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LA Jewish Fest opens today with full line up

Thursday, May 8: Opening Night Gala, the LA premiere of The Little Traitor
Based on Panther in the Basement by world renowned novelist, Amos Oz, the movie takes place in Palestine in 1947. Proffy, a spirited 11 year old militant wants the occupying imperialists off his land. A chance meeting with British officer Sergeant Dunlop builds into a friendship between these two foes. Q&A with director and cast. WGA Theater, Beverly Hills, 8:00 p.m. *This film is part of the Spotlight on Israel section in the Festival.

Sunday, May 11: Los Angeles Student Film Showcase
The first of its kind, this event will showcase Jewish student short films from day and high schools throughout Los Angeles, representing a diverse range of student work that represents the burgeoning talent of our future generation of filmmakers. ArcLight Cinemas Sherman Oaks, 3:00 p.m. * Q&A with student filmmakers. Sponsored by the Jewish Federation Valley Alliance & the Martin F. Witkin Fund

Sunday, May 11: A film for the whole family: LA premiere of Max Minsky and Me
Brilliant but nerdy Nelly is distracted from her Bat Mitzvah studies by her determination to meet her fantasy heart-throb at a basketball championship. She chooses an unwilling but attractive classmate, Max, to teach her the game through which she delightfully stumbles her into adolescence.
German with English subtitles. Appropriate for ages 12+. Laemmle’s Town Center, Encino 5:00 p.m., Laemmle’s Music Hall, Beverly Hills, 5:00 p.m.

Monday May 12: The LA premiere of The Memory Thief
Directed by Gil Kofman, starring Mark Webber. Lukas, an aimless youth has a chance encounter with a Holocaust survivor. His interest turns to compassion and he volunteers to collect oral histories. The more he learns about the Shoah the greater his obsession becomes, and slowly overtakes his life and identity.
Laemmle Music Hall Theaters, Beverly Hills, 7:30 p.m. *Q & A with director.

Monday, May 12: The LA premiere of Strangers
Official Selection at Sundance Film Festival, this foreign drama from Israel, portrays an Israeli man and a Palestinian woman who fall into a passionate affair at the World Cup finals in Germany.
Laemmle’s Town Center, Encino 7:30 p.m., *Discussion to follow. This film is part of the Spotlight on Israel section in the Festival.

Tuesday, May 13: A Special Evening with Joan Rivers! Premiering Making Trouble
The MorningStar Commission will honor Joan Rivers with the Marlene Adler Marks Woman of Inspiration Award. Ceremony followed by the premiere of Making Trouble - the story of six of the greatest female comic performers of the last century who broke new ground and delighted audiences for over three generations including Joan Rivers. Skirball Center, Los Angeles, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday 5/14: The LA premiere of Refusenik
Laura Bialis’ retrospective chronicles the thirty-year international movement to free Soviet Jews. This film is a tapestry of first person accounts of heroism, sacrifice, and ultimately, liberation told by activists on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Laemmle’s Music Hall, Beverly Hills; 7:30 p.m. *Q&A with Laura Bialis and Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky

Thursday 5/15: Closing Night, the LA premiere of Sixty Six
England in the summer of 1966 is about to be consumed by World Cup Fever, just as 12 year-old Bernie enthusiastically prepares for his Bar Mitzvah. When England makes it through the qualifying rounds, Bernie’s longed-for Bar Mitzvah looks headed for disaster. Directed by Paul Weiland (Made of Honor). Be the first in Los Angeles to have a sneak peek at this delightful, soon-to-be-released comedy. ArcLight Cinemas, Sherman Oaks; 7:30 p.m.

FULL FESTIVAL LINE-UP BY CATEGORY

CONFLICTS AND ISSUES
Bad Faith
Comedy/France/84 minutes/2007
Directed by: Roschdy Zem
Starring: Roschdy Zem & Cecile De France
French with English Subtitles
Clara and Ismael, a Jew and an Arab, are a happy couple. When Clara becomes pregnant, everything’s fine...until they realize they have to tell their parents. A contemporary update of “Guess Who’s
Coming to Dinner”, this film delivers relevance and poignancy to a romantic comedy for our troubled times.

