Film Festival

Contemporary Dramatic Shorts

Dates : May 14, 2024 — May 15, 2024

A variety of exceptional short films with masterful storytelling that are equal parts illuminating, heartbreaking, contemporary, and captivating.


A variety of exceptional short films with masterful storytelling that are equal parts illuminating, heartbreaking, contemporary, and captivating.

Director Shaylee Atary, who directed some of the shorts in this program, will be present at the JxJ 2024 Opening Night event to accept the JxJ Emerging Filmmaker Award.

Co-Presented with Sephardic Heritage International (SHIN-DC) and MJAM.

This program is proudly supported by the Israel Engagement Fund: A JCC Association of North America Program Accelerator and the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.

In partnership with the Embassy of Israel in Washington DC.

  • 112 min | 2020-2023
  • Israel, United States, UK
  • Hebrew and English with English subtitles

About the Shorts

Single Light
Dir. Shaylee Atary | 2023 | Narrative
“Lali is sexually assaulted on a dark road in a Tel Aviv parking lot. Awake, yet unable to move, she stares at a streetlight. The next morning, Lali wakes up to a reality which she refuses to accept. Director Shaylee Atary masterfully juggles her mise-en-scène, her actors, the sound, and unusual cinematography.” – Jerusalem Film Festival

The Naming of Things
Dir. Gadi Rubin | 2022 | Narrative
A product of Jewish day schools and way too much education, Ike finds himself adrift after the sudden death of his wife. As Ike navigates his wife’s shiva, he struggles to find meaning in the world around him, the Jew inside him, and the community trying to feed him bagels.

Cold Water
Dir. Itamar Alcalay | 2022 | Documentary
Winner of the Best Independent Short Film at the Haifa Film Festival, Cold Water is a cinematic experiment, combining a documentary technique with a narrative one. Galit works in a pilgrims’ site in the Jordan river where she encounters a wet child who has escaped from the cold water. A mysterious connection begins to form between her and the child. The film was shot at a Baptism site north of the Dead Sea where people come to connect with the spiritual and the sublime.

Growing Up Mizrachi
Dir. Carol Isaacs | 2023 | Documentary
Award-winning cartoonist and musician Carol Isaacs explores what it’s like to be the UK-born daughter of Iraqi Jews growing up in an Ashkenormative world. This light-hearted three-minute snapshot of Iraqi-Jewish culture explains that being Jewish doesn’t necessarily involve klezmer and kugel, while challenging the common assumption of what Jews should be like and celebrating the differences. UK Jewish Film Short Awardee.

Paddling for Life
Dir. Judy Herbstein | 2021 | Documentary
This short documentary introduces audiences to the Pink Lionesses, a unique women’s sports group whose common goal is to recover and recuperate from breast cancer. Using dragon boats, these extraordinary women paddle towards recovery on the Sea of Galilee and the Yarkon River in Israel.

Dir. Shaylee Atary | 2020 | Narrative
Festival Favorite and Best Short Film at the Hamptons Film Festival. Neurim portrays a strange and awkward relationship that develops between Orr, a 30-year-old wheelchair user, and her new physiotherapist, who brings new breezes of desire after an injury to her daily routine rehabilitation at her mother’s house.


Tuesday, May 14, 2024

6:00 PM Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater
Book Online

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

6:00 PM Bethesda Row Cinema
Book Online