We look forward to welcoming you at our 21st Festival with new award-winning films from across the Jewish world, panels, guest speakers and more in a five-night celebration of culture and community. Join Us!


Helpful Information

Time and location: all films are screened at Studio-C (Celebration Cinema North) at Knapp Corner and begin at 7:30pm.

  • Individual tickets are $8.00 and are available via the links below or at Celebration’s box office.
  • Flex Pass is $36.00 and includes 8 admissions. It is available via the links below or at the Federation office. The Flex Pass punch card will be available for pickup at Federation office during working hours or at our table in Celebration lobby the week of film festival. 
  • Annual Dinner is on Tuesday, April 30th at 6:00pm at Celebration’s Wave Room. Tickets are $12.00 per person and are available via the links below or at the Federation office.

For assistance: please contact the Federation Office at markay@jfgr.org or (616) 942-5553

See you at the movies!

- Film Festival Committee


Sunday, April 28, 2019 7:30 pm

The Last Suit

Drama / 90 min/ Argentina, Spain 2017
Director/Screenwriter: Pablo Solarz

Abraham Bursztein survived the Holocaust, made a successful life in a foreign land and now, at 88, isn’t about to quietly fade away. Instead, he plots a secret one-way trip to Poland, where he plans to find the Christian friend who saved him, and to keep his promise to return one day. From Argentina to Spain, across Germany and finally to Poland, Abraham is accompanied by characters he meets along the way, who both help him and need his help. This comedic and poignant film won the 2018 Audience Award in several Jewish Film Festivals around the country.

Winner of 2018 Jewish Film Festivals Audience Award: Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, Washington DC and more


Monday, April 29, 2019 7:30 pm

The Unorthodox
Drama / 90 min/ Israel, 2018
Director/Screenwriter: Eliran Malka

It’s 1983 and Yakov, a printer in Jerusalem, is just a regular guy. He has no money and no political experience. But he does have passion to take action when his daughter is expelled from school because of ethnic discrimination against Sephardic Jews. Informal, full of love for fellow man, animated by a great sense of humor and a whole lot of rage, Yakov’s grassroots effort marks the beginning of profound change in Israeli society which continues to resonate today. This first ever feature to star an all Haredi cast opened the 2018 renowned Jerusalem Film Festival.

Guest Speakers: Michael Harris, Ph.D., Dean & Professor of Public Policy, College of Public Service, Tennessee State University.

The Unorthodox” is a morality tale, both loving and critical, and the applause when the credits rolled were heartfelt.”

- The Times of Israel

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 7:30 pm


Drama / 90 min / Israel, 2018
Director: Jacob Goldwasser

Based on a true account, Shoelaces, tells the story of a relationship between Rueben and his special-needs son,Gadi, whom he abandoned while a young boy. Now Reuben's kidneys are failing and his son wants to donate a kidney to help save his father's life. Depicting a poignant relationship of love, rejection and co-dependency, the film explores the importance of human life and human connection and wonders whether life is even possible without either one of them. Winner of several 2019 Jewish Film Festivals Audience Awards including Atlanta, Boston, and Los Angeles.


Panel discussion following screening 


Winner of 2019 Jewish Film Festivals Audience Award: Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles and more

Global Yom Ha’Shoah Screening

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 7:30 pm (Erev Yom Ha’Shoah)

Who Will Write Our History

Feature documentary / 95 min/ USA, 2018

Director: Roberta Grossman

Led by historian Emanuel Ringelblum,a clandestine group of journalists,scholars, and community leaders in the Warsaw Ghetto vowed to defeat Nazi propaganda. They wrote and commissioned diaries, essays, poems and songs. They also collected photographs, official and underground newspapers, and more. On the eve of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, they buried 60,000 pages of documentation in the hopes that the archive would survive, even if they did not. Now, for the first time, their story is told as a feature documentary.

Guest Speakers: Robert Franciosi, Ph.D., Professor of English at Grand Valley State University and Holocaust educator

Co Sponors: The Stevens Holocaust Education fund, GVSU Frederick Meijer Honors College, Kaufman Interfaith Institute.

Special introductory music by Shir Shalom Choir


“Who Will Write Our History” recounts a bold story of Nazi resistance. And inside that one story are countless others, each immensely important. 

- The New York Times

Thursday, May 2, 2019 7:30 pm


Drama / 95 min / Mexico, 2018
Director: Isaac Cherem

Adults only (sexual content)

Leona is an intimate, insightful, and moving film that tells the story of a young Jewish woman from Mexico City who finds herself torn between her family and her forbidden love. Ripe with drama and interpersonal conflicts of a Jane Austen novel, watching her negotiate the labyrinth of familial pressure, religious precedent, and her own burgeoning sentiment is both painful and beautiful – there are no easy choices to be made and the viewer travels back and forth with her as she struggles with her heart to take the best path.


It is a thought-provoking work of art that tells an intimate and authentic story… it’s not one that should be missed…

- FanBolt