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Jay Weissberg

New York-born Jay Weissberg lives in Rome and has been a film critic for the industry paper Variety since 2003, travelling to film festivals throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. His work has also appeared in international publications including The London Review of Books, Sight & Sound and EPD Film, and he’s contributed essays in festival and retrospective catalogues, most notably on Romanian film.

In addition to covering contemporary cinema, he writes about aspects of silent film, most recently on the silent work of the Barrymore clan, and Albert Capellani’s American career. He’s also programmed for the Pordenone Silent Film Festival and Bologna’s Cinema Ritrovato.

A frequent participant of festival juries, he has taken part in numerous panel discussions on the state of contemporary cinema and film criticism, been a guest of the Harvard Film Archives/Gulbenkian Foundation’s Cinema Dialogues, as well as acted as mentor in programs for young film critics in Rotterdam, Berlin, Cairo, Locarno and Abu Dhabi.

Read an example of Jay’s work here.


Twitter handle: None. I’m not on social media (no Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram…)


City I call home: Rome

Genre/style/region of cinema I am most passionate about: Silent film

A film that formed me/my mind is: Abel Gance’s Napoleon, which I first saw when I was 16; when I saw it again, I discovered I remembered camera movements from when I watched it 33 years earlier. That must mean something!

MIFF 2015 film I’m most looking forward to: I can finally catch up with Arnaud Desplechin’s My Golden Days and Albert Maysles’ Iris!

I’m looking forward to Critics Campus because: I always enjoy engaging with colleagues, sharing thoughts that help all of us see film through new eyes, in new ways.

Cinema excites me because: it’s the totality of our lives, combining visual excitement, psychology, storytelling, culture and history.