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New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival turns 15

 

The 15th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival will be held March 10-16, 2011 at the Center for Jewish History, presented by the American Sephardi Federation (ASF) in association with Yeshiva University Museum (YUM). The 2011 slate of films includes critically acclaimed and award-winning films, as well as classic feature films and documentaries presented by filmmakers from differing global perspectives. The line-up includes five U.S. premieres and six New York premieres. The Festival is an exciting cultural event, drawing a diverse, international audience, the participation of notable personalities, scholars, diplomats, and many filmmakers themselves.

At the Opening Night Gala, ASF will bestow the Pomegranate Lifetime Achievement Award to acclaimed Sephardi actor/filmmaker Ronit Elkabetz. Ms. Elkabetz has won three Ophir Awards and received, in 2010, the France Culture Award at the Cannes Film Festival. She has also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Israeli Film Academy.

Since its inception in 1990, the NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival has continued to expand its audiences, attracting over 30,000 guests and becoming one of the largest Sephardic Jewish film festivals in North America, and the only annual festival of its kind.

The American Sephardi Federation is committed to exhibiting a selection of thought-provoking, international quality feature films and documentaries that examine the past and explore contemporary Sephardic issues and identity. "Through cinematic exploration, our aim is to further elevate the understanding of the very rich history and culture of Sephardic Jewry," says ASF President, David E.R. Dangoor.

This year's themes include a special focus on the Jews of Morocco, as part of ASF's year-long series, '2,000 Years of Jewish Life in Morocco: An Epic Journey,' presented Under the High Patronage of His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco and made possible through the generous support of the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation.

For a full listing of films and ticket information, please visit: sephardicfilmfest.org. All screenings will take place at the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, NYC (except where noted). Group sales discounts are available (excluding the Opening and Closing night receptions). Information about the American Sephardi Federation is available by visiting americansephardifederation.org. Members of the media are invited to attend the screenings, with prior arrangements.

The Festival is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State's 62 counties.

Special thanks goes to the Brenner Family Foundation, the Kumble Cultural Fund and the Selz Family Cultural Fund for their generous contributions in support of the program.

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