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1945

1945 West Coast Premiere

Edwards San Marcos | Sat, Feb 18 7:00 PM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Sun, Feb 19 1:45 PM

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An unsettling feeling overwhelms a small Hungarian town when two orthodox Jews arrive with a mysterious trunk. The war is over and the villagers are preparing for a wedding, a new beginning for a town that, after the deportation of their Jewish neighbors, has redistributed their lands and assets amongst themselves. As the wedding preparations begin, two unfamiliar faces disembark from the train with luggage in tow. Questions arise throughout the town about land ownership, ill-gotten possessions and whether other survivors are on their way back too. As residents begin to speculate on the purpose of the visit of these two strangers, order starts to crumble in town with some pursuing devious plans and others finding remorse in their hearts.

Based on the short story "Homecoming" by Gábor T. Szántó

Ferenc Török | Hungary | 2016 | 88 minutes | Hungarian, Russian, English Subtitles | Narrative

Guest Speaker: Ferenc Torok, Director

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Amor

Amor San Diego Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Sun, Feb 12 4:30 PM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Wed, Feb 15 2:00 PM

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Heartbroken and confused, a man must make a decision for the love of his life that may haunt him forever. Just prior to being married, Daniel’s fiancée, Lila, was struck by a car, which left her paralyzed and confined to a bed. Escaping the tragedy, Daniel left home and spent three years aimlessly wandering throughout Europe.  Now back home, he must confront Lila and decide whether her one request is something he is willing to do for her.

Raphael Rebibo | France, Israel | 2016 | 86 minutes | Hebrew, English Subtitles | Narrative

Guest Speaker: Mario D. Garrett, PhD., Professor of Gerontology, School of Social Work/College of Health and Human Services

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Body and Soul: An American Bridge

Body and Soul: An American Bridge Southern CA Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Sun, Feb 19 7:45 PM (Closing Night)

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Closing Night
Can music ease conflicts, mend relationships, and create a cross-cultural sound that breaks the color barrier in popular music? Body and Soul: An American Bridge looks at the relationship between African Americans and Jews during the height of the Jazz Age. The story follows the early jazz classic “Body and Soul,” which was written by Jewish composer Johnny Green in 1929, sung on Broadway by Jewish torch singer Libby Holman, and made its mark on the work of Louis Armstrong. The film shows how the song led to an historic Benny Goodman Trio recording that broke the color barrier by including a black pianist in the ensemble.

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Robert Philipson | USA | 2016 | 59 minutes | English | Documentary

Guest Speaker: Robert Philipson, Director

Awards: Best Music Documentary, San Francisco Black Film Festival, 2016

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Cloudy Sunday

Cloudy Sunday San Diego Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Sun, Feb 12 11:00 AM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Wed, Feb 15 7:30 PM

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It’s 1942, the Germans have occupied Thessaloniki, Greece, and racist laws are imposed against Jewish citizens. Some residents find solace at a small tavern owned by a famous musician.  But then the musician’s brother-in-law falls in love with a young Jewish girl. In this tumultuous time, even their love may not escape the brutality that has gripped the Greek city.

Based on the book Ouzeri Tsitsanis by George Skarbadonis

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Manoussos Manoussakis | Greece | 2015 | 114 minutes | Greek, English Subtitles | Narrative

Guest Speaker: Nina Evarkiou, Instructor, Point Loma Nazarene University (2/12)

Awards: Best Costume Design & Best Make-Up, Hellenic Film Academy Awards, 2016

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Dirty Wolves

Dirty Wolves San Diego Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Sat, Feb 11 9:00 PM
Edwards San Marcos | Sun, Feb 12 8:00 PM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Thu, Feb 16 7:30 PM

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VIEWER DISCRETION: ADULT CONTENT

A small mining town in Spain’s northwestern Galicia region has been overrun by Nazis who use political prisoners and desperate locals to dig for the precious wolfram (tungsten), a metal important to both sides in the war effort. Manuela, a single mother who works in the mine, finds that the metal goes for much more on the black market. Soon she is working both sides to her advantage, until she realizes her work on the Allied side includes participating in a spy game. Meanwhile, her sister, Candela sees the need to help her Jewish neighbors escape to freedom, even though the risk might cost her entire family their lives. Based on a true story, this riveting tale is one of power, brutality, and justice.

