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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Portland Jewish Fest line up

The Northwest Film Center and the Institute for Judaic Studies present the 16th annual Portland Jewish Film Festival.
The selection of films express specific Jewish experiences, resonate beyond their cultural inspiration and speak to ideas, experiences and issues that confront our common humanity.

APRIL 3 THUR 7 PM
FUGITIVE PIECES
CANADA 2007
DIRECTOR: JEREMY PODESWA
Based on the international best-seller by Anne Michaels, FUGITIVE PIECES is a poetic and emotionally charged film about love, loss and redemption. Written and directed by Podeswa (INTO THE WEST) and produced by Robert Lantos (EASTERN PROMISES, BEING JULIA), it tells the story of Jakob Beer (Stephen Dillane), a man who is haunted by his childhood experiences during World War II. In war-torn Poland, young Jakob is orphaned by the Nazis, but saved by a compassionate Greek archeologist (Rade Sherbedgia), who spirits him away to Greece to keep him safe for the duration of the war. Over the course of his fractured life, he attempts to deal with the losses he has endured. Through writing and the discovery of true love, Jakob at last glimpses the possibility of freedom from the legacy of his past. (104 mins.) ACTOR RADE SHERBEDGIA WILL BE ON HAND TO PRESENT AND TALK ABOUT THE FILM.
SPONSORED BY JEWISH FAMILY AND CHILD SERVICE AND THE PORTLAND JEWISH CINEMATHEQUE.

APRIL 5 SAT 7 PM
MAKING TROUBLE
US 2007
DIRECTOR: RACHEL TALBOT
Can we talk? MAKING TROUBLE offers tribute to Jewish American comedians Molly Picon, Fanny Brice, Sophie Tucker, Joan Rivers, Wendy Wasserstein and Gilda Radner. These legendary performers challenged traditional notions of what it meant to be Jewish, funny and female. A wealth of archival footage, performances and interviews (including the latest generation of female comics such as Judy Gold, Cory Kahaney, Jackie Hoffman and Jessica Kirson) fashions a memorable chronicle for anyone who likes to laugh. (85 mins.) SPONSOR: JEWISH FAMILY AND CHILD SERVICE.

APRIL 6 SUN 4:30 PM
THE CHAMPAGNE SPY
ISRAEL/GERMANY 2006
DIRECTOR: NADAV SCHIRMAN
The terrible personal toll of a life of espionage is the fascinating subject of THE CHAMPAGNE SPY, winner of the 2007 Israeli Academy Award for Best Documentary. During the 1960s, legendary Israeli Mossad agent Wolfgang Lotz (his covert name) left behind his family in Paris and went undercover in Cairo to sabotage an Egyptian weapons program. Posing as an ex-Nazi playboy, Lotz eventually became consumed by his alter ego and drifted away from his wife and son. After 40 years of silence, his son reveals the secrets of the spy's remarkable life, and shares the tragic childhood burden of having a real-life James Bond for a father. (91 mins.)

APRIL 6 SUN 7 PM
ARRANGED
US 2007
DIRECTORS: DIANE CRESPO, STEFAN C. SCHAEFER
Rochel, an orthodox Jew, and Nasira, a Muslim woman of Syrian origin, are both first-year teachers at a public school in Brooklyn. They have something else in common-they are both preparing for arranged marriages. With family pressures on the one hand, and the rejection of their traditional ways of life by the outside world on the other, Rochel and Nasira have no one to turn to but each other. Eventually, they prove to everyone around them that they can be strong women in charge of their own happiness, without sacrificing their deep religious and cultural convictions. Most importantly, they demonstrate that friendship doesn't discriminate. (90 mins.) SPONSORED BY NEVEH SHALOM

APRIL 7 MON 7 PM
THE CEMETERY CLUB
ISRAEL 2006
DIRECTOR: TALI SHEMESH
Every Sabbath morning the Mt. Herzl Academy Social Club meets at the National Cemetery, where its members-elderly, in-your-face Polish-born Jerusalemites (the director's great-aunt among them)-debate Immanuel Kant, declaim poetry, argue incorrigibly, and together face inexorable losses. THE CEMETERY CLUB offers a moving, sometimes hilarious portrait of Israel's emotionally rugged, dwindling Holocaust generation. In Hebrew and Polish with English subtitles. (90 mins.)

