Film highlights dozens of Christmas songs written by Jewish composers

The Vancouver Film Festival is underway and "Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas" will premiere. The film celebrates the myriad of Christmas songs written by Jewish composers.

Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas had its world premiere on Sunday at Vancouver Jewish Film Festival

Director Larry Weinstein says the meaning of Christmas is kindness, something people of all faiths can celebrate. (Riddle Films)

The 29th annual Vancouver Jewish Film Festival is underway — and one featured film is highlighting just how many iconic Christmas songs were actually written by Jewish composers.

Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas had its world premiere on Sunday at Fifth Avenue Cinemas in Vancouver. 

"So many of these songs have genuine warmth. It's about longing, it's about family," said director Larry Weinstein.

"Jews are not really strangers to the whole family thing and that warmth. It's something I think they really identified with."

Weinstein said the list of songs written by Jewish composers is staggering.

It includes Little Drummer BoyWhite Christmas, Winter Wonderland and Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer, as well as soundtracks for movies like "The Grinch" and "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

The film, set in a Chinese restaurant, is filled with music from start to end.

"Traditionally it was the only kind of restaurant open on Christmas," said Weinstein. "So the Chinese and the Jews shared this special occasion."

"We kind of took it a step further and had this fantasy at this restaurant where all these magical performances of Christmas music by Jewish composers take place."

The festival runs until Nov 12.

With files from CBC Radio's On the Coast