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Simón Casal | Spain | 2015 | 105 minutes | Spanish, German, English Subtitles | Narrative

Guest Speaker: Mark Mauthner, Freelance Photographer and Curatorial Assistant (2/11)

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Essential Link, The: The Story of Wilfrid Israel

Essential Link, The: The Story of Wilfrid Israel USA Premiere

JCC Garfield Theatre | Fri, Feb 10 1:30 PM
Carlsbad Village Theatre | Sat, Feb 11 7:30 PM

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A fascinating look at how one man risked so much to save thousands – and the mystery that surrounds his own private and enigmatic life. Wilfrid Israel owned a department store in Berlin and was the last heir of a powerful Jewish family. A pacifist and society regular, Israel became one of the key figures in saving thousands of children in the Kindertransport operation. Additionally, he helped his employees flee from the German Nazis to Great Britain. The filmmaker was born on the kibbutz that houses the Wilfrid Israel Museum of East Asian Art and takes a personal look at the extraordinary yet strangely secretive life of a man who used his own wealth and power to help others find safety during one of history’s darkest times.

Inspired by the book Wilfrid Israel German Jewry’s Secret Ambassador by Naomi Shepherd

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Yonatan Nir | Israel | 2015 | 74 minutes | Hebrew, German, English, English Subtitles | Documentary

Guest Speaker: Yonatan Nir, Director

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Eva Hesse

Eva Hesse San Diego Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Wed, Feb 15 11:00 AM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Thu, Feb 16 1:30 PM

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The post-minimalist movement was inspired in part by pioneer artist Eva Hesse and her ground-breaking contributions to this art genre. Hesse is celebrated in this documentary as one of America’s foremost postwar artists. A woman whose career was cut short at age 34 due to a brain tumor, Hesse managed to leave a legacy of work that seemed to defy easy categorization. Her sculptures in latex, fiberglass, and plastics, as art critic Arthur Danto wrote, are “full of life, of eros, even of comedy. Each piece vibrates with originality and mischief.” Through journals, correspondence with close friends, and archival interviews, the story of Hesse, her work, and her trailblazing contributions as a female artist in the 1960’s unfolds.

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Marcie Begleiter | Germany, USA | 2016 | 105 minutes | English | Documentary

Guest Speaker: Rob Sidner, Director, Mingei International Museum

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Fanny's Journey

Fanny's Journey San Diego Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Sun, Feb 12 1:30 PM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Tue, Feb 14 11:00 AM
Edwards San Marcos | Wed, Feb 15 5:00 PM

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Fanny’s Journey “is a handsome, compelling period piece that deftly portrays events through the eyes of its young protagonists.” – Variety 
Thirteen-year-old Fanny Ben-Ami and her sisters, Erika and Georgette, have been shuffled through various foster homes for Jewish children in an attempt to stay ahead of the Nazis. When their most recent home in Italy falls to German occupation, the school’s headmistress manages to secure rail tickets for Fanny and a group of other children to escape to Switzerland. However, when no one shows up to help them, it is up to Fanny to help her sisters and friends stay strong, be brave, and find a way to the Swiss border before the Nazis find them.

Based on the autobiography Le Journal de Fanny: Suivi de les enfants juifs au coeur de la guerre (sic)

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Lola Doillon | France | 2016 | 94 minutes | French | Narrative

Guest Speaker: Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal (2/12), Rabbi Marty Lawson (2/14)

Awards: Audience Choice Award, 32nd Santa Barbara International Film Festival

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Fever at Dawn

Fever at Dawn San Diego Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Tue, Feb 14 8:00 PM
Carlsbad Village Theatre | Sun, Feb 19 7:30 PM

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In 1945, 25-year-old Hungarian Mikló is freed from a concentration camp and sent to a Swedish hospital to be treated for tuberculosis. The doctors there tell him he has six months to live. Refusing to face another death sentence, Miklós decides to find love instead. He pens 117 letters to 117 Hungarian girls also being treated in Swedish hospitals in hopes of finding a wife. Nineteen-year-old Lili decides to write back. What starts as correspondence develops into a deep love which, despite the odds, both Miklós and Lili are compelled to pursue.

Based on the book Fever at Dawn by Péter Gárdos

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Péter Gárdos | Israel, Sweden, Hungary | 2015 | 110 minutes | Hungarian, English Subtitles | Narrative

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Forever Pure

Forever Pure Southern CA Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Sun, Feb 12 5:00 PM
Edwards San Marcos | Mon, Feb 13 7:00 PM

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VIEWER DISCRETION: ADULT CONTENT

The recruitment of two Muslim players from Chechnya to Beitar Jerusalem, a Premier League football club (soccer team), ignites a firestorm of controversy and a racial divide that nearly destroys the team. In its history, Beitar has never been faced with such a challenge. The radical fan base does not make it easy for the new players or the team, and they are going to fight for their principles. What happens next is “a cautionary tale for countries like the US, where politicians have failed to thoroughly condemn hate speech.” – Variety

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Maya Zinshtein | Israel, UK | 2016 | 83 minutes | Hebrew, Russian, Chechen, English Subtitles | Documentary

Awards: The Van Leer Award for Best Director of a Documentary – Maya Zinshtein, Jerusalem Film Festival, 2016

