Special Guests

The Seattle Jewish Film Festival features special guests who will appear both in person and virtually throughout the Festival. Ticket/pass holders will be notified about Zoom conversations and access. Continue to check back here for updates and additional guests. Looking for our calendar, take a look here >>

Special Guests + Filmmaker Conversations

On Screen: Actor Sasson Gabay

REEL Difference Award Honoree

Opening Night Film: KARAOKE

The award-winning Israeli actor, Sasson Gabay, is known for his many roles on screen and stage from his outstanding portrayal of an Egyptian police band leader in both the film and Tony-winning musical, THE BAND’S VISIT to television roles in “Stockholm,” “Oslo,” and Netflix’s “Shtisel.”

Watch his REEL Difference Award conversation with Pamela Lavitt here >>

Live Music Performance: The KlezKatz!

Sunday Brunch Film: ART OF SILENCE
Sun., March 12 | 10 am brunch | 10 am KlezKatz! | 11 am film

Klezmer band performing during the Sunday Brunch Film. Full details >>

Live Music Performance: Pizmon

Sunday Brunch Film: ART OF SILENCE
Sun., March 12 | 10 am brunch | 10:30 am Pizmon | 11 am film

Pizmon, a co-ed, pluralistic Jewish a cappella group from Columbia University, Barnard College, and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. Full details >>

In-Person Guests: Documentary Film Subjects Rabbi Mark Borovitz + Harriet Rossetto

Fri., Mar. 17 | 1 pm

Harriet Rossetto and Rabbi Mark Borovitz met when he was incarcerated at the California Institute for Men, and she was a new social worker helping Jewish criminals like him. When Mark was released from prison in 1987, he found it difficult to find work due to his checkered background, and the two cofounded Beit T’Shuvah, a nonprofit, non-sectarian, Jewish addiction treatment center and synagogue community in LA to help broken souls and change a broken system. Full details >>

Zoom Conversation: Director Zohar Wagner

Film: SAVOY (סבוי) 
Sun., Mar. 26 | 10:00 am.

Included with pass/ticket purchases, or register here >>

Zohar Wagner is the founder of Zohar Wagner Films, and directs and produces documentary feature for theaters worldwide and for Israeli television. Her work explores femininity, body image, and the balance of power between men and women as well as Israelis and Arab minorities in Israel and Middle Eastern society. As a Hebrew and Arabic speaker, in 2015 she founded Jaffa Cinema, a program that teaches Arab youth documentary filmmaking and journalism skills to enhance their awareness of and broaden their avenues for social activism. Full details >>


Zoom Conversation: Director/Lead Actor Guri Alfi

Film: ONE MORE STORY (עוד סיפור אחד)
Sat., Mar. 18 | 8:30 pm | Live Q+A after in-person screening

Guri Alfi is an Israeli actor, director, and comedian who has starred in numerous comedy and dramatic series and films, scoring an Israeli Academy Award (Ophir) nomination for his role in Eran Riklis’ HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER and the Israeli Theatre Award for “Play It Again, Sam.” Alfi is known for his role in the Israeli political-satire show “State of the Nation,” and as host of the late-night shows “Tonight with Guri Alfi” and “Tonight with Guri and Lucy,” both winners of Israeli Academy Awards for best television entertainment program. Full details >>

In-Person Guest: Director Ofir Raul Graizer

Closing Night Film: AMERICA
Sun., Mar. 19 | 7:15 pm

Ofir Raul Graizer is a film director, screenwriter, and editor who lives in both Israel and Berlin. Born in Israel in 1981, Graizer worked in textiles and gastronomy before studying film at Sapir College in Sderot. His early short films were shown in numerous festivals, including Cannes. His first feature film, THE CAKEMAKER, was Israel’s submission to the 2019 Academy Awards and won seven Ophir Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Script, and Best Actress. Full details >>

