EXCLUSIVE: The UK Jewish Film Festival has revealed its lineup of 2023 gala screenings and premieres, including special presentations of the Anthony Hopkins pic One Life and Mario Bellochi’s Cannes competition title Kidnapped.
One Life, directed by James Hawes, will open the festival, which runs November 9 – 19. The pic tells the true-life story of Nicholas Winton, a British stockbroker and son of German-Jewish parents, who, after being horrified by tales of refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Sudetenland, sets off for Prague and begins to find ways to bring out as many refugee children as possible. Aided by his formidable mother, Barbara (Helena Bonham Carter), and a coterie of dedicated activists, their seemingly impossible mission faces daunting obstacles in this inspiring true story of hope and determination. James Hawes will be present on the night to introduce his film.
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Mario Bellochi’s Kidnapped will screen at the festival’s centerpiece gala. The film tells the true story of a six-year-old Jewish-Italian boy who is secretly baptized by his nurse and kidnapped from his family in Bologna on the orders of the Pope in June 1858. Brought up and indoctrinated into Christianity at the Pope’s side, his distraught Jewish family embarked on an international campaign to have their son returned and find themselves at the epicenter of a wider historical battle between the forces of Catholic authoritarianism and equality and the unification of Italy.
This year’s animation gala is the UK Premiere of the animated pic My Father’s Secrets. The film’s voice cast features Elliott Gould, Miriam Margolyes, and Tracy-Ann Oberman. Based on a graphic novel by Michel Kichka, one of Israel’s most beloved cartoonists, the pic tells the story of Kichka’s youth growing up in the house of his father, Henri Kichka, who had survived Auschwitz but only felt that he was ready to share his story after the Eichmann Trial. Synopsis reads: Henri only told his story to strangers, not his own family – his wife and four children creating a divide that would only be reconciled over time. David Baddiel, who narrates the film, will be present with David Freedman, director of the film’s English-language version, for a Q&A at the screening.
The UK Premiere of My Daughter. My Love, starring Sasson Gabay, will close this year’s fest. The film’s synopsis reads: My Daughter. My Love follows Shimon (Gabay), who is visiting his recently married daughter and her husband in Paris in this stylish and unsettling tale of marital crisis. The young couple is living the dream, but Shimon soon discovers something is wrong and begins to dig deeper.
This year’s fiction competition jury will be headed by Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham). Seven features will compete for the Best Documentary Award, and this year’s jury is headed by Robert Rinder, best known for his ITV show Judge Rinder.
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