20th Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival

2010 Audience Choice Award Winners!

Best Feature Film: Brothers

Best Documentary: Where I Stand: The Hank Greenspun Story

Best Short: I'm Ready

A Matter of Size

Herzl is a shy 340 pound man living with his mother in Ramle. Fired from his job because of his unpresentable image, and dumped by his weightloss group because he keeps adding rather than shedding pounds, he takes a job as a dishwasher in a Japanese restaurant. There, he discovers the one activity where girth is a virtue and fat guys can be rock stars— sumo wrestling! He and three obese friends begin a rigorous training program and follow their path from body shame to body celebration and from loneliness to love. In the process, they learn that happiness and success will only come from being true to themselves. With echoes of The Full Monty, this hilarious yet tender—and very Jewish—film beats to the drum of a plus-size heart.

Awards: Nominated for 10, Israeli Film Academy 2009; Won 3, including: Best Actress and Costume
Note: A USA version now in production! Don't miss the original!

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Adam’s Wall

In Montreal’s Mile End, the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in Canada, a Jewish teen and a Lebanese girl fall in love. Together, Adam and Yasmine face the walls separating them—the ongoing feud between their families, the differing viewpoints between generations, and the raging conflict in the Mid-East. This captivating and controversial love story is well-filmed, well-acted, and unified by a mesmerizing soundtrack.

Preceded by: Mendel’s Tree

Mendel is a Jew with a problem—he loves Christmas. His Orthodox parents announce an unexpected visit and their impending arrival causes Mendel’s illicit secret love to come crashing around him. When Jingle Bells meets Hava Nagila, the resulting union is filled with laughter.

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Against the Tide

Narrated by Dustin Hoffman and directed by Oscar winner Richard Trank (I Have Never Forgotten You; Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal), Against the Tide portrays the history of American inaction during the Holocaust. Trank juxtaposes the efforts of activist Peter Bergson with heroic stories of European Jews who had trusted their North American brethren to save them. Bergson challenged the Roosevelt administration and the Jewish establishment (including Rabbi Stephen S. Wise) to make the rescue of Jews a top priority. Besides telling the story of an unsung hero, Trank shows what happens when good people remain silent in the face of evil.

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All I’ve Got

Two sweethearts lie in the wreckage of their car. As a paramedic assures them he is there, the young man dies. The camera suddenly focuses on an old woman in a nightgown wandering on a dock. She sees a cruise ship with no apparent destination. The crew is expecting her. Aboard is her long lost first love, who has been waiting for her for fifty years, and a dilemma that will fatefully affect the life she has lived.

Preceded by: Gefilte Fish

Filmmaker Karen Silverstein captures three generations of women talking about, and demonstrating how they make gefilte fish. Part instructional, part allegorical this is a chronicle of Jewish-American life.

Preceded by: West Bank Story

A musical comedy send-up of West Side Story, David, an Israeli soldier, and Fatima, a Palestinian fast food cashier, fall in love. Tensions mount between their families, triggering a chain of events that destroy the families’ dueling falafel stands in the West Bank.

2007 Oscar winner for Best Short Film, Live Action

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Breaking Upwards

A young, real-life New York couple who, four years in and battling co-dependency, decide to intricately strategize their own break up. Based on an actual experiment devised by director/actor Daryl Wein and actress Zoe Lister-Jones, the film loosely interprets a year in their lives exploring alternatives to monogamy, and the madness that ensues. An uncensored look at young love, lust, and the pangs of co-dependency, Breaking Upwards follows its characters as they navigate each others’ emotions across the city they love. It begs the question: is it ever possible to grow apart together?

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For 25 years, Dan has been working the land on a secular kibbutz after leaving his native Argentina for political reasons. His estranged brother Aharon is a NY-based attorney and Torah scholar. The two men reunite when Aharon comes to Israel to defend the rights of Yeshiva students who refuse military service. How can Aharon defend the Yeshiva when he finds out the Rabbi and students are not what they appear to be? How can Dan respect his brother when he considers religion not to be important? The questions raised by the legal case mirror the divisions between secular and religious life in contemporary Israeli society. Brothers asks the question: What does it mean to be a Jewish State?

