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Boston Jewish Film Festival favorites

The audience at this year's 21st annual Boston Jewish Film Festival has voted its favorites. In total, the Festival screened 40 films from 15 countries. The Festival's audience voted in two categories, Best Feature Fiction and Best Documentary Feature.
Award-winners are as follows:
- Best Feature Fiction: Eli & Ben (Eli v'Ben) (Israel, 2008, 89 min., 35mm) had its Massachusetts Premiere in this year's Festival. In Ori Ravid's engrossing debut feature film, Walk on Water's Lior Ashkenazi plays Ben, caught in a moral dilemma, just as he is sandwiched between his famous father and his son Eli, 12.
Director Ori Ravid commented on his win: "I'm very honored and moved by this award. Eli & Ben is a film that comes from the heart and I'm happy that your audience could share this experience with me."
- Best Documentary Feature: Killing Kasztner: The Jew Who Dealt with Nazis, by Gaylen Ross (USA, 2008, 84 minutes, video), had its New England Premiere screening in this year's Festival. A Hungarian Jew who saved nearly 1700 other Jews from Hitler's death camps by negotiating with the Nazis, Kasztner's legacy has been mixed. Documentary filmmaker Gaylen Ross (Blood Money: Switzerland's Nazi Gold, 1997 Festival) profiles Kasztner, while digging deeply into the political context of his life and death in Israel, where he moved after WWII.
Director Gaylen Ross responded to her win with this comment: "Receiving the 'Audience Award' for Best Feature Documentary of the 2009 Boston Jewish Film Festival is not only an honor for me, but a tribute to the important discussion the film has prompted about the controversial Jewish rescuer Rezso Kasztner, and the recognition he now is receiving for the thousands of Jewish lives he saved during the Holocaust. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me to bring this film and story to audiences, so that people can decide for themselves the legacy of this forgotten man and his remarkable tale of rescue."
Sony Creative Software has generously donated the awards, given to each film's director, in the form of Sony Vegas Pro 9 film editing software. Dave Chaimson, VP, Worldwide Marketing, said "Sony Creative Software was thrilled to partner with The Boston Jewish Film Festival by sponsoring this year's Audience Awards."
Jpeg photos are available for each of the winning films.
Previous Boston Jewish Film Festival Award Winners
Prior winners for Best Feature Fiction:
2008 - Noodle, by Ayelet Menahemi
2007 - Beaufort (Bufor) by Joseph Cedar
2006 - Ira and Abby, directed by Robert Cary
2005 - Live and Become, directed by Radu Mihaileanu
2004 - Wondrous Oblivion, directed by Paul Morrison
2003 - Yossi and Jagger, directed by Eytan Fox
2002 - Monsieur Batignole, directed by Gérard Jugnot
Prior winners for Best Feature Documentary:
2008 - Holy Land Hardball, by Brett Rapkin and Erik Keston
2007- Praying with Lior, by Ilana Trachtman
2006 - The Rape of Europa, directed by Richard Berge, Nicole Newnham and Bonni Cohen
2005 - 39 Pounds of Love, directed by Dani Menkin
2004 - Watermarks, directed by Yaron Zilberman
2003 - Thunder in Guyana, directed by Suzanne Wasserman
2002 - Strange Fruit, directed by Joel Katz
About The Boston Jewish Film Festival
The Boston Jewish Film Festival, founded in 1989, presents the best contemporary films from around the world on Jewish themes at its annual Festival and throughout the year. Through features, shorts, documentaries, and conversations with visiting artists, the Festival explores Jewish identity, the current Jewish experience, and the richness of Jewish culture in relation to a diverse modern world. The Boston Jewish Film Festival, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization.


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