The Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival is Asia’s first festival showcasing the best Jewish-themed film from around the world. Founded in 1999 by Mr. Howard Elias, the Festival has screened over 200 features, documentaries and short films from 34 countries in 33 languages and dialects. It has hosted directors, producers, film critics and curators, who have attended the event to showcase their films, educate and offer their opinions to audience members. Among the topics the Festival has dealt with are the Holocaust, Israel, Jewish identity, Yiddish classics, food, holidays, music, and religious rituals and customs. One of the Festival’s unique qualities is that it attracts many non-Jewish people, with more than one-third of the audience falling into that demographic.
The Festival became a registered charity in Hong Kong in 2006. HKJFF Society Limited has a board of 11 members who donate their time and efforts throughout the year to bring the Festival to life every November. Throughout the year, Mr. Elias networks with other international and Jewish film festivals on programming. He has attended the Berlin International Film Festival every year since 2003.
The HKJFF receives extensive coverage each year with profiles in the English- and Chinese-language media (press, radio, television and online) in both Hong Kong and Macau. Overseas, the Festival has been written up in the Economist Online, CNNGo.com, the Jewish Daily Forward, the Canadian Jewish News, the Jerusalem Report, Ha’aretz, Jewish Film World, Whatsonwhen.com, Ming Magazine and the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California. In November 2009 and again in October 2010, the Festival was featured in El Al Israel Airlines’ in-flight magazine, Atmosphere.
The HKJFF is fortunate to receive support from many foreign consulates, cultural offices and chambers of commerce in Hong Kong including those from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and the US. It has also received funding from the charity A Better Tomorrow every year since 2004, which has enabled the Festival to add Chinese subtitles to some of its films.
Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival
The Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival is Asia’s first festival showcasing the best Jewish-themed film from around the world.