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Germans and Jews

Germans and Jews San Diego Premiere

Carlsbad Village Theatre | Sun, Feb 12 4:00 PM
JCC Garfield Theatre | Fri, Feb 17 1:30 PM

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“Don’t expect simple answers in Germans and Jews. Just prepare for formidable questions. Those are the real reasons to see this incisive documentary.” – The New York Times
Today’s Germany is one of the most democratic societies in the world. It is also home to the fastest-growing Jewish population in Europe. So how do Germans and Jews live together more than 70 years after the Holocaust? Can issues such as German guilt, anti-Semitism, and reconciliation be discussed openly and honestly? Inspired by a private conversation between the filmmaker, a non-Jewish German, and her Jewish friend, this documentary provides a modern viewpoint that is both provocative and enlightening.

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Janina Quint | USA | 2016 | 76 minutes | English | Documentary

Guest Speaker: Deirdre Berger, Film Subject (2/17)

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Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger

Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger

Edwards San Marcos | Sun, Feb 12 1:30 PM

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Family Film
A coming-of-age comedy that proves that sometimes, in order to fit in, you have to stand out. “This small Australian indie has become something of a favorite on the film festival circuit, and it's easy to see why,” says the Los Angeles Times. Thirteen-year-old Esther Blueburger cannot seem to find her way at the posh private school where her parents have sent her. At home, her mother is controlling, her father is clueless, and her twin brother might be crazy. Her only friend in the world seems to be a duck she calls Normal. When Esther runs away from her own Bat Mitzvah, she meets up with Sunni, a cool girl who goes to public school. Together they devise a plan to transform Esther’s image. As things begin to change for Esther, she is faced with the reality that being popular comes with consequences, and she will have to decide if the sacrifice of friendship is worth it. 

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Cathy Randall | Australia | 2008 | 103 minutes | English | Narrative

Awards: Young Actor Award – Danielle Catanzariti, Australian Film Institute Directing Award – Cathy Randall, Hamburg Filmfest Michel Children’s and Youth Film Festival, 2012

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Hollow Dog

Hollow Dog International Premiere

JCC Garfield Theatre | Fri, Feb 10 10:30 AM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Sun, Feb 12 10:30 AM

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A truly inspiring story of how sculptor Maurice Blik, former president of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, was able to reconcile the pain and fear he faced in his childhood with a belief in the future. Born in Amsterdam in 1939, Blik was sentenced to torture and unthinkable suffering when he was sent to Bergen-Belsen as a young child. His memories of watching his young sister die and a callous woman eating an apple as he was starving became inspiration for many works that reflect hope and renewal despite the injustices he endured. Through a series of interviews, Blik describes his path from teacher to sculptor, and how each of his pieces evokes a time or memory that was too powerful to let go and evolved into a masterwork. From “Hollow Dog,” the piece that will forever remind him of the woman with the apple, to “Every Which Way,” which stands at the National Memorial for Evacuee Children, Blik’s work celebrates the human spirit and honors the value of life.

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Clive A. Martin | UK | 2016 | 52 minutes | English | Documentary

Guest Speaker: Filmmaker, Clive A. Martin, Director (2/10)

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Incomparable Rose Hartman, The

Incomparable Rose Hartman, The

Clairemont Reading 14 | Wed, Feb 15 4:30 PM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Sun, Feb 19 1:15 PM

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Before there were paparazzi, there was Rose Hartman. She was a regular at Studio 54, helped boost fashion to celebrity status, and with a shrewd eye for photography, shot everyone from rock stars and movie stars to models and artists. Hartman has been a regular on the New York social scene for decades, capturing intimate behind-the-scenes moments like no one else. With a boisterous and outrageous personality, Hartman is a quirky assertive force who deserves as much notice as her iconic work.

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Otis Mass | USA | 2016 | 71 minutes | English | Documentary

Guest Speaker: Deborah Klochko, Executive Director, Museum of Photographic Arts

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Joyce Forum Program 1: Buzz At Breakfast

Joyce Forum Program 1: Buzz At Breakfast

ArcLight Cinemas | Mon, Feb 13 10:00 AM (Joyce Forum Programs)

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This collection of six short films is the first of four programs curated by The Joyce Forum.  The Joyce Forum focuses on seasoned and talented emerging filmmakers. A discussion will follow after the program.

The Picture On the Fridge
A Wolf’s Mind
Little Thing
Kisufim
The Radical Jew
The Lost Tribe

2016 | Short

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Joyce Forum Program 2: Lenses After Lunch

Joyce Forum Program 2: Lenses After Lunch

ArcLight Cinemas | Mon, Feb 13 2:00 PM (Joyce Forum Programs)

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The Joyce Forum continues with another collection of five short films from seasoned and talented emerging filmmakers. 