Awards: Best Actress & Actor, Biarritz Int’l Festival of Audiovisual Programs, 2009; Audience Choice, Mostra de Valencia/Cinema del Mediterrani, 2009 & Cinéma Tous Écrans, 2008

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Hadar Galron (The Secrets; On the Road to Tel Aviv) stars as Bruriah, a welleducated rabbi’s daughter, who searches for her father’s controversial book about the legendary Bruriah, whose Talmudic brilliance challenged the Great Rabbi’s assertion that women were “lightminded.” The modern-day Bruriah’s quest creates conflict with her religious community and with her husband Yakov. When they declare that women can’t be intellectuals and belong at home, she turns to Sasha, a young teacher, for help in finding the book. Bruriah has it all— betrayal, death, G-d, sex—and an ending filmgoers will discuss long after the lights come up.


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La Camara Oscura

Gertrudis is a Jewish immigrant born on the docks when her parents arrive in Buenos Aires at the turn of the 20th century. After growing up as an “ugly duckling,” she accepts marriage to an older wealthy Jewish rancher and attempts to create a happy family life for herself, always turning her unattractive face away from the camera. When her husband hires a photographer to take pictures of the family and ranch, the Surrealist artist captures Gertrudis’ singular beauty, and she begins to “see” herself for the first time in the eyes of the stranger.

Awards: Nominated 8, won 4 including Best Film,
Director, Art Direction and Costume, Argentinean Film
Critics Association Awards, 2009

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Chicks in White Satin

Elaine Holliman’s Chicks in White Satin packs a feature length’s worth of drama and comedy into a sparkling 20 minutes. The warm and infectious film documents the formal Jewish wedding of two San Diego women, and the reverberations among each of their families. Though Chicks embraces the notion of lesbian weddings, it also incorporates a sly critique of the traditional trappings of nuptials, straight or otherwise.

Awards: Oscar Nomination Best Documentary Short, 1994

Preceded by: And Thou Shalt Love

In this powerful story based on director Chaim Elbaum’s experiences, Ohad, an IDF Yeshiva student, becomes enamored with Nir, his handsome study partner. Struggling to overcome his sinful desires, Ohad tries desperately to deny his feelings. Chaim Elbaum.

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The Clown and the Fuhrer

In 1944 Berlin, internationally famous Spanish clown Charlie Rivel and his partner Witzi are enlisted to perform for Hitler’s birthday. They plan to poke fun at the Fuhrer, but Gestapo agent Krauss inserts himself in the show, deports Witzi and replaces him with Golo, a clown with an even bigger grudge against Hitler. The meeting based on historical fact between one of the greatest perpetrators of evil and a gentle man who wants only to make people laugh reflects the confusing relationship between art and politics. Director Eduard Cortes dramatizes this purportedly true encounter between Hitler and Rivel.

Awards: Best Film, San Joaquin International Film
Festival, 2008 & Best Film, Anchorage International Film
Festival, 2008

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Deadly Honour

Fifteen-year-old Salma witnessed the murder of nine cousins in their family homes, but never thought she’d be a victim. This real-life survivor of “honor killing” narrates this documentary of multiple murders in Ramle, a mixed Jewish-Arab city where women integrate into mainstream society better than men. Here, Arab girls grow up in fear of being killed by their own relatives. A code of silence prevents talk about the murders— or punishment in court. But when a woman’s body is discovered in an unused well, the neighbors come out for the first time to testify in court against these murderers.

Preceded By: From Philadephia to the Front

Photographer Judy Gelles discovered a box of WWII artifacts in her late father-in-law’s belongings. He had never discussed his experiences, so Gelles and partner Marianne Bernstein are inspired to document the experiences of Jewish soldiers during the war. Six Philadelphia veterans in their 80’s share their stories—as well as rare archival footage, stills and newsreels including Shabbat and Passover celebrations and the first Jewish service at Dachau after liberation.

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For My Father

Tarek, a Palestinian youth, leaves Tulkarem for a Tel Aviv suicide mission in his father’s honor, but gets a second chance at life when his bomb fails to detonate. Mr. Katz, an electrician and Holocaust survivor whose son died fighting in the IDF, unknowingly helps Tarek repair the device. Katz invites Tarek to stay with him and his wife. When Tarek meets Keren, a young woman estranged from her Orthodox family, they begin to fall in love. As his weekend spent among those he intends to kill comes to an end, Tarek must make the decision of his life.

