22nd Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival

sdjff on fb


San Diego Jewish Film Festival 2012 Audience Choice Winners  

Best Feature Film: Wunderkinder


2nd Place – Kaddish for a Friend
3rd Place – My Best Enemy

Best Documentary (3-way tie)

**   Gods Fiddler: Jascha Heifitz  **


**   When Israel Went Out **   


**   The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector  **



Best Short: Through the Eye of the Needle


2nd Place – An American Synagogue
3rd Place – Flawed

Best Short - Joyce Forum: Flawed


2nd Place – A Reuben by Any Other Name
3rd Place – David and Goliath

Free Men

A real-life story of Muslims saving Jews? Free Men relates the transformation of a barely literate immigrant into a passionate freedom fighter. In 1942, Germans occupy Paris and crack down on immigrants. Younes—a young Algerian black marketeer—is arrested and forced to become an informant. After discovering that Ben Ghabrit, the respected founding rector of Paris's Grand Mosque, is posing as a Nazi collaborator while secretly harboring Jews and others fleeing persecution, Younes befriends Salim Halali, a hauntingly-voiced singer—who happens to be Jewish—and the "Nazi spy" joins the Resistance. In these times of increasing religious animosity worldwide, this history-based film is a powerful reminder of the unifying potential of humanity's yearning for freedom.

Ismaël Ferroukhi | France | 2011 | 99 min | French | Digibeta | Drama

Back to Top

Incessant Visions - Letters from an Architect

An affecting memoir about the great, internationally acclaimed German architect Eric Mendelsohn unfolds from letters exchanged with his wife, cellist Louise Mendelsohn. Shunning the traditional, Mendelsohn's designs convey a resolute commitment to the future and give definition to the word genius. The film explores many of Mendelsohn's projects, buildings that forever changed the history of architecture. This is a story of a true artist and intellect, one of triumph and tragedy set during a tumultuous century that will touch your soul.

Duki Dror | Israel | 2011 | 70 min | Hebrew | Documentary

Awards: Honorable Mention, Jerusalem International Film Festival, 2011

Shown with:
» An American Synagogue

Back to Top

Shorts in Winter

Don't miss this collection of short films from talented emerging filmmakers. These shorts have been selected from more than 150 entries.

"Every short film is a small gem, revealing a story in its most basic elements - the rawest, purest essence of character, conflict and resolution. If you enjoy drama in its purest, most powerful form, you'll like these short films." - Mark Title, Past President, Visual Arts Foundation and Short Film Critic.

2012 | Short

» Capture the Moment
» David and Goliath
» Don't Tell Santa You're Jewish!
» Flawed
» I Was A Child of Holocaust Survivors
» Ingrid Pitt: Beyond the Forest
» Ladies and Gentlemen: Biddie Schitzerman
» Miracle Lady
» A Reuben By Any Other Name
» Shira

Back to Top

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector

Genius or madman? From 1958's "To Know Him Is To Love Him" to the Beatles' "Let It Be" in 1970 and beyond, Phil Spector echoed the agonies and ecstasies of a generation. His music was the soundtrack of our lives. In this riveting documentary, Spector shares his classic hits, and we view clips of his first murder trial. We come to understand Spector mostly through extensive interviews that reveal the soul behind the reclusive wall. This is a portrait of an insecure man haunted by his lonely childhood, angered by perceived disrespect, and jealous of contemporaries, while simultaneously comparing himself to luminaries such as Da Vinci, Bach, Galileo. Insecurity and hubris fueled Spector's genius. Insecurity and hubris fueled Spector's madness.

Vikram Jayanti | USA, UK | 2009 | 102 min | English | Documentary

Back to Top

Amnon's Journey

"You can hear the suffering...when these violins are played." Israeli master violin-maker Amnon Weinstein crafts beauty from despair by lovingly restoring instruments once played by Jews in Holocaust ghettos and concentration camps. Trained by his father Moshe, whose violins were played by Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zuckerman, Amnon is on a mission to locate these special Holocaust violins, to research their owners' stories, and to preserve their voices. This lyrical film features stirring performances by international virtuosos and culminates in the breathtaking "Violins of Hope" concert performed in Jerusalem's Old City.

