Charlotte Jewish Film Festival Promotes Unity at Time of Rising Antisemitism

A still image from "Cinema Sabaya," a 2021 film about Arab and Jewish women in a filmmaking workshop. Photo: Green Productions.

February 7, 2022

The 18th-annual Charlotte Jewish Film Festival — which began on Feb. 5 and runs through Feb. 27 — is aiming to foster social solidarity at a time of rising antisemitism across the U.S. and around the world.

“People outside the Jewish community really minimize the situation,” Susan Cherin, the festival’s director, told The Charlotte Observer. “They just don’t get it. They’re not afraid to go into church.”

The surge of hatred targeting Jews makes events like the film festival — hosted by the Levine Jewish Community Center — all the more necessary, Cherin said, to avoid “giving your oppressors the power.”

For the second straight year, the festival is being held in an all-virtual format due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The festival’s lineup of 18 films was chosen to showcase a diverse array of cultures and nationalities.

The goal, Cherin noted, was for the festival to be “a tiny little part in trying to make what we like to call a healthier Charlotte, a safer Charlotte.”

Charlotte is home to around 15,000 Jews — the largest Jewish community in the state of North Carolina.

For more information on the Charlotte Jewish Film Festival, visit: culturalartsljcc.eventive.org/welcome