Marc Boettcher

Carl-Ludwig Rettinger

Maya Sarfaty

Laura Gabbert

Max Nosseck

Karin Kaper, Dirk Szuszies

Daniel Howald

Volker Schlöndorff

Section short films: Nosh Nosh

Irina Rubina

Tal Shmunis

Roy Goldman

Ilay Mevorach

Ron Rothschild

Sami Morhayim

Section A Journey Through Time

Jewish existence during the Cold War: a German-Polish journey through time and a juxtaposition of cinematic histories on the occasion of DEFA’s 75th anniversary.

The relationship of the GDR and the People's Republic of Poland towards Judaism was, in light of the Nazi occupation, Shoah and the Cold War, characterised in several respects by reinterpretations of history. Accordingly, the few films that were made on the subject proceeded cautiously. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the DEFA film studios we embark on a cinematic journey through time, taking us from the first reflections on the Shoah shortly after the end of the war to feature films from the 1980s. Interesting in this regard are the themes and protagonists that go unmentioned: these number the exodus of the remaining Jews, provoked in 1968 with reference to barely-plausible political arguments, as well as a fitting portrayal of Jewish suffering during the German occupation. The series explores not only how the approach of films from both countries towards history and anti-Semitism was determined by political guidelines, but also sheds light on the gaps these cinematic attempts at remembrance left behind and how the filmmakers, often Jewish, nevertheless tried to reflect on a topic burdened by both history and politics in a dignified manner.

This series, created together with the Warsaw Jewish Film Festival and co-curated by Lihi Nagler, came about with support from the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation. The film screenings will be accompanied by discussions with contemporary witnesses and experts ( The featured works will also be on show at the Warsaw Jewish Film Festival ( in November 2021.

Section SERIAL FRESH: Series from Israel

In recent years, Israeli TV series have become viewer magnets all over the world. How could this small industry develop into such a huge phenomenon? Perhaps the constant lack of material resources is a major reason for innovation? The makers of Israeli TV series have to constantly find new "tricks" to overcome practical obstacles. Perhaps there is also an innate "chutzpah" to challenge traditional conventions with innovative ideas.
In 2005, just 12 years after the first commercial television was founded in Israel, series creator Haggai Levi (his series OUR BOYS is running at the JFBB this year) overcame Israeli limitations with IN TREATMENT. With a ridiculously low budget, he shot an entire TV series on a single location - a psychiatrist's therapy room. Less is more - we can go all the way back to the Old Testament, where the settings are described with restraint and the focus is on the characters and their ongoing dilemmas, or to the traditions of storytelling in the region known in the West as the "Thousand and One Nights". Then there is the Ve'Higadeta Le'bincha, the Jewish custom of passing down history from parents to their children over decades in order to preserve traditions, language and culture.
And now there is the modern state of Israel, made up of three indigenous populations - Muslims, Jews and Christians, living together with a vast mix of millions of refugees and immigrants from all over the world who have moved into a small country over the course of 70 years. The associated bundle of internal problems and enormous political challenges has led to a social context that is close to a permanent state of emergency. A state of emergency in which naked truths cannot help but be told. Almost always unadorned, delivered by raw, restless characters who look at life with a wink, a smile, anger and passion. Authentic emotions with which they tell their stories at all costs, because who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Section Behind the Scenes - Film and Orthodoxy

For several years now, there has been a growing interest in depictions of Jewish Orthodoxy, not only in independent works but also in mainstream productions. Series like SHTISEL and UNORTHODOX have been embraced by audiences far and wide. In addition to films and series about orthodox-Jewish life which offer secular audiences an insight into these typically rather secluded worlds, an orthodox film industry has also evolved in Israel, made both by women and for women. This series of films takes a look at this phenomenon from both angles: With ENTANGLED, by Dina Perlstein, we present a film by an orthodox filmmaker, with the follow-up workshop discussion intended to provide insight into orthodox film production for female audiences. The second workshop discussion is about the fascination invoked by ultra-orthodox social environments.

This event was organised by the Jewish Film Festival Berlin and Brandenburg (JFBB) in cooperation with the Jewish Museum Berlin and the Seret - International Israeli Film Festival. Further information on the JFBB programme can be found at, and on Seret at

Section YAEL BARTANA - Films

In the centre of Berlin, Europe, and Jewish life

In recent decades the Jewish Museum Berlin has earned itself well-deserved recognition on the European museum landscape. In a manner conducive to dialogue, the museum reflects on the past and present of Jewish existence in Germany in its newly-opened permanent exhibition and alternating retrospectives, as well as its collections and regular events. Until October 10, 2021 the museum is hosting the exhibition “Yael Bartana - Redemption Now”. This comprehensive retrospective, the first of its kind to be hosted in Germany, is dedicated to an artist who, for over twenty years now, has reflected on the great historical narratives from which collective identities, both national and alternative, are formed. As part of this year's JFBB, a series of films consisting of earlier and more recent video productions by Yael Bartana is on show. We were able to secure the support of the curation team of this retrospective at the Jewish Museum Berlin, Shelley Harten and Gregor Lersch, for an introduction into the artistic life and work of Yael Bartana.