Jean-Marie Hosatt | Israel, USA | 2009 | 52 min | English, French, Hebrew | Documentary

Shown with:
» I Will Not Die

Back to Top

An American Synagogue (Film Short)

The remarkable story of the building, from the early idea of a new synagogue to its creation, and how it arose through the efforts of Rabbi Cohen and Frank Lloyd Wright. The film features narration by Leonard Nimoy.

Alison Cornyn | USA | 2009 | 24 min | English | Short

Shown with:
» Incessant Visions - Letters from an Architect

Back to Top

Breath Made Visible

American dance pioneer Anna Halprin has redefined our notions of art by addressing one question: What is important? This film follows Anna's life: her initial childhood explorations of dance, her experimental dance in California, her use of nudity in performance, her European tours, the cancer that interrupted her performances, and her triumphant return to the stage. Believing in the power of dance to heal, teach, inspire and transform, she works with cancer and AIDS patients and with the elderly to help them "become whole." Congenitally unconventional even as she pushes 90, she electrifies audiences with her incredible joie de vivre. Anna's life teaches us to study ourselves, push our personal boundaries, and lead authentic lives.

Ruedi Gerber | Switzerland, USA | 2009 | 82 min | English | Digibeta | Documentary

Awards: Audience Award, Mill Valley Film Festival, 2010

Back to Top

Capture the Moment (Film Short)

Noa, an adventurous photography student, takes care of an elderly theater actress in order to make a living. The sudden death of the elderly woman leads Noa to look at things in a different point of view.

Gili Boraks | Israel | 2009 | 13 min | Hebrew | Short

Shown with:
» Flawed
» Tony Curtis: Driven to Stardom

Back to Top


Can the son of a prominent Imam and an Orthodox Jewish boy become friends in Brooklyn's brew of separate ethnic enclaves? With evenhanded sensitivity and a deft touch which includes humor, the filmmaker explores the question of how preteen Daud can both retain his core identity as a Muslim and enter into another culture. One day, he inadvertently befriends a group of Yeshiva boys who mistake him for a classmate. Unable to resist a camaraderie he's never experienced before, David (as they know him), is drawn into a complicated dilemma of competing identities. David is an examination of how cultural and ethnic boundaries can be transcended as well as a heartwarming story of youthful friendship.

Co- Presented by Shalom Baby. 

Joel Fendelman | USA | 2011 | 80 min | mostly English with Arabic | Drama

Awards: Winner, Ecumenical Prize, Montreal World Film Festival 2011 Winner, Audience Award, Brooklyn Film Festival 2011

Back to Top

David and Goliath (Film Short)

David, a Jewish resistance fighter, flees for his life as he is being hunted by Nazi soldiers and is saved by a ferocious German Shepherd, who ultimately becomes his savior.

George Zaverdas | USA | 2010 | 12 min | English | Short

Back to Top

Deaf Jam

In Deaf Jam, Aneta Brodski seizes the day. She is a deaf teen introduced to American Sign Language (ASL) Poetry, who then boldly enters the spoken word slam scene. In a wondrous twist, Aneta, an Israeli immigrant living in the Queens section of New York City, eventually meets Tahani, a hearing Palestinian slam poet. The two women embark on a collaboration/performance duet - creating a new form of slam poetry that speaks to both the hearing and the Deaf.

Judy Lieff | USA | 2010 | 70 min | English, American Sign Language | Documentary

Back to Top

Dolphin Boy

Psychological trauma is not restricted to wartime. After Morad, an Israeli-Arab teenager suffers a severe beating, his body recovers but he remains mute and withdrawn. When other treatments fail, renown Israeli trauma psychiatrist Dr. Ilan Kutz recommends controversial dolphin therapy. Morad's loving father takes him to Eilat, where he swims with the dolphins and finds in the animals' acceptance the friendship and healing he so desperately needs. Refusing to return home, Morad remains in Eilat. Through his relationship with the dolphins and the devotion of his father, the dolphin facility staff, Dr. Kutz, and a loving Jewish girl, Morad finally recovers his voice, his soul, his very self.