Strangers
Drama/Israel/85 minutes/2008
Written and directed by: Guy Nattiv & Erez Tadmor
Hebrew with English Subtitles
Eyal, an Israeli kibbutznik, and Rana, a Palestinian living in Paris, visit Berlin for the World Cup and are forced to share an apartment. Over three intensive days their friendship turns to love as the World Cup and the second Israel-Lebanon war simultaneously play out before their eyes. When it’s time to go home, they must decide where to go to from there. Discussion to follow. *Sponsored by the William Morris
Agency. This film is part of the Spotlight on Israel section in the Festival.

Lonely Man of Faith
Documentary/USA/99 minutes/2006
Directed by: Ethan Isenberg
He was a rebel as well as a respected rabbi and Talmudic scholar. Joseph B. Soloveitchik battled ignorance, extremism, corruption and loneliness to make a lasting impact on the American Jewish
community. Discussion with Ethan Isenberg & Elliot Dorff to follow.

TRADITION AND IDENTITY
Children of the Sun
Documentary/Israel/70 minutes/2007
Directed by: Ran Tal
Hebrew with English Subtitles
An intimate journey about the lives of the first children born on Israeli kibbutzes through rare amateur films created from 1930 – 1970. This collage of archival footage depicts aspects of the kibbutz movement from its utopian beginnings to ultimate disintegration. *This film is part of the Spotlight on Israel section in the festival

The First Basket
Documentary/USA/86 minutes/2007
Directed by: David Vyorst
The film examines the inner-city social factors that led urban Jewish youths to basketball. This history of Jewish basketball experiences, from ash cans placed on brownstone stoops to the bright lights of Madison Square Garden still resonates with us today. *In cooperation with WJCC Maccabi

Diary of Niclas Gheiler
Short/USA/35 minutes/2007
Directed by: George Aguilar
A cinematic diary which chronicles the journey of a German WWI veteran who served with Hitler in the war. Niclas Gheiler shares his experiences from the war and the events that affected his life and forced him to leave his homeland and family behind.

Followed by:

About Sugar Cane and Homecoming
Documentary/Brazil/54 minutes/2007
Directed by: Shaul Kesslassi
Spanish/Hebrew/Yiddish with English subtitles
The story of a growing number of people in rural Brazil on a quest for identity and faith. Born into Catholicism, they choose to follow Jewish rituals and maintain Jewish traditions and communal life, but are not recognized by the Jewish establishment around the world. *Sponsored by VBS Men’s Group

Yiddish Soul
Documentary/Belgium/54 minutes/2006
Directed by: Turi Finocchiaro &
Nathalie Rossetti
French/German with English subtitles
Focusing on the revival of Yiddish music in present-day Europe, it follows a new generation of performers such as Karsten Troyke, Shura Lipovsky, and Klez Roym as they tour and perform in different cities across Europe, where they are joined by Chava Alberstein and Myriam Fuks. Followed by a live performance of Yiddish Folk Songs. *Sponsored by Yiddishkayt LA

Evening of Kosher Film & Art Presented by ATID
Join us for wine tasting, a dessert bar, live music by Josh Nelson, Jewish themed art and short films made by emerging artists and filmmakers in their 20s & 30s.

HISTORY AND LEGACY
OPENING NIGHT FILM—
The Little Traitor
Drama/USA/Israel/90 minutes/2008
Directed by: Lynn Roth
Starring: Alfred Molina, Ido Port & Theodore Bikel
English/Hebrew with English Subtitles
Based on Panther in the Basement by world-renowned novelist, Amos Oz, the movie takes place in Palestine in 1947, just a few months before Israel becomes a state. Proffy, a spirited 11 year old militant
wants the occupying imperialists off his land. What starts as a confrontation with British officer Sergeant Dunlop, builds into a friendship between these two foes that changes their lives forever. Q&A with director. *This film is part of the Spotlight on Israel section in the Festival.

