The Miami Jewish Film Festival (MJFF) was established in 1996 and has grown into a core cultural program for South Florida’s vibrant arts landscape. In 2013, with the hiring of new Festival Director Igor Shteyrenberg, Miami Jewish Film Festival entered an era of expansion and commitment to artistic quality.
MJFF's programming voice, unique among Jewish film festivals, has gained recognition for its numerous discoveries and prize winners. Annual attendance and media impressions have grown exponentially with the Festival's original audience increasing from 4,000 in 2013 to 30,000 in 2018. Official Festival venues also expanded to Regal South Beach Cinemas, Miami Beach Cinematheque, Coral Gables Art Cinema, O Cinema, Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, Temple Beth Am, Miami Beach JCC, Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, and Miami Theater Center.
The Festival has hosted and introduced a diverse group of filmmakers including renowned stars and directors such as Natalie Portman, Itzhak Perlman, Logan Lerman, Nancy Spielberg, Emily Ratajkowski, Whit Stillman, Sarah Gadon, Zubin Mehta, Richard Trank, Michael Solomonov, Bill Morrison, Michael Gordon, Ronit Elkabetz, Alon Ben-Gurion, Tal Brody, and Leon Vitali. Domestic US theatrical distributors and broadcasters participating in the Festival have included 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Classics, A24, Focus Features, Fox Searchlight, Music Box Films, Menemsha Films, Greenwich Films, Cohen Media, Film Movement, Gaumont, IFC, Sundance Selects, Kino Lorber, Gunpowder & Sky, Strand Releasing, Oscilloscope, and HBO Documentary Films, among many others.
The Miami Jewish Film Festival has been named "One of the Best Jewish Film Festival's in the US" by the prestigious publication The Forward and "One of South Florida's Best Film Festivals" by The Miami New Times. MJFF is one of the three largest and most respected Jewish film festivals in the world, the fastest growing film festival in the state of Florida, and the largest Jewish cultural event in Southeast United States. In the last five years, the Festival has screened films from more than 30 countries, including 200 World, International, North American, US and East Coast Premieres. Miami Jewish Film Festival’s special focus on discovering new talent and recognizing established filmmakers has made it a natural gateway for the best in Jewish and Israeli cinema from around the world.
The Festival prides its success on its solid foundation of cultural commitment to the community. MJFF aims to create greater cultural understanding, promote tolerance, and encourage artistic development and excellence by strengthening communities through the arts, and by provoking thought through film.