Dani Menkin, Yonatan Nir | Israel | 2011 | 72 min | Hebrew | Digibeta | Documentary

Shown with:
» Pinhas

Back to Top

Don't Tell Santa You're Jewish! (Film Short)

Jody Kramer | Canada | 2010 | 4 min | English | Short

Back to Top


Against a milieu of deceit, four families improbably come together at dusk in an Israeli hospital. First to arrive is the victim of a hit-and-run collision with a man traveling home with his daughter. Next, a mother applying for a marriage license learns she is adopted and seeks her birth mother at the hospital. Meanwhile, a beautiful Argentinian immigrant becomes intimate with the doctor who performs her son Raffi's circumcision, and the boy befriends cancer victim Tamar. Finally, a policeman attempts to renew his relationship with the son he abandoned, a doctor at the hospital. Dusk is a journey through Israel's complicated reality via the all-too-human stories of ordinary people facing thought-provoking questions of moral responsibility.

Alon Zingman | Israel | 2010 | 90 min | Hebrew, Spanish | Drama

Awards: Best Feature Debut, Haifa International Film Festival, 2010

Back to Top

Eichmann's End: Love, Betrayal, Death

How was Adolph Eichmann found and captured? Was it purely by accident? Was it karma? One of the ironies of the post-WWII world was that both Nazi perpetrators and their Jewish victims found refuge in the same places. One such place was Argentina. Camp survivor Lothar Hermann was living in Buenos Aires in the 1950's. His quiet life was shattered when his daughter Sylvia introduced him to her new boyfriend, Nick Eichmann, and Lother realized who he was. Eichmann's End depicts how Lother and Sylvia uncovered Adolph Eichmann's not-so-secret life and set in motion the tense series of events leading to his capture and subsequent trial. Not a simple drama, the film faithfully re-enacts the events. You are there.

Raymond Ley | Germany, Israel | 2010 | 89 min | German, Spanish, Hebrew | Drama

Back to Top

Flawed (Film Short)

Artist/filmmaker Andrea Dorfman's drawings burst colorfully into life as she animates the story of her long-distance relationship with a man whose profession — plastic surgery — gives her plenty of fodder.

Andrea Dorfman | Canada | 2010 | 13 min | English | DVD | Short

Shown with:
» Capture the Moment
» Tony Curtis: Driven to Stardom

Back to Top

God's Fiddler: Jascha Heifetz

How does a mortal man live with immortal gifts, gifts he must honor but which exact an exorbitant price? In the first substantial film biography of the world's most renowned violinist Jascha Heifetz, we meet the man behind the artist. Home movies, intimate family photos, and interviews with great musicians and former students are set against an extraordinary soundtrack of his musical virtuosity. We discover Heifetz's inner beauty and passion, the adoration of both fans and his musical successors, and the difficulties of his personal life. This illuminating documentary portrays why Itzhak Perlman has said, "I'm talking with G-d," and why Heifetz's own professor Leopold Auer called him "G-d's Fiddler."

Peter Rosen | USA, Russia | 2011 | 88 min | English | fiddler | Documentary

Back to Top

I Was A Child of Holocaust Survivors (Film Short)

Ann Marie Fleming | Canada | 2010 | 15 min | English | Short

Back to Top

I Will Not Die

Inspired by surviving poetry written by children in Terezin Camp in Czechoslovakia during the Holocaust, Canadian violinist Ruth Fazal composed the beautiful "Oratorio Terezin" which changed the lives of all the participants.

Marion Rice-Oxley | Canada | 2008 | 48 min | English | Documentary

Shown with:
» Amnon's Journey

Back to Top

In Heaven Underground: The Weissensee Jewish Cemetery

An amazingly uplifting film about a cemetery, In Heaven Underground is a journey into history that celebrates the immortality of memories and the importance of tradition. Just outside Berlin's hectic city center lies the serene, 130-year old Weissensee Jewish Cemetery. Still in use today, it houses 115,000 graves as well as meticulous archival records. Established in the 1850s, the cemetery has endured years of war and chaos but has remained in Jewish hands even throughout the Nazi regime. Interweaving historical facts, daily activities, the personal stories of a delightful array of characters from around the world, and breathtakingly beautiful images of the lush, jungle-like foliage, this multifaceted kaleidoscope portrays the cemetery as a living thing unto itself—a survivor.