The Memory Thief
Drama/USA/95 minutes/2007
Directed by: Gil Kofman
Starring: Mark Webber
Lukas is an aimless youth who works as a tollbooth clerk. After a chance encounter with a Holocaust survivor, his interest turns to compassion and he volunteers to collect oral histories. The more Lukas,
a non-Jew, learns about the Shoah the greater his obsession becomes, and slowly overtakes his life and identity. Q&A with director.

Eichmann
Drama/UK/Hungary/100 minutes/2008
Directed by: Robert Young
Starring: Thomas Kretschmann & Troy Garity
Based upon the final confession of Adolf Eichmann before his execution in Israel, this dramatic portrayal of the conflict between Eichmann and Captain Avner Less, the young Israeli officer investigating him becomes a battle of wills. What happens will change a nation forever. Followed by Q&A. *This film is part of the Spotlight on Israel section in the Festival.

Refusenik
Documentary/USA/110 minutes/2008
Directed by: Laura Bialis
The first retrospective to chronicle the thirty-year international movement to free Soviet Jews - the film is a tapestry of first person accounts of heroism, sacrifice, and ultimately, liberation told by activists on both sides of the Iron Curtain - many whom survived punishment in Soviet Gulag labor camps. Q&A with Laura Bialis and Zev Yaroslavsky.

Spielzeugland (Toyland)
Short/Germany/14 Minutes/2007
Directed by: Jochen Alexander Freydank
German with English Subtitles
To protect her son from the horrors of 1942 Germany, Marianne tells him that his Jewish best friend and his parents are packing for a journey to ‘Toyland’. He begs to go along until one morning her son and the neighbors have disappeared.

Followed by:

Anne and the Reverend
Documentary/France/49 minutes/2008
French With English Subtitles
Makoto Otsuka is a reverend from Hiroshima, who met Anne Frank’s father 30 years ago. Inspired by that meeting, he created a museum where he transmits the memory of the Holocaust to Japanese
children and to a country that is searching for its own memory. *In cooperation with Café Europa

The Tree of Life
Documentary/USA/77 minutes/2007
Directed by: Hava Volterra
A Los Angeles woman tries to come to terms with her father’s death by traveling to his birthplace in Italy to trace her family tree. With the help of her feisty 82 year old aunt and some inventive animation,
the story chronicles her relentless travels as she grows to understand the fascinating story of her Italian Jewish ancestors. Q&A with director.

Pigeon
Short/Canada/10 minutes/2005
Directed by: Anthony Green
Starring: Michael Lerner & Wendy Crewson
Set during World War II and based on a true story, Pigeon recounts a rare and startling act of charity.
Playing With: Tulip Time

Forgotten Souls
Short/UK/24 minutes/2007
Directed by: Ricky Wood
This is the story of Janek Kowalksi a survivor of the Holocaust who re-settles in Scotland from Poland. Set in 1963, Janek lives in a remote area in an effort to forget the horrors of the past which still haunt him.
Playing With: Tulip Time

Tulip Time
Documentary/Netherlands/50 minutes/2007
Directed by: Marco De Stefanis & Tonino Boniotti
Italian with English Subtitles
Trio Lescano, the Italian name adopted by the Dutch Jewish sisters Leschan with their “Swing Italiano”, was the first European ‘girl band’. Their successful career started in 1938 with the song “Tulip Time”, which made them a myth in Italy. But how did they manage to keep going in fascist Italy during World War II? Playing with: Pigeon and Forgotten Souls

Torte Bluma
Short/USA/18 Minutes/2005
Directed by: Benjamin Ross
Starring: Stellan Skarsgård
A sobering film inspired by a real life episode in the life of Franz Stangl, the German commandant at
Treblinka, and the Jewish prisoner who cooks his meals.