Streaming Interview: Director Sean Wainsteim

SJFF Shorts Program: DEMON BOX
Recorded Streaming Interview

Director Sean Wainsteim discusses his short film DEMON BOX with SJFF Shorts Program Curator Warren Etheredge. Recorded interview available online with streaming package and on screen for program encores in Walla Walla (3/29) and at Hillel UW (3/30). Full details >>

In-Person Guest: Warren Etheredge

Recorded Streaming Interview
Moderator, Shorts Program Encore Thurs., March 30 | 6:30 pm

SJFF Shorts Program Curator Warren Etheredge is Co-Founder/Co-Artistic Director of Walla Walla Movie Crush. Full details >>

In-Person Guest: Dr. Canan Bolel

Sephardic Spotlight Film: ALEGRÍA 
Sun., Mar. 12 | 1 pm

Prof. Canan Bolel is a historian of the Ottoman Empire’s Jewish communities. Her first book project, Constructions of Jewish Modernity and Marginality in Izmir, 1860–1907 focuses how marginalized Sephardic Jews constituted their identities. Her current focus is on the languages and literatures of Sephardic Jews during the Early Turkish Republic. Full details >>

Zoom Conversation: “History Happy Hour” with Filmmaker Steven Pressman

Tues., Mar. 21 | 6:30 pm

Join us for a “History Happy Hour” Zoom Conversation with Filmmaker Steven Pressman, cohosted by SJFF and the Washington State Jewish Historical Society on Tuesday, March 21 at 6:30 pm. Included with pass/ticket purchases, or register here >>

Prior to becoming a filmmaker, Steven Pressman worked for many years as a newspaper and magazine journalist in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. His first documentary film, 50 CHILDREN: THE RESCUE MISSION OF MR. AND MRS. KRAUS, premiered on HBO in 2013 and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Historical Programming and has screened around the world and on international broadcast television. He is also the author of “50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple’s Extraordinary Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany,” published by HarperCollins in 2014.

Zoom Conversation: Drs. Smadar Ben-Natan and Mika Ahuvia

Wed., Mar. 22 | 7 pm

Join us for a Zoom conversation with Drs. Smadar Ben-Natan and Mika Ahuvia on Wednesday, March 22 at 7 pm. Included with pass/ticket purchases, or register here >>

Dr. Smadar Ben-Natan specializes in law and society and human rights in Israel/Palestine and has been a longtime Israeli human rights lawyer. She is the co-founder of Gun Free Kitchen Tables, the first Israeli gender-related gun control initiative, and has worked with various NGOs in Israel on prevention of torture, Palestinians’ rights, prisoners’ rights, gender, refugees and asylum seekers. She has litigated high-profile cases in the Israeli Supreme Court, appeared on national media, and published op-eds and blog posts on various platforms.  Full details >>

Dr. Mika Ahuvia (moderator) is the Herbert L. & Lucia S. Pruzan Chair in Jewish Studies and the Director of the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. She received her Ph.D. in religion from Princeton University and publishes on gender and rabbinic literature, ancient ritual-magic, and late antique archaeology. She is the author of On My Right Michael, On My Left Gabriel: Angels in Ancient Jewish Culture (University of California Press, 2021). Full details >>

Seattle Jewish Film Festival Information

Need help? Contact boxoffice@sjcc.org | 206.388.0833 (email fastest!). Get all the information you need for 28th Seattle Jewish Film Festival through the links below, including a full listing of all the films.

The Films
Get a quick look at the films in this year’s Seattle Jewish Film Festival, plus links to calendars, special events and guests.
The Films >>

Box Office
Purchase your passes, packages, and single tickets for the 2023 Seattle Jewish Film Festival. Tickets + passes on sale Feb. 8.
Box Office >>

FAQs + More
Get full information on how to watch virtually + where to watch in person. Have a question?
Check here >>

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Lead Sponsors

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Thank you to all of our sponsors: view here >>.