Near Normal Man
Shimalla
Muktzeh
Journey Birds
Mr. Bernstein

Guest: Near Normal Man; Charlene Y. Stern, Director

2016 | Short

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Joyce Forum Program 3: Happy Hour & A Half

Joyce Forum Program 3: Happy Hour & A Half

ArcLight Cinemas | Mon, Feb 13 5:00 PM (Joyce Forum Programs)

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The Joyce Forum continues with another collection of six short films from seasoned and talented emerging filmmakers.

The Little Dictator
In Other Words
Framed – The Adventures Of Zion Man
Moment
The Postman In Underwear
Joe’s Violin

2016 | Short

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Joyce Forum Program 4: Discovery After Dinner

Joyce Forum Program 4: Discovery After Dinner

ArcLight Cinemas | Mon, Feb 13 8:00 PM (Joyce Forum Programs)

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The Joyce Forum continues with another collection of six short films from seasoned and talented emerging filmmakers.

11 Minutes
Bacon & God’s Wrath
Shade of Music
War Scarred Berlin
Spring Chicken
A Children’s Song

Guests: Shade of Music; D. Mitry, Director; Malcolm J. West, Actor; William Michael Paul, Actor

2016 | Short

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Kapo in Jerusalem

Kapo in Jerusalem San Diego Premiere

Edwards San Marcos | Wed, Feb 15 8:00 PM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Sat, Feb 18 9:00 PM

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Can a man who survived Auschwitz at the expense of his fellow Jews find redemption when he moves to Israel? Bruno is a doctor, and his wife Sarah is a pianist; they arrive in Jerusalem in 1946 on the eve of the War of Independence. As they begin to establish themselves in their new city, rumors begin to spread that Bruno was a block warden at Auschwitz who brutally beat and killed many Jews. As Bruno begins fighting for the State of Israel, questions turn up that leave even his wife wondering who Bruno really is. Inspired by the life story of Eliezer Greenbaum, Kapo in Jerusalem is a look at how compassion and cruelty can become blurred in wartime. It leaves the viewer to decide whether Bruno was unnecessarily cruel or acted with humanity. 

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Uri Barbash | Israel | 2015 | 98 minutes | Hebrew, English Subtitles | Narrative

Guest Speaker: Filmmaker, Uri Barbash, Director (2/18)

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Keep Quiet

Keep Quiet San Diego Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Thu, Feb 16 8:00 PM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Sun, Feb 19 10:15 AM

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“Expect plenty of spirited arguments to break out after screenings of Joseph Martin and Sam Blair's disquieting documentary about Csanad Szegedi.” – The Hollywood Reporter 
Csanad Szegedi grew up in Hungary, found his way into far-right extremist ideas, espoused anti-Semitic rhetoric, denied the Holocaust, and founded a now-banned militia called the Hungarian Guard. Then his life took an unexpected turn. His beloved maternal grandmother revealed to him that she was Jewish and a survivor of Auschwitz. This news sets him on a three-year journey to understand and possibly embrace his roots and newfound religion. His story leaves viewers wondering whether this spiritual transformation is genuine.

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Sam Blair and Joseph Martin | UK, Hungary | 2016 | 90 minutes | English, Hungarian, English Subtitles | Documentary

Guest Speaker: Rabbi Bernard Oberlander, Film Subject

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Lamb

Lamb San Diego Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Sun, Feb 12 8:00 PM
Edwards San Marcos | Tue, Feb 14 5:00 PM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Wed, Feb 15 1:30 PM

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Upon the death of his mother, a young Jewish boy is sent to live with relatives who see him only as another mouth to feed. Ephraim instantly feels out of place among his Christian relatives whose farming lifestyle and chauvinist attitudes further his struggle to fit in. Ephraim bonds with Chuni, a lamb that begins to accompany him everywhere. But when Ephraim realizes Chuni is going to be slaughtered for an upcoming holiday, he must devise a plan for both of their futures.

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Yared Zeleke | Ethiopia, France, Germany, Norway, Qatar | 2015 | 94 minutes | Amharic, English Subtitles | Narrative

Guest Speaker: Melissa Karas, Chair of Entwine Insider Trip to Ethiopia (2/12)

Awards: Feature Film Winner, Milano Film Festival

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Last Laugh, The

Last Laugh, The Southern CA Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Sat, Feb 11 6:30 PM
Carlsbad Village Theatre | Sun, Feb 12 7:30 PM

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“An A-list roster of comedians as well as several Holocaust survivors ponder the outer limits of humor and good taste.’” – Variety
This film explores two questions: Is it acceptable to write and perform jokes about the Holocaust? What is and is not off-limits in comedy? Film clips, performances and interviews from top comedians ponder these questions, with the roster including Mel Brooks, Gilbert Gottfried, Rob Reiner, Carl Reiner, David Steinberg, Robert Clary, Sarah Silverman, and Joan Rivers.  Also weighing in with their accounts of living through concentration camps and what they feel is permissible in comedy are several Auschwitz survivors.  