Britta Wauer | Germany | 2011 | 90 min | German, English, Russian, Hebrew | Documentary

Awards: Panorama Audience Award; Best Documentary, Berlin International Film Festival, 2011

Back to Top

Ingrid Pitt: Beyond the Forest (Film Short)

This acclaimed animation short depicts the miraculous escape of Jewish girl Ingrid Pitt at age 8 from a concentration camp, in a cross-generational collaboration between Oscar-nominee Bill Plympton & 10-yr-old 1st-time animator and award-winning local child film critic Perry Chen, produced by Perry's mom Dr. Zhu Shen.

Kevin Sean Michaels | USA | 2011 | 6 min | English | Short

Back to Top

Jewish Food For Thought

The Joyce Forum welcomes back (SDJFF '04) filmmaker, multimedia artist, and nonstop animation machine, Hanan Harchol. The featured screening is Jewish Food For Thought, a series of animated shorts that incorporate Jewish wisdom into entertaining and thought-provoking conversations between Hanan and his Israeli nuclear physicist father. Each episode focuses on a particular theme in Jewish teaching, such as repentance or forgiveness, distilling the major Jewish teachings on that theme, into accessible, contemporary, non-preachy, engaging human conversation. The series provides a fresh, new, non-pedantic way to access thousands of years of Jewish wisdom. Expect plenty of good food for thought served with wry wit and wisdom.

Hanan Harchol | United States | 2011 | 90 min | English | Animated

Back to Top

Jews in Toons

"What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul" –Yiddish Proverb. How are Jews portrayed in TV cartoon shows? Find out at this unique evening of comedy and fun featuring classic Jewish episodes from two beloved animated series, Family Guy and The Simpsons. Following the episodes, Mike Reiss, writer and producer for the Simpsons and creator of The Critic and Queer Duck will have you in stitches as he shares his hilarious behind-the-scenes insights, anecdotes and clips from his distinguished career which includes four Emmys and a Peabody Award. You won't want to miss this one-time-only uproarious event.

USA | 2011 | English | Animated

Back to Top


Amidst insecurity and turmoil, will one human being risk everything to offer another love and refuge? Director Feliks Falk paints his ethical quandary within the wintry gray palette of wartime morality. Separated from her Jewish mother during a Nazi roundup in Poland, little Rosa hides -- terrified, silent and frozen -- beneath a church pew. Joanna, a waitress anxiously waiting for her soldier-husband to return, discovers Rosa and secretly hides the child in her home. Because she must entertain a German officer to save Rosa, Joanna becomes increasingly isolated from family and neighbors. To them, she's a traitor complicit with the enemy, but Joanna's motives are more honorable than the slippery social mores of her countrymen.

Feliks Falk | Poland | 2010 | 105 min | Polish, French, German | Drama

Awards: Best Director and Best Screenplay, 35th Gdynia Polish Film Festival; Best Actress, Russian Film Critics and Cinema Clubs Diplomas, 33rd Annual Moscow International Film Festival

Back to Top

The Judge

Few judges anywhere have confronted the jurisprudential conundrums faced by Aharon Barak, former Chief Justice of Israel's Supreme Court, during his 31-year career. A Lithuanian Holocaust survivor, he experienced firsthand the dangers of intolerance and xenophobia. Trying to maintain a delicate balance between Israel as both a Jewish state and a democracy while securing both national security and human rights, he never spoke publicly during his tenure. Now, as powerful political forces attempt to destroy his life's work, Aharon Barak breaks his silence and bares his soul -- the soul of a judge -- on camera for the first time.

