About Us

One of the largest and most respected Jewish film festivals in North America, the Washington Jewish Film Festival (WJFF) is an international exhibition of cinema that celebrates the diversity of Jewish history, culture and experience through the moving image. In addition to the annual festival, the WJFF presents an ongoing, year-round film series, in our home venue at the Edlavitch DCJCC.

The WJFF annually serves over 15,000 people through 80+ screenings, nearly all of which are regional, US or world premieres. Most screenings are followed by discussions with guest filmmakers and subject matter experts.

The 27th Festival lights up screens throughout the DC metropolitan area from May 17-28, 2017.

WJFF Staff

Ilya-Tovbis-2Ilya Tovbis became the Washington Jewish Film Festival Director in 2012. He has extensive programming experience in both the Jewish and broader film worlds, having previously worked with the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, The Picture House, The JCC of NY’s Israel Film Center and the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Prior to coming on as the WJFF Director, Ilya was the Director of Programming at The Picture House, a historic arthouse cinema located in Southern Westchester. The theater annually attracted over 25,000 people to a varied selection of programming with a focus on international, documentary and independent film.

Before his tenure with The Picture House, Ilya worked at two of the nation’s most prestigious Jewish film programs — the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival and The JCC in Manhattan’s Israel Film Center. The SFJFF is the country’s oldest and largest Jewish Film Festival, while the IFC is the preeminent US body focused on the promotion of Israeli cinema.

Kaitlin Whitman is the WJFF Associate Director of Operations. She brings a wealth of arts administration and film festival experience to WJFF and a passion for sharing the transformative power of film. Prior to joining WJFF, she worked at American University as the Photography Lab Manager where students learned how to process and print their own images in a darkroom.

Before that, Kaitlin worked at the DC Environmental Film Festival in programming and a variety of other roles for five years. She regularly volunteers with festivals across the city, attends as many as possible, and consults on film projects.

Kaitlin graduated from American University with a MA in Arts Management in 2014 and a BA in Visual Media and Cinema Studies in 2009.

Alexis RodriguezAlexis Rodriguez is the WJFF Outreach and Communications Manager. He has a background in arts marketing and is passionate about bringing organizations closer to their communities.

Prior to joining the EDCJCC, he worked on grassroots marketing and public relations strategies at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at Strathmore. He also helped develop and manage their Brainiacs program, an audience engagement aimed at boosting retention among new subscribers.

Alexis graduated from American University with an MA in Arts Management in 2015 and a BA in Marketing from the University of Puerto Rico in 2012.

HGHcropHannah Grace Heartfield is the WJFF Administrative Coordinator. She brings with her a passion for the arts and culture as well as a background in dance and music. Prior to joining WJFF, she spent the summer interning with the PBS Foundation where she assisted with fundraising efforts for PBS educational programming.

Before coming to the WJFF, Hannah Grace served as the company manager for Gamut Dance Company where she coordinated several performances during her senior year of college. She spent last summer as the Development Intern with Washington Performing Arts helping with donor events and administrative projects.

Hannah Grace is a recent graduate of Davidson College with a BA in English and a concentration in Global Literary Theory.

Nick Mariotti is the WJFF Operations Manager. He has a background in front of house logistics and a passion for arts and entertainment event management. Prior to joining the WJFF, Nick has previously worked as Operations Coordinator at the Warner Theatre and Production Assistant at the Fillmore Silver Spring, as well an Event Coordinator for the New England Music Awards & Artist Conference between 2013 and 2014. Nick graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a BM in Music Business in 2016.

Caitlyn Eller is the WJFF Box Office Manager. She graduated with a BA in Fine Arts in 2015 and subsequently spent a year abroad participating in arts-based community outreach and research. Caitlyn has a passion for the arts: visual, performative, and literary, and is eager to return to local DC arts initiatives after her absense.

Kimberley Rothberg is the 27th WJFF Communications Intern. She brings with her a passion for the performing arts and education in public relations. Kimberly is currently studying at American University where she works with the student theatre group, AU Players.

Prior to interning with the WJFF she directed performances with the theatre group where she served as student director. She also spent the summer directing children’s performances at The Theatre Lab here in DC. Currently, Kimberly writes for the student newspaper, The Eagle, as an Arts and Entertainment writer.

Kimberly is a sophomore student at American University studying public relations and business and entertainment.

Contact Us

Send messageclear