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Ferne Pearlstein | USA | 2016 | 85 minutes | English | Documentary

Guest Speaker: Dr. Lawrence Baron, Professor Emeritus of Modern Jewish History, SDSU

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Mezuzah, The

Mezuzah, The USA Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Tue, Feb 14 1:30 PM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Thu, Feb 16 11:00 AM

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As one of the most visible symbols in Judaism, the mezuzah is rich in history. But what is a klaf (scroll) and what makes it kosher? The Mezuzah describes this and more. Viewers will meet a sofer (scribe) in Amsterdam, an astronaut from New York, a Dutch historian who found pre-war mezuzot hidden in her apartment, a parchment maker, a parchment cutter, a rabbi, an archeologist, and an attorney from Chicago who fought for the right to hang a mezuzah on her apartment’s front door jamb. There’s also an interview with an infectious disease specialist who has surprising information concerning the mezuzah.

Bahram Sadeghi and Dikla Zeidler | Israel, Netherlands, USA | 2015 | 45 minutes | Dutch, English, Hebrew, English Subtitles | Documentary

Guest Speaker: Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal

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Moos

Moos West Coast Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Thu, Feb 16 5:00 PM
Edwards San Marcos | Sat, Feb 18 7:30 PM (Flix Mix)

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Flix Mix
This light, romantic comedy is about following your dreams and having a friend who is there to support you along the way. One Hanukkah evening, inspired by the return of her childhood friend Sam, Moos announces to everyone at the table that she is going to acting school.  But then a disastrous audition sets her on a new course of understanding who she really is and what she wants in life.  Moos has to face the realities of a changing father-daughter dynamic and come to grips with choices which can actually make her dreams come true.

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Job Gosschalk | Netherlands | 2016 | 92 minutes | Dutch, English Subtitles | Narrative

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Morgenthau

Morgenthau San Diego Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Sun, Feb 12 7:30 PM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Tue, Feb 14 2:00 PM

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This documentary portrays an American family three generations strong and devoted to public service. Throughout the 20th century, the Morgenthau’s played a vital role in the most dramatic social and political moments of the time. The patriarch, Henry Morgenthau, Sr., emigrated from Germany as a child, made his fortune in real estate, and became the United States ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. When he reported the atrocities of the 1915 genocide of the Armenians, he was sent home. His son, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., became Secretary of the Treasury under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, promoted war bonds, and worked to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. Henry Sr.’s grandson, Robert M. Morgenthau, spent a career in public service as District Attorney of New York County, fighting crime on the streets as well as pioneering the prosecution of white-collar criminals. Morgenthau is the story of a family who believed justice is worth fighting for.

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Max Lewkowicz | USA, Germany, Israel, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey | 2013 | 107 minutes | English | Documentary

Guest Speaker: Matthew Valji, European history teacher, The Bishop's School (2/14)

Awards: Best Historical/Cultural Program/Special, New York Emmy Award

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Mr. Predictable

Mr. Predictable San Diego Premiere

JCC Garfield Theatre | Sun, Feb 12 5:00 PM (Flix Mix)
Clairemont Reading 14 | Thu, Feb 16 2:00 PM
Carlsbad Village Theatre | Sat, Feb 18 7:30 PM

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VIEWER DISCRETION: ADULT CONTENT

Flix Mix
An adult-themed romantic comedy about one man’s decision to stop doing everything for the people around him and start living by his own rules. At 5, Adi made a promise to his dad to always help his mother and those around him. Yet over the years he’s been more of an exploited sucker than a helper. On the very day he receives news, through a laboratory mix-up, that he has terminal cancer, Adi meets Natalia. She’s a free-spirit who shows Adi that life is worth living. Faced with the decision to continue on a new path or go back to his old life, Adi must decide who he really wants to be. 

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Roee Florentin and Roy Florentine | Israel | 2016 | 103 minutes | Hebrew, English Subtitles | Narrative

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Murder In Polná Part 1

Murder In Polná Part 1 West Coast Premiere

Edwards San Marcos | Sun, Feb 12 4:30 PM
JCC Garfield Theatre | Sun, Feb 19 1:00 PM

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PART ONE of this two-part historical drama is about the Hilsner Affair, a highly contested criminal case in Czechoslovakia that intensified a growing anti-Semitic movement. On Easter Sunday 1899, a young seamstress is found dead in a small village near Polná. The circumstances of her death are unusual: a cutting wound on her throat with no signs of sexual abuse and little blood at the crime scene. Investigators conclude it was part of a Jewish Passover ritual. Leopold Hilsner, a young Jewish rover and beggar, becomes the prime suspect. His subsequent trial and death sentence instigate riots against Jews. Tomáš G. Masaryk, a professor of sociology in Prague who eventually became Czechoslovakian president, intervenes with dramatic consequences.