Ram Landes, Ami Teer | Israel | 2009 | 53 min | Hebrew, English | Documentary

Shown with:
» The Kissinger Saga

Back to Top

Kaddish for a Friend

Fourteen-year-old Palestinian refugee Ali Messalem, who hates Jews, lives in a declining area of Berlin. In a bid to be accepted by his peers, Ali agrees to break into the apartment of his elderly Russian-Jewish neighbor, Alexander Zamzkoy, who passionately wants to continue living independently in his home. When Ali's friends trash Alexander's apartment, Alexander recognizes only Ali, so he faces the consequences alone. To avoid criminal charges and deportation, Ali reluctantly agrees to help Alexander renovate his apartment so social services won't make him move. An unlikely pair thrown together by each one's desperation, Ali and Alexander gradually overcome obstacles of hatred and despair to form a friendship founded on mutual trust and forgiveness.

Leo Khasin | Germany | 2011 | 94 min | German, Arabic, Russian | Digibeta | Drama

Awards: Audience Award, Best Feature, 23rd Annual Boston Jewish Film Festival

Back to Top

The Kissinger Saga

For decades, Henry Kissinger kept his personal life private. Finally, director Evi Kurz documents the lives of Henry and his brother Walter, both of whom are fascinating as is the contrast between them. To escape the Nazi terror, their parents uprooted the family from their upper class life in Fürth, Germany to an expatriate German-Jewish community in Fort Washington, NY. Forced to leave behind their comfortable bourgeois lives and to then experience economic hardship and menial work, the brothers persevered to success and renown as genuine embodiments of the American immigrant dream.

Evi Kurz | Germany | 2009 | 60 min | German, English | Documentary

Shown with:
» The Judge

Back to Top

Ladies and Gentlemen: Biddie Schitzerman (Film Short)

In a senior's clubhouse, a rip roaring eighty-year-old woman, a hoofer, comic, singer and yarn spinner extraordinaire, is preparing for her last live performance, ending a sixty-five year show biz career.

Francine Zuckerman | Canada | 2010 | 8 min | English | Short

Back to Top

Little Rose (Rózyczka)

Based on actual events, this captivating espionage thriller is set in 1967-68 Poland when political unrest escalated against the contemptibly brutal rule of the Soviet-dominated Communist Party. Popular university professor Adam is falsely accused of being a "camouflaged Zionist" and writing anonymous pro-democracy broadcasts on Radio Free Europe. Roman, a bullying secret policeman, recruits his beautiful girlfriend Kamila to seduce the aging professor and discover something incriminating about him. Code-named Little Rose, Kamila gradually falls in love with the man she's been asked to betray. Clearly, no one is safe when a government is so eager to protect its own interests that it viciously crushes the freedom and spirit of its people -- even the innocent.

Jan Kidawa-Blonski | Poland | 2010 | 118 min | Polish | little | Drama

Awards: Gdynia 2010 : THE GRAND PRIX ”THE GOLDEN LIONS” - Best Film ; BEST ACTRESS – for Magdalena Boczarska ; AUDIENCE AWARD ; Moscow 2010 : BEST DIRECTOR - Silver St. George; Best Styling ( given by Vogue Magazine) Goa 2010 - Best Actress – Silver Peacock Award for Magdalena Boczarska CAMERIMAGE –Budgoszcz 2010 –Golden Frog Award Cinematography for Piotr Wojtowicz Tiburon/San Francisco 2011- BEST FILM -GOLDEN REEL; BEST DIRECTOR- GOLDEN REEL ; BEST ACTRESS-GOLDEN REEL for Magda Boczarska ; Montevideo 2011- Fipresci Mention Moscow 2011 - (Polish programme) –Audience Award MEDIAS Bucarest 2011: Best Film Eagle –Polish Academy Awards 2011 : Best Actor- for Robert Wieckiewicz Filmland POLEN 2012 - Hannoveranner - Award of the Audience for the BEST POLISH FILM in the Northern Germany for 2011.

Back to Top

Mabul (The Flood)

Bar Mitzvah signifies growing into an adult Jew. Yoni Roshko faces a flood of challenges in growing up. Slight of build and high of voice, he is bullied by classmates. His parents, a daycare provider and a perpetually stoned crop duster, barely communicate to each other and depend on him to sustain their fragile household. His autistic brother Tomer is institutionalized and the siblings are virtually strangers. How can Roni cope when Tomer comes home a few days before the Bar Mitzvah? As Roni prepares his Torah portion about Noah and the flood, Tomer connects with the story, and the boys build a relationship based on the Torah Parasha, while their parents flounder in the background.