Awards: Nominated 7, won 3 including Best Actor, Best Music, Israeli Film Academy 2008; Audience Award, Moscow Int’l FF, 2008; Grand Prix, Sofia Int’l FF, 2009

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The Gift to Stalin

Director Rustem Abdrashev unearths a harrowing chapter of ethnic persecution in postwar Soviet years told through the nostalgic memories of a child. Uprooted by Stalin’s regime, a train full of ethnic minorities is deported to Central Asia. During a stopover, a Jewish boy, Sashka, is found in a railcar and rescued by a Muslim rail worker. Sashka is cared for by a surrogate family in rural Kazakhstan, yet dreams of finding his exiled parents. Based on David Markish’s semiautobiographical novel this film offers gorgeous panoramas of the vast Kazakhstan Steppes, as Sashka’s story touches the heart.

Awards: Emile Guimet Award & Golden Wheel, Vesoul
Asian Film Festival, 2009

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Gut Shabbes Vietnam

A young Jewish family sets out for Vietnam to become emissaries of the Chabad movement and to create a Jewish community in Ho Chi Minh City. Preparing a Rosh Hashanah meal, finding 10 Jews for a minyan, and culture shock are among the challenges they face. Racheli and Rabbi Menachem undertake the work of “bringing the messiah” with a commitment that is beyond comprehension.

Preceded By: Filmed by Yitzhak

This fascinating documentary uncovers home movies taken by Yitzhak Rabin from 1963–1973. It provides an opportunity to glimpse the private side of the man who later becomes Prime Minister. Footage ranges from beautiful Asian and African landscapes to London and Paris’ tourist sites to experiences during Rabin’s ambassadorship in New York, San Francisco and Washington DC. As Rabin takes in the world’s wonders through his camera’s eye, he envisions change in the State of Israel. Watching Rabin’s films reminds us not only of the man behind the camera, but also of his absence in today’s world.

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The Jazz Baroness

A dozen postwar jazz tunes are named for “Nica” in honor of the genre’s most unlikely patron—British Jewish Baroness Pannonica Rothschild who left her life of family, wealth and decadence to follow her flamboyant passion for jazz. To her family’s horror, Nica (voiced by Oscar winner Helen Mirren) sheltered and fed her talented black friends, bailed them out of jail, and even went to jail herself! She helped men like Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins, but most scandalously of all, fell in love with the jazz genius Thelonious Monk. Nica’s great-niece Hannah Rothschild interviews luminaries including Quincy Jones and the Duchess of Devonshire to create a haunting answer to the “puzzle of Pannonica.”

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The Jerusalem Syndrome

This comic road trip movie lampoons Israel’s multi-cultural society. An Israeli deliveryman is in love with a Russian prostitute and plans to kidnap her from her Georgian pimp. He hijacks a jitney taxi, but the cab is far from empty. Now his rescue team includes: a sexy female soldier, a new-age waitress, a yeshiva student— and a French civil servant with “Jerusalem Syndrome”—an actual psychosis in which tourists traveling to Jerusalem experience rapture and see themselves as holy. This improbable group must rescue Ivana and then flee for their lives on a journey of tolerance, bonding and freedom.

Awards: Public Award, 9th Festival of Israeli Cinema in
Paris, 2009

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JITLI Livin’ the Dream

Follows the events of the 2008 JITLI trip as told through the eyes of the San Diegan Jewish participants. These teens recount their travels, conflicts, and friendships with their Israeli “neighbors”—from Sha’ar HaNegev, Lakya, and Segev Shalom. This documentary was edited by Kevin Middleton as a part of his academic internship at High Tech High Media Arts.


February 17 at 4:30 PM, JCC Garfield Theatre
Followed by a reception
Special Guests: Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs

All JITLI alumni and families from years past
are welcome to join us!


Leon the Pig Farmer

A Jewish kosher real estate agent in London discovers that the father who raised him is not his biological father because of an artificial insemination mishap. After questioning his own sterility, he accidently finds out the identity of his biological father who is of all things, a pig farmer in Yorkshire. Leon’s curiosity gets the best of him as he meets his real father and doesn’t know what to make of the situation: his father is secretly breeding a sheep with a pig. Will this help make the farm a little more kosher?

Awards: Chaplin Award – Best First Feature, Edinburgh
International Film Festival, 1992

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Look Into My Eyes

Rabbi-turned-filmmaker Naftaly Gliksberg sets out to investigate contemporary anti-Semitism to discover if it is truly a pervasive global problem or is it merely a buzzword used by Israelis and Jews to fend off criticism? Gliksberg travels through Europe and the USA to ask direct questions about Jews, Israel and the notion of anti-Semitism. His wry, disarming manner encourages interviewees to speak without rancor and constraint. Basically an optimist, Gliksberg would rather not discover anti-Semitism, but unearths prejudice in everyone from altar boys to comedians. You will be astonished by what you hear.

