Year in and year out for the past quarter century, the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival has been one of the more interesting flick fests around the Valley. This year, however, it’s almost as interesting for the way in which it’s delivered to audiences as for the diverse and fascinating selection of films.
This year GPJFF, as with almost everything else in society, has been affected by COVID-19 precautions, and is therefore an entirely virtual experience. While this may disappoint those for whom film festivals are social occasions, this disappointment may be offset by the uncommon flexibility that it gives viewers, who can watch the fest’s offerings in the comfort of their homes, and largely on their own schedules.
Between February 14 and March 3, the 30 or so films are available for home streaming during 72-hour windows. Buy a ticket, and watch the movie on a TV, computer or device. You can pause, rewind and go from one device to another. Individual tickets are $14; a household pass is $180.
Oh, yeah, the movies. Selections this year range from tense Holocaust drama like Norway’s The Crossing to family-friendly fantasy like Abulee, from romantic comedies like Kiss Me Kosher to showbiz documentaries like The Untameable Kirk Douglas and Herb Alpert Is… to vintage classics like 1969’s Philip Roth adaptation Goodbye, Columbus.
Five of the films are only available in Arizona; another, the documentary Bully. Coward. Victim: The Story of Roy Cohn, is limited in its ticketing. Otherwise, the festival is open to anyone, so the “Greater” in “Greater Phoenix,” refers, essentially, to the whole world.
Go to gpjff.org or call 602-753-9366 for details.