around the city as they discover their own personal heritage within the story of Jewish Montreal. As our guides discover the roots of the city’s Jewish community through a series of classical Jewish eateries, they tell the story of their 100-year-old community, with various guests along the way sharing tales and meals.
Funding provided by a grant from:
These businesses and people helped bring the Michiana Jewish Film Festival to fruition this year
Bolded Name - MJFF Committee Member
Cari & Barry Shein
Carol & Craig Kapson
Cheryl & Ray Waldman
Ann & Ron Silverman
Sandy & Doug Barton
Nana & Gary Fromm
Mirkin Law Offices
Ina & Irv Rosenberg
Bill & Diane Sarnat