2017 Jewish Film Festival Starts February 4

The J’s annual Jewish Film Festival is right around the corner, and the hard-working Festival Committee, chaired by Keiley Caster, has put together a stellar lineup of films and events that will run from Saturday, February 4, through Sunday, February 26. The 2017 festival is made possible in part by Florence Morguelan, z”l.

Mark your calendars today. Unless otherwise indicated in the summaries below, the films will be shown at the Village 8 Theatres and tickets are $8.50 in advance, $10 at the door and $6 for students. Tickets will be available one hour before the show at the venue listed. Get your tickets at www.jewishlouisville.org/filmfestival or by calling 502-238-2771. Tickets can also be purchased in the JCC lobby.

The Jewish Film Festival kicks off with In Search of Israeli Cuisine on Saturday, February 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Adath Jeshurun. In this American film, Chef Michael Solomonov guides us through the dynamic Israeli food scene that reflects the fusion of 100 different cultures in Israel. Indulge your cravings with wine and modern Israeli appetizers provided by Sasha Chack of Izzy’s Kosher Catering. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door and $12 for students. This special event is sponsored by Louis Levy and Wilma Probst Levy Film and Theatre Fund.

Next up is Wedding Doll on Thursday, February 9, at 7 p.m. at the Village 8 Theatres. In this Israeli film, a young woman with a mild mental deficiency, strives for independence and love while working in a toilet-paper factory in the desert. The closing of the factory and loss of her boyfriend shakes up their lives and forces them to make hard decisions.

Head to Bellarmine University’s Cralle Theatre in Wyatt Hall on Saturday, February 11, at 7:30 p.m. for The Women’s Balcony. In this Israeli film, when the women’s balcony in a synagogue collapses, the congregation accepts the help of a young rabbi who pushes his fundamentalist ways. This tests the women’s friendships, creates a rift between the husbands and wives, but all is resolved in a good-hearted and humorous way. A catered dessert reception will finish the evening, offering the opportunity to eat and visit with friends. This film is co-sponsored by the Bellarmine University Hillel.

On Sunday, February 12, at 10 a.m., the Jewish Film Festival is bringing back Nicky’s Family by popular demand. This Czech film recounts the story of Sir Nicholas Winton, who personally saved the lives of 669 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia by transporting them across Germany to Britain in 1939. For nearly 50 years, he kept the secret from everyone, even his wife. This film is co-sponsored by Ann and Coleman Friedman Children’s Judaic Activity Fund which makes it possible for the Jewish religious school students to attend.

At 2 p.m. that day, check out Sabena Hijacking: My Version, a documentary about the hijacking of an Israeli plane by the Palestinian group Black September on May 8, 1972. The film effectively uses interviews from the passengers, soldiers, 3 prime ministers and a hijacker.

On Thursday, February 16, at 7 p.m., Fever at Dawn presents the story of a Holocaust survivor in a Swedish hospital who sets out to find a wife despite the prognosis that he has only six months to live. It is based on the true story of author/director Peter Gardos’ parents.

The Kind Words, an Israeli film, recounts the quest of three Jerusalem siblings that takes them to France to uncover the secret of their past when their mother dies and they discover the man who raised them is not their biological father. This film, which contains some nudity and sexual scenes, will be shown on Saturday, February 18, at 7:30 p.m.

Rabin in His Own Words, to be shown on Sunday, February 19, at 2 p.m., is a pastiche of rare recordings and documents, including some off-the-record interviews, woven together to present this biography, narrated by Rabin himself.

In what has become a Jewish Film Festival tradition, The Temple is co-sponsoring the free showing of two short films, Little Dictator and Muktzeh from the Ma’aleh School of Television, Film and Arts, on Monday, February 20, at 7 p.m.

The first deals with a boring history professor who feels unappreciated. At a birthday party for his wife’s grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, he is forced to face up to himself and his family.

The second is the story of a Russian immigrant and the difficulties he encounters in his relationship with his wife as he explores his religious identity and seeks to fulfill his dreams of becoming an actor. A dessert reception will follow the film.

In a collaboration among the Jewish Film Festival, the Speed Art Museum; the University of Louisville’s Middle East and Islamic Studies and Jewish Studies Departments; and Hillel, Disturbing the Peace will be shown on Thursday, February 23, at 7 p.m. in the Speed Art Museum Cinema, 2035 S. Third St.

The film follows former Israeli soldiers from elite units and Palestinian fighters, many of whom served years in prison, as they join together to challenge the status quo and say, “ENOUGH.” Representatives from both sides form Combatants for Peace, a nonviolent group that uses dialogue and the arts to find compassion and empathy to work towards their goal of ending the conflict.

Following the film there will be a moderated discussion, led by Dr. Ranen Omer-Sherman, The Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence Endowed Chair in Judaic Studies at UofL.

Tickets are $8.50 in advance and for Speed Museum members, $10 at the door and $6 for students. Parking is available for a fee in the Speed Parking Garage. Transportation by van is available for $5 per person. The van will depart The J at 6:15 and return after the discussion. Reserve your seat on the van by contacting Marsha Bornstein, 502-238-2731 or mbornstein@jewishlouisville.org.

Against all odds, Maccabi Tel Aviv won the 1977 European Cup Basketball Championship. On the Map, which will be shown on Saturday, February 25, at 7:30 p.m., tells the inspiring tale, set against the political realities of the world at that time. Featuring interviews with the star, Tal Brody and other American and Israeli athletes, this American documentary depicts the excitement of the game set against the political realities of the world at that time.  This film is co-sponsored by Cantor David Lipp’s Discretionary Fund at Congregation Adath Jeshurun.

The 2017 Jewish Film Festival wraps up with Once in a Lifetime on Sunday, February 26, at 12:30 p.m. Based on a true story, a dedicated history teacher at a French high school challenges her underprivileged inner-city pupils with a unique assignment: a national competition on the theme of child victims of the Nazi concentration camps. Despite the odds against winning, these-rebellious teens soon begin to see one another – and themselves – in a whole new light. This film is co-sponsored by Ann and Coleman Friedman Children’s Judaic Activity Fund which makes it possible for the Jewish religious school students to attend.

The 2017 Jewish Film Festival is made possible in part by The Eye Care Institute, the Louis Levy and Wilma Probst Levy Film and Theatre Arts Fund, Hillel, Bellarmine University, The Temple, the Speed Art Museum, the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, Cantor David Lipp’s Discretionary Fund at Congregation Adath Jeshurun, Florence Morguelan, z”l, and the Rosa Gladstein Fund.

Members of the 2017 Jewish Film Festival Committee are, Chair Keiley Castor, Rabbi David Ariel-Joel, Lisa Sobel-Berlow, Janice Glaubinger, Angeline Golden, Toni Goldman, Meryl Kasdan, Jenna Koff, Louis Levy (co-founder), Cantor David Lipp, Ranen Omer- Sherman, Pami, Mark Prussian, Shelly Rifkin, Susan Waterman and Rabbi Michael Wolk.

Marsha Bornstein is the Jewish Film Festival director.

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