Film Festival Returns with Laughs, Drama and More

The 17th annual Louisville Jewish Film Festival promises to make attendees laugh, cry, sing and think with a wide variety of options.

As part of the JCC’s 125th Anniversary, the festival will team up with CenterStage to offer a special musical event –Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy, on Saturday, February 7. The event will feature the Peabody Award-winning documentary looks at the unique role of some of the greatest composers, writers and performers of the Broadway stage.

The songs of the Broadway musical were created almost exclusively by Jewish Americans, such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George and Ira Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein, John Kander, Harold Prince, Stephen Sondheim, Mel Brooks, Matthew Broderick, Zero Mostel, Nathan Lane, Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth, Barbra Streisand and more over a 50 year period. There will be a catered dessert reception and complimentary beer and wine.

The show is Saturday, February 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center. Tickets are $25 in advance; $28 at the door. A Vaad-approved dessert will be made available if reserved by February 3.

The Louisville Jewish Film Festival opens on February 5 with Run Boy Run, the true story of a 9-year old Polish boy who flees the Warsaw ghetto in 1942. Forced to survive in the woods while evading SS patrols and finding occasional shelter from locals, he is able to keep his Jewish faith alive.

Other highlights include Kidon (February 8, 2 p.m. at Village 8 Theater). This comedic spy-thriller begins with the killing of a Hamas leader in a Dubai hotel. Local police blame Mossad, who has never heard of the agents or their mission. Mossad must quickly figure out the situation as it realizes it is only one player in a high-stakes con game.
Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem (February 16, 7 p.m. at the Temple) won the Israeli Film Academy Ophir Award for Best Picture in 2014 and is nominated for a Golden Globe and is Israel’s nomination for best foreign film at the Academy Awards. It tells the story of an Israeli woman and her struggle to leave her loveless marriage. Her religiously devout husband is refusing a gett (divorce) which is required, as all marriage and divorce in Israel is done with the blessing of Orthodox rabbis. Gett is a heart-rending portrait of a woman’s struggle to overcome an unmoving patriarchy and live a life of her own design.

Zero Motivation (February 21, 7:30 p.m. at Village 8 Theaters), is a cynical comedy about the lives of three young women doing mandatory service in the Israeli Army. A huge hit in Israel, the film revolves around a unit of female Israeli soldiers, bored spending their days in a rural base and disgusted by the chauvinist male officers. Their biggest battles are against their commanders or the men who treat them badly, and the only guns they fire are staple guns.
Many films will feature guest moderators following the film. Tickets for most shows are $8.50 in advance, $10 at the door and $6 for students and can be ordered online at or by calling 502-459-0660.

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