Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center
“Brothers,” a film included at the 2023 SDIJFF. Photo credit: Screen shot, Vimeo

The San Diego International Jewish Film Festival begins Thursday with in-person screenings and a digital slate.

The opening-night film, Karaoke, screening at 7 p.m. at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla, depicts an aging couple and their fun-loving new neighbor, who shows them what they’ve been missing.

The film received multiple Ophir – equivalent to the Academy Awards – nominations, including Best Film, with two wins, for best actor Sasson Gabay and actress Rita Shukrun.

Highlights during the festival’s first weekend include:

  • Alegria – 10:30 a.m Friday, at odds with her family over religion, a woman faces a difficult choice due to her daughter.
  • Haute Couture – 1:30 p.m. Friday, Esther, nearing retirement from the House of Dior, takes a rebellious young girl under her wing, giving them both hope for a better life.
  • Farewell Mr. Haffman – 7 p.m. Saturday, a jeweler’s assistant, hoping to better himself and help his Jewish employer, must navigate his marriage, the Nazis and the war. 

The festival, which includes nearly 40 films, continues through Feb. 26, with streaming (of a limited selection of the festival films available from Feb. 27-March 3.

General streaming passes are $75, with individual streams set at $15. General admission for in-person screenings starts at $18. Multiple special events are available ahead of screenings.