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Mary and Max

Inspired by the real-life experience of its Oscar-winning filmmaker Adam Elliot (Harvie Krumpet), this stop-motion feature portrays the 20-year penpal friendship of Mary Dinkle (Toni Collette), a chubby lonely 8-year old from Melbourne, and Max Horowitz (Philip Seymour Hoffman), an obese isolated 44-year old New Yorker with Asperger’s Syndrome. Masterfully narrated by Barry Humphries this is a truly exceptional portrait of compassion and love. The originality of the voices in this ever-spinning kaleidoscope of innocence and idiosyncrasy comes straight from an incredibly rich imagination and complete artistic vision.

Awards: Semi-Finalist Nominee, Golden Globe Award
2010; Crystal Bear—Special Mention, Best Feature
Film, Berlin Int’l FF, 2009; Grand Prize, Ottawa Int’l
Animation Festival, 2009

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Mid-day MaShup

A Mid-day Mashup of amazing shorts and cutting edge music videos featuring the latest from Jewish musicians and rappers and rocking Israeli bands; animation and live-action short films.

Check out the performances at Hazard and be dazzled by a spectacular feast of hip sights and sounds. It’s all that and a box of popcorn!!


Benny and Esty love each other very much but they are unemployed and the bank is about to confiscate their home. With only one month to settle their mortgage debt, each of them claims to have the saner solution to obtaining money. In this dark comedy, the young couple’s relationship is challenged, but their deep love holds in store a very precious surprise.

Awards: Best Drama, The Jerusalem Int'l Film Festival,

Preceded by: Gefilte Fish

Gali’s family prenuptial custom to ensure marital bliss requires the bride to make gefilte fish for her fiancé. Now it’s her turn to honor the tradition—but the pitiful eyes of the carp in the tub plead with her to do otherwise.

Preceded by: The Orthodox Way

Eli is forced to go out on a blind date. He picks up the wrong girl, and the two of them spend a bizarre evening driving around the streets of Jerusalem.

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The Name My Mother Gave Me

Russian and Ethiopian youth in an Israeli leadership program conclude their year of study with a journey to Ethiopia. They travel to the Ethiopian far-flung villages visiting with family they had left behind and discover the universality of their experiences and their shared commitment to their home in Israel.

Preceded by: Making the Crooked Straight

For the past 20 years, Dr. Rick Hodes has dedicated his life to healing the sick and poor of Ethiopia. A devout Orthodox Jew, Hodes provides patients with hospital treatments and overseas surgeries, often with his own funds. He has fostered 17 children to give them an education and a home, as well as medical care. Hodes is on a one-man journey to save the world one child at a time.

Awards: Audience Choice Best Short, Woods Hole Film
Festival, 2009

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Seven Minutes in Heaven

Since surviving a bus bombing, Galia has tended to her own recovery and also to that of her comatose boyfriend. However, the event itself is an enormous blur; most of her recollections come from others’ reports. On the anniversary of the explosion, Galia begins to confront and reconstruct her past. When handsome Boaz enters her life, she struggles between staying faithful to her boyfriend and making a new beginning. This film is part transcendental love story, part gripping psychological thriller, part ghost story and part ordinary daily Israeli life.

Awards: Best Feature, Haifa International Film Festival,
2008; Nominated Best Actress, Israeli Film Academy,
2009; Grand Prix, Warsaw International Film Festival,

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The Shadow Effect

New York Times bestselling author Debbie Ford, a San Diegan, is an internationally acclaimed expert on the human shadow who has led thousands of people from around the world through her renowned Shadow Process Workshop. Now, in this groundbreaking film, she exposes the perils and promise of the human shadow and the gifts that it delivers. Deepak Choprah, Holocaust survivor Edie Eger and others also make appearances in this life-altering journey film.

