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13th NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival Opening Night Premiere of “ZRUBAVEL”

By Maria Esteves - February 12, 2009

The 13th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival (NYSJFF) 2009, Opening Night NY Premiere of ZRUBAVEL, directed by Shmuel Beru was held at the Center For Jewish History, Thursday, February 5, 7:00 PM.  A special performance by Israeli actress/singer "Meskie" and Q&A session with director Shmuel Beru preceded the Opening Night Reception. Presented by the American Sephardi Federation/Sephardic House and Yeshiva
University Museum; sponsored by New York State Council for the Arts. NYSJFF09 Opening Night NY Premiere film attendees included UN diplomats, artists, directors, celebrity guests, members and patrons.

ZRUBAVEL is an excellent film that depicts the aspirations of three young first generation Ethiopian Jews of the Itzshak family in Israel. The youngest dreams of becoming Israel's first Ethiopian filmmaker known as the future Spike Lee by his family and friends throughout the neighborhood. The other a teenager, plans to be an airplane pilot encouraged by his grandfather Gita, and the youngest female in the Itzshak family desire to use her God-given artistic talent in the performing arts. The film delicately captures the traditional Jewish and Ethiopian cultures.

ZRUBAVEL, directed by Shmuel Beru | Israel | 2008 | 70 mins. | feature drama | Amharic & Hebrew with English subtitles | winner of Best Drama Award, 2008 Haifa International Film Festival; winner of Best Film Award, 2008 Jerusalem International Film Festival.

2009 NYSJFF Opening Night Reception, President David E. R. Dangoor,
(right), and executive director Stanley A. Urman, American Sephardi

2009 NYSJFF Opening Night Reception, director
Shmuel Beru, ZRUBAVEL.

2009 NYSJFF Opening Night Reception, executive director
Stanley Urman, American Sephardi Federation, with Israeli
actress/singer Meskie Shibru-Sivan, “Meskie.”

2009 NYSJFF Opening Night Reception, director Shmuel
Beru, ZRUBAVEL, with director Einat Kapach, TWO LEGACIES.

2009 NYSJFF Opening Night NY Premiere of ZRUBAVEL:
programming director Lynne Winters, American Sephardi
Federation introducing Israel’s first Ethiopian filmmaker
Shmuel Beru.

Executive director Stanley A. Urman, American Sephardi
Federation introducing President David E. R. Dangoor,
at the 2009 NYSJFF Opening Night.

2009 NYSJFF Opening Night Performance: Israeli actress/singer
“Meskie” included Hebrew, Amharic and Yiddish songs.


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