Section: Shorts

Funeral of a Marriage Counsellor

Following the sudden death of their long-term and much-too-depended-upon Jewish counsellor, a couple in their 50s take a chaotic stab at rebalancing their relationship, while grappling with their own mortality.

Susam

A Turkish-Jewish family faces a series of dilemmas when their son, Susam, locks himself in his room and does not come out on the morning of his Bar-mitzvah ceremony. With the limitations of Shabbat day rules, each member tries to find the correct way to make Susam come out.

Women of Virtue ( Les Vertueuses)

Etel, nine years old, Orthodox Jew, has her period for the first time. Myriam, her mother, finally looks at her like a woman. Etel is delighted, until she discovers that in her religion women are impure when they have their period.

Voices in the Void

An animated documentary from Humanity in Action, Voices in the Void recounts the remarkable ”Danish Exception” of October 1943. The piece features the story of late Rabbi Bent Melchior, who, as a teenager went into hiding with his family to escape Nazi deportation. In his own words, Rabbi Melchior tells a story of heroism and survival, and of the regular Danish people who took exceptional steps to save their neighbors and ensure their safe escape to Sweden.

Visiting Ben Shemen

In the midst of the Covid pandemic, and employing WhatsApp calls, interviews, and Internet research, a New Zealand-based director seeks to better understand a significant experience in her mother’s past. In 1946, three young Jewish teenagers had met at the Ben Shemen school, in Palestine. Each had been traumatised by the Holocaust and World War II. These women, now in their late eighties – one of whom is the director’s mother – recount the ways in which Ben Shemen offered a healing and soul-nourishing refuge. Mixed-media and an animated sketchbook aesthetic, together with the collaging of fragments of music and sound, accompany their retrieval of memories, and the director’s efforts to understand their experiences.

Two Women

A nuanced adaptation of Amos Oz’ short story, starring Naomi Levov (On the Spectrum) and Tali Sharon (Norman). In 1958, a kibbutznik leaves his wife for another woman. The two women then begin communicating by letter.

Two Trees in Jerusalem

Two Trees in Jerusalem, an animated documentary produced by Humanity in Action, profiles the remarkable history of Eberhard and Donata Helmrich, who together saved the lives of countless Jews during the Holocaust. The pair worked as a husband-and-wife team in the eye of the storm, in Berlin and the blood-soaked fields of Eastern Europe, devising ever-more daring gambits to save any life they could, even as death surrounded them. The history is narrated by the couple’s daughter Cornelia, who was called into her parents’ confidence as a young child, and was imbued with an inner-strength that guided her work decades later as a politician and Commissioner for immigrant and refugee issues during the 1990’s.

The Waltz

A beautiful animated short film that brings to life a Yiddish poem by A. Lutzky

The Record

An antique music instrument dealer receives a magical vinyl record from a traveller. “It reads your mind and plays your lost memories”. Obsessed by this endless record, the antique dealer listens to it again and again, and the memories re-emerge.

Sproutland

When health food guru “Sproutman” dies suddenly, his widow must confront not only her loss but an entire way of life. Surrounded by groomed lawns, organic shops and youthful bodies, she navigates yoga mudras, jade eggs, and online dating while her teenage son grows increasingly alienated. If bean sprouts can”t bring them together, what will? Filmed on location in the scenic Berkshires, this quirky, funny, and heartwarming short is the fiction debut of Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Cynthia Wade. Winner of 14 film festival awards.