Viktor Polesný and Vaclav Jester | Czech Republic | 2016 | 86 minutes | Czech, English Subtitles | Narrative

Guest Speaker: Sandra Silverstein, Film Festival Committee (2/12)

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Murder in Polná Part 2

Murder in Polná Part 2 West Coast Premiere

Edwards San Marcos | Sun, Feb 12 6:15 PM
JCC Garfield Theatre | Sun, Feb 19 2:45 PM

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PART TWO in this two-part historical drama is about the Hilsner Affair, a highly contested criminal case in Czechoslovakia that intensified a growing anti-Semitic movement. On Easter Sunday 1899, a young seamstress is found dead in a small village near Polná. The circumstances of her death are unusual: a cutting wound on her throat with no signs of sexual abuse and little blood at the crime scene. Investigators conclude it was part of a Jewish Passover ritual. Leopold Hilsner, a young Jewish rover and beggar, becomes the prime suspect. His subsequent trial and death sentence instigate riots against Jews. Tomáš G. Masaryk, a professor of sociology in Prague who eventually became Czechoslovakian president, intervenes with dramatic consequences.

Viktor Polesný and Vaclav Jester | Czech Republic | 2016 | 86 minutes | Czech, English Subtitles | Narrative

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NOT The Last Butterfly

NOT The Last Butterfly

Edwards San Marcos | Sun, Feb 12 10:30 AM
JCC Garfield Theatre | Sun, Feb 12 1:30 PM

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One-and-a-half million children killed in the Holocaust are memorialized through “The Butterfly Project,” an inspiring grass roots art and education initiative started in San Diego in 2006 that works with educators and communities worldwide to teach children about the dangers of hate and bigotry.  The film documents the impetus for the project, the vision of its founders, and the impact the art installations have had on participants.  The film also preserves such stories as that of Holocaust survivor Ela Weissberger’s memory of an artist at the concentration camp who inspired children to express their pain and trauma through art. NOT the Last Butterfly offers a glimpse into the promise of hope that can be found through the power of art.

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Cheryl Rattner Price and Joe Fab | USA, Czech Republic, Israel, Poland | 2016 | 59 minutes | English | Documentary

Guest Speaker: Cheryl Rattner Price, Director; Jan Landau, Co-Founder

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On the Map

On the Map San Diego Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Thu, Feb 9 7:00 PM (Opening Night)

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Opening Night
At the height of the Cold War, the 1977 Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team became “the team of the nation” when they brought the first European Cup to Israel by beating the four-time defending champions, the Soviet Red Army team.  Award-winning director Dani Menkin recounts this uplifting story through exciting sports action, political drama, and interviews that include NBA legends Bill Walton, David Stern, and Tal Brody, who gave up the number two slot with the NBA to join the Maccabis as team captain. This documentary retells the story of “The Miracle on Hardwood” with the Maccabis embodying the spirit of Israel to win against all odds.

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Dani Menkin | USA | 2016 | 85 minutes | English | Documentary

Guest Speaker: Filmmaker, Dani Menkin, Director

Awards: Best Documentary, Rochester Jewish Film Festival, 2016

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Operation Wedding

Operation Wedding West Coast Premiere

Edwards San Marcos | Sun, Feb 12 2:00 PM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Tue, Feb 14 6:00 PM (Teen Screen)
Clairemont Reading 14 | Tue, Feb 14 7:00 PM

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This is the story of a failed escape plan that woke up the world and lifted the veil on the Iron Curtain. In 1970, a group of mostly Jewish dissidents rented a plane under the pretext of flying to a wedding. Their true intent was to escape the USSR. As they were steps away from boarding the plane, the KGB stopped them and sentenced two of them to death and the others to years in the Soviet Gulag. The filmmaker and daughter of two of the captives tells the story of Operation Wedding through archival footage and news coverage from the 1970’s. As a result of protests and a worldwide outcry over the imprisonments, more than 400,000 Jews were given visas to leave the USSR.  In addition, the director’s mother Sylva was exchanged for a Russian spy held by the United States. In Russia, the 16 dissidents are seen as terrorists; in the West, they are heroes.

