Jacksonville Jewish Film Festival
Two award-winning directors will talk about their films after they are shown at the Jewish Community Alliance’s premiere Jacksonville Jewish Film Festival.
Lisa Gossels, director of “My So-Called Enemy,” will participate in a question-and-answer session after her film is shown at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19. “My So-Called Enemy” follows six Israeli and Palestinian teenage girls for seven years after they participated in a women’s leadership program in the U.S. Ms. Gossels’ first feature documentary, “The Children of Chabannes,” won an Emmy Award in 2001 as well as 10 film festival awards. Also appearing via Skype from Israel will be Gal, one of the Israeli women featured in the film.
Joseph Dorman, director of “Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness,” will appear after his film is shown at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20. “Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness” is a riveting portrait of the celebrated writer whose stories became the basis of the Broadway musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” Mr. Dorman made the award-winning theatrical feature “Arguing the World” and is a winner of television’s prestigious George Foster Peabody Award.
The Jacksonville Jewish Film Festival will be a mix of internationally acclaimed features and documentaries, a special opening at Theatre Jacksonville in San Marco, a patrons’ brunch and a children's film fest.
The three-day festival, Feb. 18-20, will feature the Jacksonville premier of four internationally acclaimed, award-winning films reflecting the diversity of Jewish culture throughout the world. The audience will have the opportunity to meet the filmmakers and film scholars and participate in special events. The Jacksonville Jewish Film Festival was created to expose First Coast residents of all faiths and backgrounds to films that foster dialogue and awareness about the Jewish experience.
"This festival will serve as thoughtful and enjoyable forum for all of Jacksonville to address the social and political issues facing Jews in our community and throughout the world," said Dan Kossoff, winner of the 2010 Jacksonville Film and Television Industry Award and program director of the film festival. "Film is the perfect creative medium to engage people all ages and attitudes.”
The festival opens at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, at Theatre Jacksonville in San Marco with a Dessert Reception followed at 8 p.m. by the film “A Matter of Size” (open to all ticket holders). A Skype question-and-answer session with director Erez Tadmor will follow.
In “A Matter of Size,” four overweight Israeli men come to terms with their alienation from society by forming a sumo wrestling team. The sport, where size is an asset, transforms their whole perspective on life. As this thoroughly enjoyable and poignant comedy analyzes the self-image of these men with wit and soul, the humor is never at the expense of its characters. “A Matter of Size” won three Israeli Academy Awards, several international festival awards and 10 U.S. Film Festival Audience Awards. (Tickets available at the door)
The film festival continues on Sunday, Feb. 19, with:
* Patrons’ Brunch in JCA Meeting Room C from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with guest presenter Professor Eric Goldman Ph.D. speaking on “The American Jewish Experience on Film.”
Dr. Goldman is founder and president of Ergo Media Inc., a New Jersey-based video publishing company specializing in Jewish and Israeli video. He is also film reviewer for New Jersey’s “The Jewish Standard.”
A noted expert and lecturer on Yiddish, Israeli and Jewish film, Dr. Goldman is former director of the Jewish Media Service, which was a national clearinghouse on film and television for the North American Jewish community. He was curator of film for the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and for many years curated and moderated the film program at the Center for Jewish History and Yeshiva University.
* In the auditorium at 1 p.m., the film “Restoration” (open to all ticket holders), followed by a Skype interview with Director Joseph Madmony.
Named best film of the 2011 Jerusalem Film Festival and the only Israeli film to be an official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, “Restoration” is a slowly building and powerful story that explores fatherhood in its many manifestations. 70-year-old Yaakov Fidelman holds on with all his strength to his antique restoration shop, despite the sudden death of his longtime business partner and a son who wants to build apartments on the shop site. Thanks to the discovery of an 1882 Steinway in the back of the shop, Yaakov now has hope for keeping his shop afloat and maintaining his reclusive lifestyle. (Tickets available at the door)
* In the JCA Library from 12:45 to 3 p.m. or 3:45 to 5:30 p.m., free Children’s Film Frolic open to children age 10 and older. Seating is limited and reservations are required.
* In the auditorium at 4 p.m., the documentary “My So-Called Enemy” (open to all ticket holders). (Tickets available at the door)
The film festival concludes on Monday, Feb. 20, with:
* At 1 p.m., an encore presentation of “A Matter of Size” (open to all ticket holders).
* At 7 p.m., “Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness” (open to all ticket holders). (Tickets available at the door)
General admission tickets are $10 or $8 for students. Tickets for the opening night reception and film are $20. Tickets will be sold at the door.