Guy Nattiv | Israel | 2009 | 100 min | Hebrew | Digibeta | Drama

Back to Top

Mahler, Autopsy of a Genius

Aah, Mahler. Bathed in romantic mythology, he was—and is—idolized as a musical genius. However, that description is an incomplete portrait. Using newly discovered sources, director Andy Sommer delves below the surface to uncover the whole Gustav Mahler. The viewer is not merely a spectator. By including authentic objects from Mahler's life, Sommer places the audience in Mahler's footprint to see what Mahler sees, hear what Mahler hears, feel what Mahler feels, touch what Mahler touches—experience what Mahler experiences. And the entire portrayal is augmented by excerpts from all 10 Mahler symphonies. The result is a multidimensional, sensual portrait of a fully realized soul set to his magnificent music.

Andy Sommer | France | 2011 | 90 min | English, French, Italian | Documentary

Back to Top

Mary Lou

This ebullient, Glee-like musical about a lonely youngster searching for his mother but finding himself showcases real-life Israeli rock star Svika Pick's music. On Meir Levi's tenth birthday, his mother mysteriously disappears. In high school, his life is again shattered when his dear friend Shuli falls for Gabriel—whom Meir also loves. Desperate to find his long-lost mother, Meir flees to Tel Aviv. However, instead of finding Mom, he falls in with a performing drag queen group, "The Holly Wigs." In true show business tradition, Meir is drafted into the group, becoming "Mary Lou," a persona modeled after the heroine in his mother's favorite Svika Pick song. A star is born! Through Mary Lou, Meir becomes a fully realized adult.

Eytan Fox | Israel | 2010 | 150 min | Hebrew | Drama

Awards: Best Miniseries, Israeli Emmy, 2010

Back to Top

My Best Enemy

What action turns a friend into a fiend, a neighbor into a mortal enemy? Victor Kaufmann's family owns a Viennese art gallery. After Germany annexes Austria, the Kaufmanns are stunned when Victor's childhood friend Rudi joins the SS and betrays them. Several years later, Rudi collects Victor from the concentration camp to bring him to Berlin for questioning about a valuable artwork the Kaufmanns had owned. En route to Berlin, their plane is shot down. Thus begins a series of tragicomic turns worthy of Shakespeare. Who is the Jew? Who is the Nazi? Do clothes make or unmake the man? Who has the upper hand? My Best Enemy transforms both men, but only one emerges a mensch.

Wolfgang Murnberger | Austria, Luxembourg | 2011 | 109 min | German | Drama

Back to Top

Miracle Lady (Film Short)

Michal Abulafia, Moran Somer | Israel | 2009 | 10 min | Hebrew | Short

Back to Top

The Names of Love

A young, extroverted left-wing activist who sleeps with her political opponents to convert them to her cause is successful until she meets her match.

Michel Leclerc | France | 2010 | 100 min | French, English, Greek, Arabic | Drama

Awards: Best Actress and Original Screenplay, Cesar Awards, 2011; Sky Film Award, 15th UK Jewish Film Festival

Back to Top

Otto Frank, Father of Anne

Just when you thought everything relating to Anne Frank has been said, this fascinating documentary reveals an overlooked dimension to the story -- her father's role in making her diary one of the most widely read Holocaust stories. Using previously unseen film, photos and letters, David de Jongh's evenhanded film paints a sympathetic but complex portrait of a man who confronted profound grief and renewed his bond with his daughter through her diaries. Feeling a huge moral responsibility to Anne's legacy, and facing ethical questions about invading the privacy of his daughter and other main characters, Otto Frank also became a father figure for young readers worldwide as he personally answered every note he received from them.

