If something — a restaurant, a car, a marriage — is around for 25 years, someone must be doing something right. That includes the Washington Jewish Film Festival, which this year hits the quarter-century mark. The reason for its success, says director Ilya Tovbis, is no secret.
“Part of the answer is boring, and that’s doing what we do well,” says Tovbis, who’s been the director of the festival for three years. “In truth, I stand on the shoulders of four great directors before me who have curated more interesting, innovative lineups than they had to.”
The lineup for this year’s edition, which opens Thursday and runs through March 1, blends new movies with some of the past festivals’ most memorable films, like 1975’s “Hester Street” and Francois Truffaut’s 1980 film “The Last Metro.” The goal each year is to represent the best in Jewish film, but “Jewish film” can be difficult to define, Tovbis says.