    “Despite a horrible life threatening disease, my sister Joy Faith Knapp helped the less fortunate, succeeded in business and was the most courageous person I have ever met. The Shadow Effect reflects her bravery and forgiving heart which made her short life so remarkable.
    —Elyse Sollender

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Unter Bauern (Saviors in the Night)

Friendly Jewish horse trader Menne Spigel won an Iron Cross fighting for Germany in WWI, but now the German army wants to kill him. Neighboring farmers Heinrich and Maria Aschoff hide Menne’s wife and daughter, while Menne moves from farm to farm. The family faces threats from relentless SS officers, enthusiastic Hitler Youth and frightened citizens. At war’s end, danger continues—from vengeful cowards, freed war prisoners and even the liberating Allies who cannot tell a good German from a bad one. Based on a true story, Unter Bauern shatters the myth that opposition to Nazi evil was impossible and futile.

Preceded by: So Soon Forgotten

In 1944, Nazis deported 400,000 Hungarian Jews, mostly to Auschwitz. Otto Teibeth, a Polish Jew, becomes an SS officer determined to stop one deportation train from reaching its destination.

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Villa Jasmin

In this compelling and passionate love story, a French Tunisian Jew returns to La Goulette in search of his family roots. Based on Serge Moati’s autobiographical novel, Moati explores his parents’ history during the 1920s to the 1940s and the impact of the Vichy Government under German Occupation. This beautifully photographed film delves into the background of the Tunisian Jewish community before, during and after WWII—but at its heart, is the story of a love that “moves the sun and stars.”

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The Wave

This German drama recounts a real-life high school experiment that went dangerously awry. World History teacher Rainer Wenger, agreeing with student grumbling about another discussion of fascism, turns the lesson into a simulation transforming his class into a minidictatorship. The students embrace his tactics, and “The Wave” movement dominates the campus, pressuring others to join and scorning those who don’t. This gripping thriller is also a thought-provoking study of human nature that asks where the roots of fascism begin.

Awards: Nominated Grand Jury Prize for World Cinematic
Sundance Film Festival, 2008; Won Bronze for
Outstanding Feature Film&Gold for Best Actor,
Supporting Role
, German Film Awards, 2008

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The Wedding Song

In 1942 Tunis, two teen girls, Nour, a Muslim, and Myriam a Jew, find their childhood friendship threatened by the political realities of the Nazi invasion. While Nour envies Myriam her education, Myriam yearns for the true love Nour shares with her fiancé. Myriam is forced into an arranged marriage with a rich but much older doctor in order to help her mother pay the Jew tax that Hitler imposes. Superb performances by a splendid cast make this ode to feminism a genuine celebration of the female bond and of the strength of a community of women.

Preceded by: Willingly

When 27-year-old Ma’ale Film School student Pazit Lichtman experienced marital trouble, she channeled her pain into something creative. The resulting film, Willingly, follows a young couple to the rabbinical divorce court where they must grapple with their decision to split.

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Where I Stand: The Hank Greenspun Story

Anthony Hopkins narrates this story of the Brooklyn kid who became a Vegas titan. His colorful career as a “give ’em hell” newspaperman would be unbelievable as fiction. As much a newsmaker as a reporter, the outspoken Greenspun ran guns to the new State of Israel, stood up against Joseph McCarthy, recruited Howard Hughes to buy out the Vegas mob, ended segregation on the Strip, and protested nuclear waste dumping in Nevada. This documentary of a life well spent has the thrill of a TV drama about a hero who “bent the law to follow…justice.”

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William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe

Filmmakers Emily and Sara Kunstler present the story of their father William, “the most hated and most loved lawyer in America.” Kunstler thrived on controversy—supporting the Mississippi Freedom Riders, the Catonsville Nine who burned draft files to protest the Vietnam War, the Chicago Seven who “incited riot” at the 1968 Democratic Convention, the rioting Attica prison inmates, and Native Americans at Wounded Knee. He defended clients no one else would touch—drug dealers, rapists, organized crime figures and terrorists. To his daughters, Kunstler was at the center of everything important that ever happened—but even they could not understand the risks he took.

Awards: Nominated, Grand Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival, 2009

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This first Israeli film created by Ethiopian Israelis opens with adolescent filmmaker Yitzhak, affectionately called “Spike Lee,” using a makeshift camera to introduce his family. His Orthodox father wants him to be a rabbi; his mother dreams he’ll be a soccer star. Grandfather Gite, an Ethiopian colonel who is now a street cleaner, wants his juvenile delinquent son Gili to become an IDF pilot. Gite’s daughter Almaz aspires to become a singer and wants to choose her own marriage partner. Yitzhak’s filmwithin- a-film registers writer-director Shmuel Beru’s effort to counter the media’s negative portrayal of his people and to showcase their actual potential.

