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Streaming January 14-26, 2022 Digital Screening Room

Canada | 53 minutes | 2021

Just As I Am

US Premiere

A little film with a great big heart, Evan Beloff’s (MJFF 2020’s A People’s Soundtrack) new documentary follows the lives of several members of the Shira Choir, comprised of an exceptional group of singers with special needs, and the choirmaster that unites them. In Just As I Am, we meet Daniel Benlolo, a cantor and rabbi who founded the Shira Choir for special needs adults who must leave the structured confines of school once they've reached age 21. He has seen how singing in the ensemble provides these individuals with motivation, goals, and community, and the results are transformative. His efforts are as extraordinary as his choristers' longing to be together again amid the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. This touching journey through sorrow and joy, life and death, shows us how music challenges, heals, and uplifts those who are devoted to it.

Accompanying the film premiere is a discussion with director Evan Beloff, Cantor Daniel Benlolo, and moderator Nancy Zaretsky, Inclusion Specialist at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. To view the conversation please click here.

Director's Bio

Directed by Evan Beloff

Director Photo
Evan Beloff is the founder of Ontic Media, a production and video content company that creates and provides innovative documentaries, visual legacies, archives, and profiles. Just As I Am is Evan's second film to premiere at the Miami Jewish Film Festival, after his musical documentary A People's Soundtrack received its world premiere at the festival in 2020.

Cast and Credits


Evan Beloff


Evan Beloff, Noah Leon


Noah Leon


Noah Leon


Daniel Benlolo, Rhonda Friedman, Steven Zack

Film Info






53 minutes


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