Film » Film Features

Mandel JCC Cleveland Jewish FilmFest Back for 13th Year



Celebrating its 13th year, the Mandel JCC Cleveland Jewish FilmFest, which takes place from Sept. 5 to 16, will showcase more than 20 films from around the world. 

The festival opens at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Atlas Cinemas Shaker Square with The Unorthodox, a film about a man who starts a grassroots movement to form a party of Mizrahi Jews. Earlier this year, the acclaimed movie was nominated for 14 Israeli Ophir Awards.

The festival will also bring back a film that was an audience favorite from prior years and screen AKA Doc Pomus, a film that pays homage to Doc Pomus, the blues singer-songwriter who penned "Viva Las Vegas" and dozens of other hits. AKA Doc Pomus screens at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Cedar Lee Theatre.

One highlight, Those Who Remained, a love story about Holocaust survivors in post-World War II Hungary, screens at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Cleveland Institute of Art Peter B. Lewis Theatre. It was just announced as Hungary’s Oscar entry for the International Feature Film category.

Tel Aviv on Fire, another highlight, satirizes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and centers on a soap opera that's popular with both Israeli and Palestinian audiences. The producer finds himself in an awkward position as he tries to satisfy an Israel commander, the commander's wife (she's an avid fan) and the show's Arab backers. That screening takes place at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Cedar Lee Theatre. 

It's also worth mentioning that a handful of films will screen at noon on Sunday, Sept. 8, and at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Cedar Lee Theatre as part of a special shorts program.

FilmFest tickets are on sale at Tickets will also be available at the Mandel JCC membership desk (no ticket sales on Saturdays). Visit or call 216-831-0700 ext. 0 for more details and ticket information.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.