Awards: Best Film, Haifa International Film Festival, 2008

Preceded by: New Year’s Resolution

On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, a 38-year old single woman announces to her Orthodox family her plans to have a child by artificial insemination. When the family reacts with shock and disbelief, she wavers in her resolve to fulfill her New Year’s resolution.

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Joyce Forum—A Day of Emerging Filmmakers

Monday, February 15AMC La Jolla 12

The Joyce Forum presents outstanding Jewish-themed short-subject, documentary and feature films by student and early-career filmmakers from all over the world. Named in honor of San Diego Jewish Film Festival Founder Joyce Axelrod, the Joyce Forum supports emerging filmmakers by showcasing their talent and exposing their work to established filmmakers, artists and industry peers.

Shorts in Winter Part 1 • 1:30pm

The Kiddush Man

A coming-of-age drama set in Israel, about 10-year-old Yoni who each Sabbath attempts to sneak past curmudgeonly Mr. Katz into Kiddush before the end of services—but one day Mr. Katz is nowhere to be seen.

Mendel’s Tree

Mendel is a Jew with a problem—he loves Christmas. His Orthodox parents announce an unexpected visit and their impending arrival causes Mendel’s illicit secret love to come crashing around him. When Jingle Bells meets Hava Nagila, the resulting union is filled with laughter.

Lost Paradise

A couple tenderly makes love in a cheap hotel room. A few minutes later, while the man and woman get dressed in silence, the idyll that seemed so authentic suddenly seems to have vanished.

Saturday’s Shadow

13-year-old Aaron witnesses his father, Josef, being humiliated by a gang of kids. Afterwards, Aaron does not want to hear his fathers explanations. Josef’s suppressed feelings find an outlet in the unnerving final scenes.

Shred of Hope

It is winter and Julian is heading to work, as always. On his face signs of trouble are noticeable, but maybe it isn’t so, maybe it’s nothing, just another ordinary day at work…

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Shorts in Winter Part 2 • 4pm • Ma’ale School Tribute

I'm Ready

When a father’s memory begins to fail due to Alzheimer’s disease, his special relationship with his Down syndrome son breaks down. As their stable happy routine collapses, they must face the truth of their situation.

A Jerusalem Tale

When Lazer and Baila Hirsch make aliyah, they struggle with financial hardship and general misfortune. Their Bretzlav Hassidic tradition challenges them to fulfill their capacity for joy, so they pray for a miracle—only to learn that miracles come when and where they’re least expected.

A Shabbos Mother

Three sisters—a secular radio broadcaster, a very pregnant woman who questions her ability to mother a child, and the religious heroine who is struggling to conceive— gather at their widowed mother’s home for an intense Shabbat together.


When 27-year old Ma’ale Film School student Pazit Lichtman experienced marital trouble, she channeled her pain into something creative. The resulting film, Willingly, follows a young couple to the rabbinical divorce court where they must grapple with their decision to split.

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Off and Running

Avery is an African-American teen raised Jewish, living in a multi-cultural home with her lesbian adoptive parents, her Korean brother and her mixed-race brother. Curious about her biological roots, she contacts her birth mother. The exchange spurs a full-blown identity crisis. A gifted runner, Avery planned to attend college on a track and field scholarship, but she becomes estranged from her loving family and drops out of school. She decides to pick up the pieces of her life and is Off and Running to the brink of adulthood, exploring the strength of family bonds and the challenges of becoming oneself.

Awards: Finalist Audience Favorite, 2009 Tribeca Film Festival; Best Documentary Screenplay, Silverdocs; Outstanding Documentary; Outfest; Best Documentary, Philadelphia Qfest

Eli and Ben

In Ori Ravid’s debut feature film, hunky Lior Ashkenazi (Walk on Water) portrays Ben, the city architect of Tel Aviv suburb Herzilya. A role-model to his adoring 12-year-old son Eli, Ben is accused of taking bribes and arrested at his home, much to the dismay of Eli. Eli’s world is turned upside down and he is forced to leave behind the magical realm of childhood for a mature perspective on injustice, corruption and pretense. Convinced of his father’s innocence, Eli feels like a double agent when questioned by the police—just where does the truth lie? This bittersweet multi-generational family drama and poignant coming-of-age story wins the hearts of young and old alike.

Awards: Audience Choice for Best Feature, Boston Jewish FF, 2009


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