Followed by:

The House on August Street
Documentary/Israel/63 Minutes/2007
Directed by: Ayelet Bargur
Hebrew/German with English Subtitles
A film about memory, hope and an amazing rescue operation to save the children in a Berlin Jewish orphanage run by a single woman with the foresight and understanding of the realities in 1933 Germany that few others possessed.

COMING OF AGE
Cara de Queso (Cheesehead: My First Ghetto)
Comedy/Argentina/80 minutes/2006
Directed by: Ariel Winograd
Spanish with English subtitles
Some of Argentina’s best talent in this hilarious summer romp through an idyllic Jewish country club. The clash between old traditions and new ideas makes for a hilarious film about a boy going through puberty, facing bullies, his first crush, and pressure from his Jewish parents. *In cooperation with the Consulate General of Argentina

CLOSING NIGHT FILM—
Sixty Six
Comedy/UK/94 minutes/2007
Directed by: Paul Weiland
Starring: Helena Bonham-Carter
England in the summer of 1966 is about to be consumed by World Cup Fever, just as 12 year-old Bernie
enthusiastically prepares for his Bar Mitzvah. However, family problems threaten to overwhelm the celebration, and when England makes it through the qualifying rounds, Bernie’s longed-for Bar Mitzvah looks headed for disaster.

Max Minsky and Me
Comedy/Germany/94 minutes/2007
Directed by: Anna Justice
German with English Subtitles
Brilliant but nerdy Nelly is distracted from her Bat Mitzvah studies by her determination to meet her fantasy heart-throb, the Prince of Luxembourg at a basketball championship. She chooses an unwilling but attractive classmate, Max, to teach her the game, as she delightfully stumbles her way not only to a choice spot on the school team, but into adulthood. *Sponsored by the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles

INSPIRATION
Making Trouble
Documentary/USA/86 minutes/2007
Directed by: Rachel Talbot
This documentary tells the story of six of the greatest female comic performers of the last century who broke new ground and delighted audiences for over three generations. Hosted by four of today’s funniest women, it’s the true saga of what it means to be Jewish, female and funny. *Preceded by a Special Evening with Joan Rivers where The MorningStar Commission will present her the Marlene Adler Marks Woman of Inspiration Award

Between Heaven and Earth:Short films about Jerusalem
A collection of short films from Israel’s top film schools which provide a unique insight into life in Jerusalem as seen through the lenses of the next generation of Israeli filmmakers. Q&A after the screening. *Presented in cooperation with The Jerusalem Foundation and sponsored by VBS Men’s Group. This film is part of the Spotlight on Israel section in the Festival.

Autism: The Musical
Documentary/USA/100 minutes/2008
Directed by: Tricia Regan
Elaine Hall pledges optimistically to lead a group of autistic children in defying their limited expectations
in a collaborative production of a full-length musical. Following five Los Angeles children over the course of six months, the film captures the struggles and triumphs of their family lives, as the production gives these children a comfort zone in which they can explore their creative abilities. Elaine Hall attending. *Sponsored by Beit Issie Shapiro and HaMercaz

Los Angeles Student Film Showcase
Shorts/USA/80 minutes/2008
The first of its kind, this event will showcase Jewish student films from day/high schools throughout Los
Angeles. We will present a diverse and exciting range of student work that represents the burgeoning talent of our future generation of filmmakers. Q&A with student filmmakers. *Sponsored by The Jewish
Federation Valley Alliance

Shmuli’s Dream
Short/USA/3 Minutes/2007
Directed by: Eli Rosenblatt
Shmuli dreams that his apartment is overrun by klezmer musicians as he goes about his morning routine.
Followed by:

Song of David
Short/USA/14 Minutes/2007
Directed by: Oded Turgeman
David, an alienated Yeshiva student, reaches out to the only non-Jew he knows, Winston, a security guard that shares his love of hip-hop. David indulges his artistic freedom with an honest self-expression which puts him at odds with his teachers, and he must make a choice between diverging worlds. *Followed by a performance by Moshav.

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