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Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov | Israel, Latvia | 2016 | 62 minutes | English, Hebrew, Russian, English Subtitles | Documentary

Guest Speaker: Filmmaker, Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov, Director (2/14-Teen Screen), Rabbi Marty Lawson (2/14)

Awards: Award of Recognition, Hollywood Independent Documentary Awards

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Origin of Violence, The

Origin of Violence, The San Diego Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Tue, Feb 14 5:00 PM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Sun, Feb 19 4:45 PM

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On a school field trip to Buchenwald concentration camp, a teacher makes a startling discovery that sets him on an unexpected course of uncovering family secrets. Nathan Fabre is completing his thesis on the French resistance during World War II while teaching at a French-German school. At Buchenwald he notices a photo of a prisoner who closely resembles his father. Yet when he mentions this to his father, it is brushed off as a coincidence. As Nathan digs deeper and learns more, his family continually resists discussing the matter.  Eventually, as Nathan comes closer to the truth, he tries to understand the origin of the violence he finds within himself and those around him. 

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Elie Chouraqui | Germany, France | 2016 | 116 minutes | French, German, English Subtitles | Narrative

Guest Speaker: Dr. Alyssa Sepinwall, Professor, History Department, CSU San Marcos (2/14)

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People vs. Fritz Bauer, The

People vs. Fritz Bauer, The San Diego Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Wed, Feb 15 8:00 PM
Edwards San Marcos | Thu, Feb 16 5:00 PM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Sun, Feb 19 10:45 AM

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Centerpiece Film
As a career prosecutor, Fritz Bauer has made it his mission to expose Nazi war crimes. However, in a culture trying to repress its past, will his actions be viewed as justice or treason?  In 1957, Fritz Bauer, a Holocaust survivor, was the attorney general in West Germany. When he received a lead that SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann was hiding in Argentina, Bauer set out to capture him. Receiving little support and much resistance from his colleagues in Germany, Bauer solicited the help of Mossad, the Israeli secret service – an act that brought the possibility of his being perceived as a traitor.
Based on actual events, this historical thriller depicts how one man overcame significant obstacles and personal risks to hold one of Germany’s most notorious criminals accountable for war crimes.

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Lars Kraume | Germany | 2015 | 105 minutes | German, Yiddish, English, English Subtitles | Narrative

Guest Speaker: Deborah Hertz, Director of the Jewish Studies Program, UCSD (2/15, 2/19); Dr. Benjamin Nienass, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science California State University San Marcos (2/16)

Awards: Golden Lola for Best Film, Best Director – Lars Kraume, Best Screenplay – Lars Kraume & Olivier Guez, Best Supporting Actor – Ronald Zehrfeld, Best Costume – Esther Walz, Best Set Design – Cora Pratz, German Cinema Awards

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Rabin In His Own Words

Rabin In His Own Words San Diego Premiere

Edwards San Marcos | Tue, Feb 14 8:00 PM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Wed, Feb 15 5:00 PM

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“Rabin In His Own Words is a deeply involving look at the man's entire life, using archival footage, home movies, and private letters, but most of all filmed interviews Rabin gave, to let us hear him tell his own story just about from cradle to grave,” says the Los Angeles Times. This intimate documentary is a journey through the life and career of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated in 1995. In his own voice, Rabin tells personal stories that capture many of the most critical moments in Israeli history, from his childhood as the son of a labor leader to the founding of the State of Israel. It also displays Rabin’s controversial leadership that enraged a portion of the public.

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Erez Laufer | Israel | 2015 | 110 minutes | Hebrew, English Subtitles | Documentary

Guest Speaker: Professor Oded Brosh, Visiting Israeli Professor, SDSU Jewish Studies Program

Awards: Best Documentary Winner, Haifa International Film Festival, 2015

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Rosenwald

Rosenwald

JCC Garfield Theatre | Wed, Feb 8 7:00 PM

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Underwriter Preview Night
This is a celebratory documentary about one of America’s greatest businessmen and most generous philanthropists, Julius Rosenwald, who joined forces with African American communities to build over 5,300 schools. Though Rosenwald himself never completed his education, he had an extremely successful career and eventually rose to become the president of Sears. A devout man, Rosenwald took the Jewish ideals of tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (repairing the world) to heart and devoted his energies to fighting the racial inequities he saw in America. With the help of his friend Booker T. Washington, he established the Rosenwald Schools and educated thousands of young African American minds. This is an inspiring story of how passion, fellowship, and partnerships can empower underrepresented voices. 

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Aviva Kempner | USA | 2015 | 95 minutes | English | Documentary

Guest Speaker: Filmmaker, Aviva Kempner, Director

Awards: Best Documentary Jury Award, Teaneck International Film Festival Lipscomb University Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, Nashville Film Festival

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Settlers, The

Settlers, The San Diego Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Sat, Feb 11 6:00 PM
Edwards San Marcos | Sun, Feb 12 5:00 PM

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The Settlers explores the history of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, why people moved there, and why there is so much turmoil.  Documenting the history of the settlement movement from its ideological, economic, and political beginnings to current-day conditions, filmmaker Shimon Dotan shows the daily lives of settlers and the role of messianic idealists. The results will leave viewers questioning almost everything: the government’s role, racism, border security, and whether a two-state solution can ever be achieved.

