The 26th Annual Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival will virtually screen over 30 films

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For more than a quarter of a century, the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival (GPJFF) has celebrated Jewish culture through film, honoring Jewish traditions and heritage. This year, from Feb. 10 through Feb. 27, the 26th the Annual Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival is screening  more than 30 films.

Some films are feature-length and some are short films, but they all showcase the best of Jewish life, history and heritage. Due to ongoing health and safety concerns involving COVID-19, the film festival will once again be held virtually. The virtual festival allows participants to easily build a flexible customized plan to see every film.

Robert Nagle, the Co-Associate Executive Director and a Board Member of the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival, says the films include a variety of stories about Israeli life, including even a “romcom.”

Nagle said that he and his team reach out to distributors all over the world to find films from a plethora of countries. He said that screening committees look at 150 to 160 films before narrowing the group down to around 45 films.

“From there, after about 3,400 hours of collective movie watching we come up with our 30 films that we feel are so strong and so wonderful that we present them to our community,” Nagle said.

The festival started with a small group of people showing a handful of films, but has grown overtime into a nationally recognized festival that shows around 30 films each year.

Even in virtual mode, Nagle said the festival is thriving. For months they have known that this year’s festival needed to be virtual, Nagle said.

“Keeping safe, being mindful of others was really important, so we are all virtual this year. We are hoping that next year we will be able to do a hybrid of some in-theatre films as well as virtual,” Nagle said.

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Robert Nagle, Board Member of Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival

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