AJFF Recommends: What to Watch in December


Among our film picks for this month are several former AJFF picks and an early Oscar contender. A former AJFF World Premiere also comes to the small screen. 

In Theatres

Aida's Secrets
The 2017 winner of the Documentary Feature Jury Prize was awarded by the Jury for the following reasons, "The affecting account of two long-lost brothers, one raised in Canada and the other in Israel, who discover each other and attempt to uncover the story behind their separation after the Holocaust. Both historical and deeply personal, Aida’s Secrets is a powerful human tale about the meaning of family."

The Post
Said Steven Spielberg of his latest film, which is already garnering early Oscar buzz, “It just felt like this was going to be a movie that I was gonna want to make immediately. This was like something that couldn’t wait for three years or two years. This was a story that I really felt we needed to tell today.”


In Search of Israeli Cuisine
You may remember this mouthwatering glimpse of Israel's food landscape from the Closing Night of the 2016 AJFF. In the film, celebrity chef Michael Solomonov, the James Beard award-winning owner of Zahav, turns guide as he returns to his homeland to discover his culinary heritage anew. Follow him as he introduces himself to peoples’ lives and their kitchens to discusses how they’re preserving traditions and updating recipes with global influences.

Judd Apatow: The Return
Jewish veteran producer, writer, director, comedian and actor, Judd Apatow, returns to his stand-up roots after 25 years, with plenty of advice along the way from his celebrity comedy friends. 

DVD & Blu-Ray

The Women's Balcony
The Closing Night of the 2017 AJFF, this comical feminist narrative helmed by first-time filmmaker Emil Ben-Shimon and screenwriter Shlomit Nechama fashions a compassionate portrait of modern Orthodoxy, where unity and love are rekindled by a rebellious and progressive spirit. Nominated for five Israeli Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor and Actress (Avraham Aviv Alush and Orna Banai).

Special Mention

Raise the Roof
Beginning with its World Premiere at the 2015 AJFF, the film comes to PBS after a highly successful, international run of more than 150 festival and event screenings and having won 6 best documentary film awards. In the film, artists Rick and Laura Brown inspire an international team to reconstruct one of the magnificent wooden synagogues of Poland, the last of which were destroyed by Nazis during World War II. As over 300 students and artisans work, they discover a little-known period of history when Jews and Poles worked side-by-side to create a stunning, mysterious, and profoundly meaningful building.