Film & TV

Miami Jewish Film Festival Launches Video On Demand Platform

In an age where video on demand (VOD) services reign supreme, and fewer people are willing to make the trip out to catch interesting films that aren't widely available, everyone's turning to getting their content online. Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, iTunes, MUBI -- those are just some of the better-known bunch.

But what if we told you that film festivals were taking the leap to providing an on demand service year-round? That's exactly what the Miami Jewish Film Festival is doing.

See also: From Abortion to Gay Rights, the Miami Jewish Film Festival Is Pushing Creative Boundaries

MJFF is launching its own new VOD website, mjff.muvies.com, this week in an attempt to offer festival content to audiences year-round -- without the hassle of driving around Miami.

"We are thrilled to offer film fans yet another way to experience the best international films year-round," says festival director Igor Shteyrenberg. And that's exactly what he, the festival, and the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education are doing: bringing the movies directly to you.

"The launch of our VOD platform is a defining moment in the Miami Jewish Film Festival's 18 year history, as it will unlock the past, present, and future of Jewish film, and most importantly, offers an unprecedented opportunity to connect with a passionate online audience of film lovers," he explains. Even though the website is brand new, there's already a solid selection available for anyone interested. On the front page alone, a flurry of works are shown, many of which have been included in the festival in the past.

If you're not interested in looking through pages of films, the site conveniently offers multiple categories to choose from in a sidebar; comedies, documentaries, short works, and queer films among others. Just to list a few of the varied choices available for interested parties, there's This Must Be the Place, Let's Dance, Eyes Wide Open, Thérèse Desqueyroux, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Berlin '36, and Paris Manhattan.

While the selection isn't nearly as vast as what some of those huge services might offer, the prices are reasonable: Average rental price is between $3.50-$5, and to buy the film it's around $8-$12. (Discounts will be available for MJFF members.) Compare that to dropping $20 on tickets for a night out (and that's not even including the parking, food, and drinks).

But what's best of all about this project, outside of the convenience of it all, is that it's another excellent reminder of just how dedicated the Miami Jewish Film Festival is to providing audiences with diverse films. We can only hope to see what else they bring us this year.

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Juan Antonio Barquin is a Miami-based writer who programs the queer film series Flaming Classics and serves as co-editor of Dim the House Lights. Barquin aspires to be Bridget Jones.