The 19th annual Maine Jewish Film Festival opens Saturday, March 12, at the Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville. The Opening Night festivities includes a tailgate themed gala at 6:30 p.m. followed by “Touchdown Israel: Tackle Football in the Holy Land” at 7:30 p.m.

“As the northern stronghold of Patriots Nation, we thought this was the perfect way to open the 2016 festival,” MJFF’s Executive and Artistic Director Louise Rosen said in a news release from the organization. “Touchdown Israel” reveals the emergence of the Israeli Football League, supported by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

The all-inclusive festival is a celebration of world culture consisting of 25 films that run the gamut from a romantic comedy in Los Angeles to a zombie apocalypse in Jerusalem. This year’s themes include a British Invasion with a selection of dramas and documentaries from the UK, a Women Filmmakers Forum and LGBTQ Focus.

Screenings during the weeklong festival will be held in Portland at the Nickelodeon Cinemas, Maine College of Art and Portland Museum of Art, in Lewiston at the Bates College Olin Arts Center, and in Brunswick at the Frontier Café and Cinema. Opening Night receptions will precede the film in Portland and Lewiston.

Tickets are on sale at Brown Paper Tickets or by phone at 800-838-3006. A complete festival schedule including featured guest speakers, panelists and special forums is online at www.mjff.org.

Since 1998, the Maine Jewish Film Festival has screened more than 375 films and brought more than 125 guest artists from across the U.S. and around the world to Maine. With more than 37,000 tickets sold to a cross-section of Maine’s movie lovers, the Maine Jewish Film Festival is one of the most highly anticipated cultural events in the state.

Other Waterville screenings

“Dough,” comedy-drama starring Jonathan Pryce, Malachi Kirby, $10, $8 students and seniors, Railroad Square Cinema, 17 Railroad Square, www.mjff.org, 7:15 p.m. Sunday, March 13.

“Censored Voices” documentary, Maine Jewish Film Festival screening, $10, $8students and seniors, $8, Railroad Square Cinema, 17 Railroad Square, www.mjff.org, 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 15.

Maine Jewish Film Festival screening, “Once in a Lifetime Drama,” $10, $8 students and seniors, Railroad Square Cinema, 17 Railroad Square, www.mjff.org, 7:15 p.m. Thursday, March 17.

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