The Schmooze

Are Jewish Film Festivals in Trouble?

As reported earlier this year, Berlin’s Jewish Film Festival, Germany’s only such gathering, may be shutting its doors due to funding cuts from the local government.

Is Jewish culture now so well-loved and understood in Berlin that such a festival is no longer needed? On the contrary, the London-born Berlin festival director Nicola Galliner told Haaretz that the “existence of such a festival is extremely important, because there is strong xenophobia and anti-Semitism in this country.”

The situation in Berlin should be a wake-up call to the 100 or so other Jewish film festivals scattered around the world. It is necessary to add “or so” since incredibly enough, these organizations work independently, without any central organization offering advice, support, encouragement, protection, or even enumeration. With world arts budgets in their current state, the time for such fragmented self-sufficiency may be over, since when one such cultural beacon is lost, all are slightly diminished.

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Are Jewish Film Festivals in Trouble?

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