2021 FESTIVAL: November 11–16

Introductory video.

The 19th annual Austin Jewish Film Festival was like no other! The festival was a hybrid format with physical screenings at the Galaxy Highland theater at Hwy. 290 and I-35, as well as simultaneous online showings, allowing you to enjoy it your way—in person or online. We showed the latest and greatest Jewish films as well as hosted Q&A events and parties.

Our new home at the Galaxy Highland theater at 6700 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX 78752 allows us a number of great benefits:

  • Multiple screens, so we can offer a choice of two or three films in most timeslots.
  • Huge, power reclining seats in all theaters.
  • On-site parties for opening and closing nights.
  • Easy access from all over the city with abundant free parking.

Here’s the skinny on what you need to know:
When?

The main festival was from Thursday, November 11 through Tuesday, November 16, at the Highland Galaxy theaters.  There was also a special pre-festival comedy event (The New Jew) on Tuesday, November 2, at Congregation Agudas Achim. For a simple overview of all the full length films, download the At a Glance Festival Schedule document.

What?

In 2021 we had more than 50 films in the festival, between shorts, feature-length fiction films, and documentaries.  The festival had a hybrid format, with all feature-length fiction and documentary films available to watch in-theater OR online.  Our tag line is “Oy Vey! Enjoy it YOUR way!”  You can choose how you want to participate in each program.

All short films were available to watch online for FREE.  Some shorts were also included in our two shorts programs in-theater, also presented for free, as was the excellent documentary Xueta Island on the afternoon of Saturday, November 13.

  • Short films were available online during the entire festival, from November 11 – 16. Short films were color coded green in our online event guides.
  • Feature-length films were available online for 48 hours from noon on the day they play in the theater.  For instance, Plan A began in-theater at 7:45 PM on Saturday, November 13.  Plan A was thus available to watch anytime online from noon on Saturday, November 13, until noon on Monday, November 15.  In-theatre and online events were listed separately, with in-person events listed in blue, and online events listed in red in the online event guides.

Festival policies, including COVID policies can be seen here.

Galaxy lobby.
Super comfortable seating in all theaters.
Q&A programs

There was a live Q&A program on closing night on November 16 (Persian Lessons).  Audiences attending virtually were able to participate via Zoom.  Tickets for the Q&A were automatically included with the purchase of virtual tickets to these events.

How?

There were a variety of ways to participate in festival events, depending on whether you wanted to attend just a few events, or many and also if you planned to attend in person or online.  These are outlined below.

  • Festival Memberships all included either an All Access Festival Pass or a Combo Pass AND a contribution to the festival.  Members are therefore, by definition, pass-holders and all the pass-holder instructions below applied to members.
    Note:  the sale of tickets and passes provides only a portion of the funding for the festival.  The rest comes from contributions from Memberships, donations, and grants.
  • Passes:  
    • The All Access Festival Pass provided unlimited access for one person to attend all festival events (including the 11/2 The New Jew event and all parties).  The All Access Festival Pass provided BOTH in-person AND online access, so patrons could choose how they wanted to participate in events on an event-by-event basis.  For instance, someone might choose to attend the opening night film in-person to participate in the party and watch the film on the big screen, but watch other films from home. That’s fine – Enjoy it YOUR WAY!   
    • The Combo Pass is new for 2021 and included BOTH an All Access Festival Pass AND an AJFF365 subscription, for twelve months of access to AJFF365 events, our monthly film program.  Thus the Combo Pass provided access for one person to all events programmed by AJFF for a full year.
    • Badges for passes could be picked up at the first event attended from our Box Office inside the Galaxy Highland theater.
    • For all in-person events, badge holders were instructed to show up 20 minutes or more before show time with their badges and join the special early access line to be admitted before general admission.  Pass-holders did not need to obtain any tickets for themselves! Badges just needed to be scanned for access to all in-person events.
    • Pass-holders wanting to watch online just needed to log in to our watch portal at virtual.goelevent.com using the same email address and password they used to purchase their Membership or pass.  All films were visible on the portal but were playable only on the following schedule:
      • Short films were available online for the entire festival, from November 11 – 16.
      • Feature length films were available online for 48 hours from noon on the day they played in the theater.  For instance Plan A began in-theater at 7:45 PM on Saturday, November 13.  Plan A was thus available to watch online anytime from noon on Saturday, November 13 until noon on Monday, November 15.
  • Tickets:
    • For in-person events, each person needed their own ticket, which needed to be scanned.  Tickets could be presented on a phone, or could be printed out and presented to the usher.
    • There were a few different tickets available this year.
      • Special event tickets cost $18 ($16 when purchased online).
        • Opening night (Hester Street) on 11/11, and closing night (Persian Lessons) on 11/16.  On those nights there were receptions with light food and drink before the film, access to the event, and a Q&A following the film.
        • There were separate tickets for in-person and online events, and these were not interchangeable.
      • Regular event tickets cost $12 onsite ($10 when purchased online)
        • There were separate tickets for in-person and online events, and these were not interchangeable. 
      • Free tickets
        • For free events.  There was no cost for these, but patrons had to obtain a ticket.  This provided access to the event.  
    • Tickets for each event were found on the page for the event in our online event guides.
    • Tickets were sent as attachments to the order confirmation. 

Online viewers could watch on their TV.

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