Best of Fests

Taught by Ilya Tovbis
Wednesdays, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
6 Sessions, March 17 – April 21
Registration deadline: March 12

$169 ($149 for JxJ Donors of certain levels*)

This class is only open to those who have taken the How Movies Are Made course.

Building off the skills and concepts discussed in How Movies Are Made (participation in that course is a pre-requisite), we take a cinephiles’ journey through time and space to explore, debate, and analyze award-winning films from top international Festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Venice and Sundance.

Through six sessions, we’ll set our sights on film gems from Canada, Colombia, France, India, Japan, and the US as we delve into thrillers, indie comedies, mystical adventures and more.

Each class will begin with a brief lecture (30mins or less) that touches on the history and importance of the week’s film festival, the oeuvre and influence of the week’s filmmaker(s), and the critical response to their work.
The bulk of the class will then be given over to a moderated group discussion about the film of the week.
Films to be discussed include: Atlantic City, Distant Thunder, Embrace of the Serpent, Girlfriends, Shoplifters, and Winter’s Bone**.

** Additional streaming film rentals required. The film list is subject to change if streaming availability changes.


Teacher: Ilya Tovbis is the Artistic and Managing Director of JxJ, and for 8 years the Director of the Washington Jewish Film Festival. He has been a guest programmer at the Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) and the Virginia Film Festival (VAFF). His film reviews and industry breakdowns have been published in indieWire, Slant Magazine, and Flavorpill.

This class is only open to those who have taken the How Movies Are Made course.