Coverimage About JFBB

"Jewish cinema is not boring"

The Jewish Film Festival Berlin | Brandenburg (JFBB) is the largest Jewish film festival in Germany. It will take place from June 13 to 18, 2023 in Berlin and Potsdam.

For six days, international films of all genres from arthouse films to blockbusters, from historical reflections to family comedies will be shown. The festival illuminates Jewish history, present and future. Often with a wink, but always profound.

Under the motto JEWCY MOVIES, the Jewish Film Festival Berlin and Brandenburg was showing in 2022 43 films and 2 series. The selection shows the range of Jewish experience in the past, present and future, from romantic comedy to concept film, from historical drama to mockumentary. A programmatic journey between menace and joie de vivre, personal stories and big politics, sensuality and discourse - and always true to life.

The festival's mission is also to keep the memory of the Shoa alive, to convey historical awareness and to counter anti-Semitic attitude patterns.

The program selection for the JFBB is in the hands of the Programm collective.

In addition to two competition sections for feature and documentary films, there is Cinema Fermished, the special cinema of the JFBB with a colorful variety of genres, and the section series(s) from Israel.

The other competitions and awards can be found here.

The film program will be complemented by a supporting program. This includes the traditional reception after the opening ceremony, as well as concerts and exhibitions.

Since 2021, with the 27th edition, the JFBB is hosted by the organizers of the Filmfestival Cottbus.

On the history of the Jewish Film Festival Berlin and Brandenburg.

The Jewish Film Festival Berlin and Brandenburg was founded in 1995 by Nicola Galliner, at that time as part of the cultural work of the Jewish Community Berlin.
Organising a Jewish film festival in Berlin, the city from which the Holocaust was prepared, planned and organised, was and is associated with a special responsibility. On the occasion of the festival's 25th anniversary, Nicola Galliner wrote: "One of our great concerns was and is not to depict Jewish life, Jewish biographies in a traditional, often exclusive 'victim role'. Over the years, it has always been important to us to break open this one-sided view and thus expand it to include the given complexity. To show that Judaism is above all one thing, namely highly alive."

Meanwhile, the JFBB is the largest German festival with films on Jewish themes and from Israel.

But what makes a film Jewish?

This has also been a topic of discussion at the Jewish Film Festival Berlin and Brandenburg since its founding. The journalist Henryk M. Broder answered this question in the commemorative publication for the tenth anniversary of the Jewish Film Festival Berlin in his usual pointed way: "Everything that is not boring is Jewish. Because contrary to all prejudices, there is only one area in which Jews do indeed dominate. It is not banking, not the stock exchange, not the game of billiards. It is entertainment, show business. ... So what makes a Jewish film? The same thing that makes a Jewish book or Jewish music. It doesn't bore. No sooner has it begun than it's over. There are 60, 120 or 180 minutes between the beginning and the end, but it's only the perceived time that matters. If it's more than ten minutes, then it's not a Jewish film."

To live up to the excellent reputation of the Jewish Film Festival Berlin and Brandenburg in the world, to continue the successful festival history shaped by Nicola Galliner's actions with his guidelines and at the same time to further develop the festival are the goals of the new managing director duo Doreen Goethe and Andreas Stein, who are already well known in the festival world as the heads of the FilmFestival Cottbus. 2021 marks the first edition of the renowned film festival, which is organised by the JFBB UG, a company set up specifically for this purpose, after founder Nicola Galliner retired.

The aim is to further expand the unique meeting point character of this event in the coming years. On the one hand, the existing audience is to be tied more closely to the festival, and on the other hand, further audience potentials are to be addressed. The role of the event as an industry meeting place is also to be expanded. The JFBB pays special attention to the discovery and promotion of young filmmakers in Germany and Israel.
As part of its work, the Jewish Film Festival Berlin and Brandenburg networks with other festivals, with institutions, museums and foundations, partners from the arts, culture and politics, as well as, of course, film funding bodies, distributors and the filmmakers who are the focus of interest.