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Shimon Dotan | France, Israel, Canada, Germany | 2016 | 113 minutes | Hebrew, English Subtitles | Documentary

Guest Speaker: Dov Waxman, Professor of Israel Studies, Northeastern University

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Thank You For Calling

Thank You For Calling West Coast Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Sun, Feb 12 2:00 PM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Sat, Feb 18 6:30 PM

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Based on a true story, a French con man scams several of the largest French financial institutions out of millions of euros. Pretending he is a bank CEO or a national security official, con artist Gilbert convinces bank employee “marks” that he is requesting the withdrawal of funds belonging to terrorists as part of an official action to trace and catch terrorists. Through his ploys, Gilbert is able to persuade several banks to transfer funds before they realize what’s happening. Trying to stay one step ahead of the police, Gilbert also hatches an escape plan. Based on real-life scam artist Gilbert Chikli who now lives in Israel, this high-action adventure shows both sides of the con and the embarrassment it caused throughout the banking world. 

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Pascal Elbé | France | 2015 | 98 minutes | French, English Subtitles | Narrative

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Who's Gonna Love Me Now?

Who's Gonna Love Me Now? San Diego Premiere

Clairemont Reading 14 | Tue, Feb 14 4:00 PM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Thu, Feb 16 4:30 PM

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After 20 years away in London living an openly gay lifestyle, Saar Maoz returns to his Orthodox family and struggles for acceptance. But he quickly encounters the resistance and confusion of his father and mother who are conflicted between their religious beliefs and their son’s sexual orientation.  Saar finds himself wrestling with his desire to be part of his family while maintaining his true identity.

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Barak Heymann and Tomer Heymann | Israel, UK | 2016 | 84 minutes | Hebrew, English, English Subtitles | Documentary

Guest Speaker: Saar Maoz, Film Subject

Awards: Panorama Audience Award, Berlin International Film Festival, 2016 Audience Award, Krakow Film Festival, 2016

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Women's Balcony, The

Women's Balcony, The San Diego Premiere

JCC Garfield Theatre | Fri, Feb 17 10:30 AM
Carlsbad Village Theatre | Sun, Feb 19 4:00 PM

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This dark comedy depicts how liberal orthodox Mizrachi practices are tested, and how the community responds. When the women’s balcony collapses at a bar mitzvah, then the congregational rabbi falls ill, a chance meeting brings a young, traditional orthodox rabbi to the community. The women have raised money to re-build their balcony, but the new rabbi wants to use the money to buy a new sefer Torah instead.  And when the new rabbi insists that all married women cover their heads, women rebel in the kitchen and in the bedroom. Soon questions arise concerning sniut (modesty), empowerment, and what is best for the entire community. “A very human and funny story.” – The Jerusalem Post

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Emil Ben-Shimon | Israel | 2016 | 96 minutes | Hebrew, English Subtitles | Narrative

Guest Speaker: Emil Ben-Shimon, Director (2/17), Rabbi Devorah Marcus (2/17), Rabbi Lenore Bohm (2/19)

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Wounded Land

Wounded Land San Diego Premiere

Edwards San Marcos | Thu, Feb 16 8:00 PM
Clairemont Reading 14 | Sat, Feb 18 6:00 PM

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A terrorist attack at a restaurant in Haifa challenges the partnership of two officers assigned to the case and responsible for protecting the wounded terrorist at the hospital. The duo is forced to question their loyalties to one another, their professional values, and their personal morals. This tense, action-packed drama poses an interesting dilemma regarding how life is valued. 

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Erez Tadmor | Israel | 2015 | 80 minutes | Hebrew, Arabic, English Subtitles | Narrative

Guest Speaker: Seth Krosner, MD Surgical Critical Care (2/18)

Awards: Winner for Best Director, Winner for Best Actor, Israeli Academy Awards, 2015

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Zero Motivation

Zero Motivation

Clairemont Reading 14 | Sun, Feb 19 4:15 PM

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Divided into three vignettes, Zero Motivation explores the banalities of military life with humor and hilarity.  In a remote desert military base, a platoon of female soldiers who make up the Human Resources Outlet fight the toughest of all battles – boredom. As the soldiers bide their time pushing paper, shredding documents, and answering to their male counterparts, personalities collide, love is found, and friendships are formed. 

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Talya Lavie | Israel | 2014 | 97 minutes | Hebrew, English Subtitles | Narrative

Guest Speaker: Dana Ivgy, Actress, Jewish Studies Program Israel Institute Visiting Israeli Artist

Awards: Best Director – Talya Lavie, Best Actress – Dana Ivgy, Israeli Film Academy Jury Award Best Narrative Feature – Talya Lavie, Nora Ephron Prize, Tribeca Film Festival, 2014

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