The festival, sponsored by Cincinnati's Mayerson Jewish Community Center, will present 12 award-winning films that explore Jewish identity, history, social issues and family dynamics. Entries will be shown at several locations, including the Kenwood, Esquire and Oakley Station theaters as well as the JCC in Amberley.
The theme for this year’s festival, “Mystery, History, Mischief and More,” is reflected in movies dealing with the Holocaust, food, family, sports and love.
Mayerson has been organizing the festival for more than 20 years, with the backing of “nearly every part of the Jewish community in Cincinnati” and other sponsors, Karli Wood of the JCC’s marketing department said in an email. The festival is unusual in its structure since it has no single director. Cultural arts manager Betsy Singer-Lefton does much of the organizing work, Wood said, but a committee of volunteers chooses the films.
All the films shown have been featured in other film fests and most have won awards. The opening night feature Feb. 6 will be “Remember,” directed by Atom Egoyan and starring Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau. Tickets to the event at the Carnegie in Covington will include a free drink and dessert, plus music by a jazz trio from the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music. Kentucky bourbon flights will be available for purchase.
Closing night Feb. 25 will be devoted to Maltin's presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session, a meet-and-greet and book signing of Maltin’s “Classic Movie Guide.”
For details about the festival, movie trailers and film synopses, visit MayersonJCC.org.
What: Jewish and Israeli Film Festival, presented by Mayerson Jewish Community Center
When: Feb. 6-25. All shows 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted (see below).
Here are few highlights of the film offerings at the Jewish and Israeli Film Festival:
“Remember,” starring Oscar winners Martin Landau and Christopher Plummer as elderly Holocaust survivors bent on bringing justice to a Nazi murderer before time runs out. Feb. 6, The Carnegie.
“Victor ‘Young’ Perez,” based on the life of a Jewish Tunisian boxing champion who is forced to fight for his life during the Holocaust. (In French with subtitles) Feb. 9, Cinemark Oakley Station.
“Serial (Bad) Weddings,” an irreverent French comedy about a family dealing with cross-cultural fallout when the daughters marry men outside the faith. (In French with subtitles) Feb. 11, Kenwood Theatre.
“Rock in the Red Zone,” a documentary about the powerful role of music in the life of a community in conflict-plagued Gaza. Director Laura Bialis will take part in an audience discussion via Skype following the movie. Feb. 16, Kenwood Theatre.
“Operation Sunflower,” a suspenseful historical drama about the beginning of Israel’s nuclear program in the 1950s and 1960s. (In multiple languages with subtitles.) Feb. 22, Kenwood Theatre.