THE WASHINGTON Jewish Film Festival: An Exhibition of International Cinema celebrates its 10th anniversary with 41 feature films, documentaries and shorts from 21 countries, through Dec. 12.

The festival kicks off Thursday at the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St. NW), where director Ivan Nichev will introduce the Washington premiere of his film, "After the World," a romantic tale of first love set in the Balkans where -- at one time -- Armenians, Greeks, Gypsies, Jews, Turks and ethnic Bulgarians lived side by side. After the 6:45 screening, there will be a dessert reception with live swing music. The after-screening party takes place at the Reeves Center (2000 14th St. NW).

The remaining films will be shown at three locations: the Cecile Goldman Theater at the DC Jewish Community Center (16th and Q streets NW), the Loews Cineplex Foundry in Georgetown (1055 Thomas Jefferson St. NW) and the Goethe-Institut (814 Seventh St. NW).

Next Friday's film (Dec. 3) is "Leon the Pig Farmer" (5:45 at JCC), an English satire by Gary Sinyor, set in London, about a Jewish kid who finds out his biological father is a pig farmer in Yorkshire.

The movies are too many to list, but they include:

* "The Happiest Place on Earth," based on the true story of a film production that was begun during the Nazi era in France; it screens at 5:45 Saturday at the JCC.

* "The Giraffe," produced by X-Filme, the exciting Berlin filmmaking production center that made "Run Lola Run," at 8:45 Saturday and 7:15 Sunday at the Foundry.

* "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg," a film about the famous Jewish baseball player by Washington-based filmmaker Aviva Kempner; it's shown at 6 Monday, at the JCC.

* The German version of "Jakob the Liar," made in 1974, a much better version than the Robin Williams film, shown at 5, Dec. 12, at the Goethe-Institut.

The festival concludes at 7 Dec. 12 on two screens at the Foundry with "Emporte-Moi," a coming-of-age French film, which will be introduced by director Lea Pool. Admission for weekday (before 6 p.m.) performances is $5.50, and $7.50 for evening shows. Opening night event is $25; and $15 for the "Emporte-Moi" event.

To order tickets, call 800/494-8497 (no service charge). And for festival information, call 202/777-3248 or visit