The Maine Jewish Film Festival will be held virtually next month from Nov. 6-14, featuring 177 feature and documentary films that people can experience from home.

Now in its 24th year, the festival’s vision is that great films unite us in increasing communication and understanding. Maine Jewish Film Festival films offer fresh perspectives on history, science, the arts and community. They have the potential to stimulate meaningful discussions on themes that matter, particularly as we deal with change and uncertainty.

“[The festival’s] mission has never been more relevant, and we are thrilled that we are able to be able to present our programs in a format that meets our audience’s needs.” said Barbara Merson, the festival’s executive director. “We are excited about our 2021 offerings, which span the globe and provide insights into a wide variety of human situations.”

2021 Maine Jewish Festival films will include many genres, including drama, documentaries and even a mockumentary:

  • “Persian Lessons” — Inspired by a short story, “Persian Lessons” explores the power of coincidence and human creativity when under extreme pressure by telling the story of a WWII prisoner who is forced to teach a language he does not know
  • “Challah Rising in the Desert” — A revelatory mosaic of faith and cultural pride amidst a unique landscape, this movie celebrates the history and people of New Mexico’s Jewish community.
  • “Double Income, Kids” – This film offers an intimate look at surrogacy and gay parenthood as a couple pursue their dreams and become parents of twins.
  • “La Estella Roja” – This provocative, haunting and even hilarious mockumentary is simultaneously a retelling of the story of Esther and a commentary on history and current events.
  • “Asia” – Starring well know actress Shira Haas and the winner of numerous awards, this film focuses on the relationship between a free-spirited mother and her differently abled daughter.
  • “A Crime on the Bayou” tells a story of great injustice and great courage by exploring the life of a falsely accused Black teenager and his battle for the truth.

As always, the Maine Jewish Film Festival will present numerous conversations with filmmakers and other commentators as part of the festival. This year, guests will include Nancy Buirski, the director of “A Crime on the Bayou,” Gabriel
Lichtman, the director of “Las Estella Roja,” and Lena Vurma, the producer of “Adventures of a Mathematician.”

The festival will also continue its tradition of providing some festival offerings free of charge to promote wide participation of a diverse audience.

The Maine Jewish Film Festival is a nonprofit whose mission is to provide a forum for the presentation of films to enrich, educate and entertain a diverse audience about the global Jewish experience. Since 1998, the Maine Jewish Film Festival has screened over 400 films and brought more than 150 guest artists from across the U.S. and around the world to Maine.

Tickets are on sale at A complete festival schedule including film descriptions, featured guest speakers, panelists, and special events can be found at

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: