Presented by the American Sephardi Federation the 17th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival is now the only annual festival of its kind. A banquet for filmgoers, this year’s festival will feature world renowned singer Enrico Macias on opening night and productions from France, Israel, Greece, Austria, and Spain. Rarely seen in the United States, the 16 films will share unforgettable stories of Bukhari, Iraqi, Iranian, Moroccan, Algerian, Greek and Spanish Jews, along with a timely spotlight on the bifurcated lives of Jews displaced from their ruptured Arab homelands.
The festival will launch with an unprecedented appearance by legendary Sephardi entertainer Enrico Macias. The subject of the dazzling opening-night film “Enrico Macias: A Life in Music”, Macias will receive the American Sephardi Federation Pomegranate Lifetime Achievement Award at a gala benefit reception.
“Dual identities, longing, and loss have defined the Sephardi experience, especially with turmoil in many of their homelands in recent years. This year’s films reflect the complexity of their experience with humor, warmth, and intelligence,” said Lynne Winters, director of the American Sephardi Federation, presenter of the festival.
“It’s also exciting for us to shine a spotlight on some key figures in Sephardi history through this year’s program, including human-rights activist Dr. Vicki Shiran and a larger-than-life entertainer like Enrico Macias, who’ll receive the Pomegranate Award for Lifetime Achievement.” Winters said.
A full schedule for the 17th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival is available at www.sephardicfilmfest.org
Among the highlights:
-Enrico Macias: A Life in Song
A fascinating look at one of France’s most beloved entertainers. Over the past 50 years, the Algerian-Jewish pied-noir musician has become the spokesman for the North African and Middle Eastern Jews who fled their homelands in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Dir.: Antoine Casubolo Ferro. France, 2012. 52 mins. French w/English subtitles. (Thurs. Mar. 13, 6:30pm)
-Stolen Documents? Franco and the Holocaust (Documentos robados? Franco y el Holocausto): US premiere of a revelatory documentary about Franco and the Jews during the Holocaust – including testimonials from Sephardic Jews in Spain today. Dir.: Yolanda Villaluenga. Spain, 2012. 53 mins. Spanish w/English subtitles. (Weds. Mar. 19, 6:30pm)
-The Longest Journey: The Last Days of the Jewish Community of Rhodes The 2,000-year-old Jewish community of Rhodes was almost destroyed when residents were transported to Auschwitz in 1944. This gripping film weaves testimonies of three survivors. Dir.: Ruggero Gabbai. Italy, 2012. 52 mins. Italian w/English subtitles. (Mon. Mar. 17, 6:30p).
Post-screening discussion with Stella Levi and Alessandro Cassin, Centro Primo Levi.