Pieter van Huijstee | 2010 | 76 min | Dutch, German, English, French | Documentary

Shown with:
» Through the Eye of the Needle

Back to Top

Pinhas (Film Short)

Pinhas is a new immigrant from Russia to Tel Aviv. His secular mother works nights and devotes her spare time to her affair with a married man. Feeling abandoned, Pinhas is drawn to the warm Orthodox family upstairs.

Pini Tavger | Israel | 2008 | 30 min | Russian | Short

Awards: Finalist - Student Academy Awards (OSCAR) 2009 Winner - Best Asian Film, Beijing International Film Festival 2009 Winner- Grand Jury Prize for Best Short at ONfilm fest, Virginia, 2009 Winner - Bronze Award, Warsaw Jewish Motifs Film Festival 2009 Winner- Audience Award, Brooklyn Int. Film Festival, 2009 Winner- Best Student FIlm, Nashville Jewish Film Festival, 2009

Shown with:
» Dolphin Boy

Back to Top

Prima Primavera

Prima Primavera is a buddy film like no other! Gabor, a charming, mentally-challenged man is the only witness to a bank robbery. He hatches a plan to hide from the robber who is searching for him. Believing he can find safe haven in the rural village of his grandmother, Gabor teams up with Jolie, a hardened prostitute who has her own reasons for going on the run with Gabor. Though doubtful that Gabor can distinguish truth from fiction, Jolie accompanies him. Armed with only a chandelier and an evening bag--like Don Quixote tilting at windmills--they camp in idyllic country spots from Bulgaria to Serbia and forge a most improbable bond. Reality? Perhaps. Imagination? Likely. Friendship? Definitely!

János Edelényi | Bulgaria, Hungary, UK, Netherlands | 2008 | 90 min | Hungarian, English | Drama

Awards: Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Bulgarian Film Festival, 2010

Back to Top

A Reuben By Any Other Name (Film Short)

Takes a hilarious look at the differences between Orthodox and Reform Judaism in terms of the Reuben sandwich.

Jeremy Dylan Lanni | USA | 2010 | 4 min | English | Short

Back to Top

Salsa Tel Aviv

Featuring a top-notch multilingual cast including popular Mexican stars Angelica Vale and Angelica Maria (mother-and-daughter in real life), this Spanish language film integrates romance, misunderstanding, comedy and salsa dancing into a plot exploring the serious social issue of illegal foreign workers in Israel. Vicki, a passionate salsa dancer from Mexico turns Israeli professor Yoni's life upside down when she moves in on him to avoid the immigration police. From completely different worlds, almost everything divides them: religion, culture, and social class, find out if they have anything in common in a movie that pulls out all the stops. Salsa Tel Aviv is being shown in collaboration with the Latino Film Festival Jewish Film Series.

Jorge (Johanan) Weller | Israel | 2011 | 90 min | Hebrew, Spanish | Drama

Back to Top

Shalom Sesame Street

A windy storm blows everything around the street! When the wind dies down, Grover and his friends go outside to see the street very messy! They decide to help clean and fix up the street together!

Bring the whole mishpochah to celebrate Family Day on Sesame Street with the Muppets on an Israeli street corner! Family Day activities for preschoolers will follow the film!

Tickets are free (limited 4 to a family) but reservations are recommended! Seating is limited! Get your tickets in advance at the JCC box office or at the door the day of the event.

Israel | 2010 | 89 min | Childrens

Back to Top

Shira (Film Short)

Miriam Adler | Israel | 2009 | 29 min | Hebrew | Short

Back to Top

Through the Eye of the Needle (Film Short)

Esther Nisenthal Krinitz wanted to preserve the memory of her family lost in the Holocaust for herself and her daughters. Trained as a dressmaker, she picked up her needle and created 36 intricately embroidered fabric quilts to recount the story of her childhood before, during, and after WWII. At 15, Esther and her sister Mania, age 13, refused to report to the train station for relocation, separated from their family, and assumed the identities of Catholic farm girls. Krinitz's gentle, folkloric art—now a traveling exhibition (entitled Fabric of Survival) that was at the Oceanside Art Museum in 2009—makes Holocaust history accessible for all ages.

