PORTLAND — The Maine Jewish Film Festival will hold its first virtual festival from Saturday, Nov. 7, through Sunday, Nov. 22. Featuring 15 feature and documentary films and related programs, the 2020 virtual MJFF will provide Maine audiences with a high quality entertainment experience without leaving the comfort of their homes.

Now in its 23rd year, the festival’s vision is that great films unite people in increasing communication and understanding. MJFF films offer fresh perspectives on familiar icons and illuminate the lives of hidden heroes. They have the potential to stimulate meaningful discussions on themes that matter, particularly in these turbulent times.

“MJFF’s mission has never been more relevant, and we are thrilled that we are able to translate what we do into a great online experience. We were devastated when we had to cancel the festival in March. By going virtual, we hope to reach an even wider audience with content that is fresh, timely and engaging,” says Barbara Merson, executive director.

Virtual festival films will include many that were planned for the original March Festival including:

· “The Tobacconist,” a dramatic feature starring the legendary Bruno Ganz as psychiatrist Sigmund Freud;

· “The Other Story,” an intense thriller from acclaimed director Avi Nesher set in Israel;


· “Abe,” an original feature film about an aspiring 12-year-old aspiring chef starring Noah Schnapp of “Stranger Things”;

· “Latter Day Jew,” a documentary about a gay former Mormon comedian’s conversion to Judaism;

· “Ganz: How I Lost My Beetle,” a documentary that reveals the surprising story behind the creation of the Volkswagon Beetle;

· “Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds,” an uplifting documentary about the life of acclaimed classical music conductor Zubin Mehta; and

· “Last Stop Coney Island,” a documentary that focuses on the life and iconic images of photographer Harold Feinstein.

MJFF will also expand the program to include:


· “The Sublet,” the latest film by renowned Israeli filmmaker Eytan Fox;

· “WBCN and the American Revolution,” a fascinating exploration of the Boston station that was the first U.S. alternative radio station in the ’60s; and

· “Every Mother’s Son,” which will be shown as a free program focusing on racial justice.

Zoom conversation guests during the festival will have filmmakers and commentators, including Eytan Fox from “Sublet,” H. Alan Scott from “Latter Day Jew,” Judith Feinstein from “Last Stop Coney Island,” and Eckart Preu of the PSO commenting on “Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds.” MJFF will present two exciting programs in conjunction with the showing of “WBCN and the American Revolution,” a discussion with filmmaker Bill Lichtenstein and a live-streamed concert of late ’60s music by The Boneheads.

The Maine Jewish Film Festival is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a forum for the presentation of films to enrich, educate and entertain a diverse audience about the global Jewish experience. Since 1998, the Maine Jewish Film Festival has screened over 400 films and brought more than 150 guest artists from across the U.S. and around the world to Maine. Tickets are on sale at www.mjff.org. A complete festival schedule, including film descriptions, featured guest speakers, panelists and special events, can be found online at www.mjff.org.

Comments are not available on this story.