Nina Shapiro-Perl | USA | 2011 | 30 min | English | Short

Shown with:
» Otto Frank, Father of Anne

Back to Top

Tony Curtis: Driven to Stardom

What made Tony Curtis run? In a career spanning six decades, Tony grew from Hollywood pretty-boy idol to talented magnetic actor. This film documents his rebellious streak—and his stubborn determination to overcome poverty, psychological turmoil, and personal failings. Although Curtis starred in a wide array of notable films both dramatic and comic, he received only one Oscar nomination, for The Defiant Ones, in which he defied the conventions of the times to costar with Sidney Poitier. Through extensive interviews with Curtis himself, his last wife Jill, and others who knew him well, this rag-to-riches story follows Hell's Kitchen-raised Bernie Schwartz as he scrapped his way into the limelight—and found redemption as a beloved star.

Ian Ayres | France | 2011 | 55 min | English | Mockumentary

Shown with:
» Capture the Moment
» Flawed

Back to Top


As Romuald-Jakub Weksler-Waszkinel approaches the Western Wall, he adjusts his priestly Roman collar -- and his embroidered kippah. Can a Catholic priest be Jewish? Born in 1943, Romuald is left with Polish neighbors by Jewish parents who will not survive WWII. Raised a devout Catholic, he becomes a priest. At 35, when his dying mother reveals his Jewish origins, he contemplates to reclaim his Jewish birthright. Appalled by anti-Semitism in the Church, in his mid-60s he decides to make aliyah. In Israel, he learns the Law of Return only applies if he renounces Jesus and Catholicism. His poignant search for a comfortable dual identity raises questions about who is a Jew and what being Jewish means.

Ronit Kertsner | Israel | 2011 | 72 min | Hebrew | Documentary

Awards: Nominated Best Documentary, Israeli Documentary Forum Awards, 2011

Back to Top

When Israel Went Out

From 1983 – 1985, thousands of Ethiopian Jews, many of them elderly, women and children, walked from Gondar, Ethiopia to the Sudanese border hoping to immigrate to Israel. In blistering heat with little food or water, almost 2,000 people did not make it. In November, 2009, a group of Israelis returned to Ethiopia to recreate and document the grueling trek they took 25 years earlier. Now Israelis, the Ethiopians revisit the land of their birth and relive their experiences, both bitter and sweet with poignant memories of the lives they left behind. This film is dedicated to the memory of those who did not survive the journey.

Meni Elias | Israel | 2010 | 80 min | Hebrew, Amharic | Documentary

Awards: Journalism Award in Recognition of Diaspora, B'nai B'rith World Center, 2011

Back to Top

Within the Whirlwind

No one is as doubt-free as a true believer—until the system turns against even its most enthusiastic supporters. Such was the case for Evgenia Ginzburg, a Russian Literature professor, poet, and Communist apparatchik. Trapped in Stalin's anti-intellectual purges of the 1930s, Evgenia endures Kafkaesque psychological torture and trumped-up charges. Retaining both her pride and her faith in justice, she refuses to confess, but a kangaroo court sentences her in a six-minute trial to 10 years in the Gulag. Initially strong in the face of grueling hardships, Ginzburg nearly loses her self as the years grind on until a camp doctor's love helps her regain her humanity. Emily Watson gives a dazzling performance of courage under horrific circumstances.

Marleen Gorris | Germany, Poland, Belgium | 2009 | 90 min | English | Drama

Back to Top

Wunderkinder (Child Prodigies)

In unstable times, children's friendships override adult insanity. In Poltava, Ukraine in 1941, three child prodigies—Jews Larissa Brodsky and Abrascha Kaplan and German Hanna Reich—defy religious and national boundaries to develop a strong bond based on their love of music. When the Nazis invade the Soviet Union, the trio's joyful world is turned upside down; their families face mortal peril. Too young to understand the brutal madness of war, the friends use their musical virtuosity to win the hearts and kindness of the adults around them and to protect each other from danger. Though set in World War II, Wunderkinder is timeless: its universal themes easily play against the background of every international conflict—past, present, and future.

Marcus O. Rosenmüller | Germany | 2011 | 96 min | German | Drama

Back to Top