APRIL 8 TUES 7 PM
THE FIRST BASKET
US 2007
DIRECTOR: DAVID VYORST
THE FIRST BASKET traces the little-known Jewish history of basketball and its spread to turn-of-the-century New York settlement houses via the YMCA circuit. Full of vivid anecdotes and distinctive characters-including Ossie Shechtman, who made the first basket for the New York Knickerbockers in 1946-the film follows the evolution of basketball from inner-city neighborhoods to Madison Square Garden. While the era of Jewish professional basketball players has passed, the stories of such sports pioneers as Red Auerbach, Abe Saperstein, Leo Gottlieb, Ralph Kaplowitz, Solomon "Bud" Schwartz, Jack Silverman, Sy Rose, Jerry Fleishman, Hank Rosenstein, Dolph Schayes, Max Zaslofsky, and others illustrate how the American 20th century was shaped by the experiences of immigrants. (86 mins.) INTRODUCED BY HARRY GLICKMAN FORMER PORTLAND TRAILBLAZER OWNER. SPONSORED BY MITTLEMAN JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER.

APRIL 10 THUR 7 PM
SWEET MUD
ISRAEL/GERMANY 2006
DIRECTOR: DROR SHAUL
There is something different about Dvir's mother. He knows it, and worse, everyone on his kibbutz knows it too. In a utopian system based on equality, being different can be a burden. Set in the mid-70s, the film follows Dvir during his Bar Mitzvah year, a time when he must prove through a series of tasks that he deserves to be an adult member of the kibbutz. But at this crucial moment, it becomes apparent that his kibbutz cannot help his mentally ill mother. As he searches for a direction forward, he must confront the truth about his father's past, serve as his mother's advocate, and decide where his own future lies. A powerful coming-of-age drama that challenges the myths and romantic notions about kibbutz life, SWEET MUD won the International Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival, and the Best Feature Prize at the Israeli Film Academy Awards. (90 mins.) SPONSORED BY PORTLAND JEWISH ACADEMY.

APRIL 12 SAT 7 PM
AVIVA, MY LOVE
ISRAEL 2006
DIRECTOR: SHEMI ZARHIN
Winner of six Israeli Film Academy Awards, including Best Film and Screenplay, AVIVA, MY LOVE mixes humor and gravitas to tell a warm and richly textured tale of self-discovery and the pursuit of dreams. Aviva, a hard-working hotel cook, secretly dreams of becoming a writer. Her talents remain hidden until her sister introduces her to Oded, a has-been novelist and professor who recognizes her talent and takes her under his wing. But her difficult family life-an unemployed husband, troubled mother and three rebellious children-proves an obstacle to her success. When fulfilling her dream begins to affect the well-being of her family, Aviva must make the decision of a lifetime. (107 mins.) SPONSORED BY THE FLORENCE MELTON ADULT MINI-SCHOOL.

APRIL 13 SUN 4 PM
A HEBREW LESSON
ISRAEL/CHINA/RUSSIA 2006
DIRECTORS: DAVID OFEK, RON ROTEM
The surprising reality of Israel is that it is one of the most culturally diverse countries on earth, home to both Jewish and non-Jewish immigrants from Europe, Asia, and Latin America. With heart, humor and insight, filmmakers Ofek and Rotem share the stories of immigrants-a Chinese mother who left her daughter behind in China, a "Jewish Peruvian Princess," a Russian divorcée wanting to be near her daughter, and more-all recent arrivals to Israel and classmates at a Hebrew language Ulpan. As their progress is charted, the complexities of Israeli life fall into sharp relief. In various languages with English subtitles. (123 mins.) SPONSORED BY CEDAR SINAI PARK

WHERE TO AND BACK TRILOGY
GOD DOES NOT BELIEVE IN US ANYMORE, SANTA FE, and WELCOME IN VIENNA are the trilogy of films written by George Stefan Troller and directed by famed Austrian director Axel Corti (1933-1993). The films are loosely based on Troller's own life story. A Viennese Jew, he fled Europe as a teenager, immigrated to the United States, and returned to Europe during World War II as an American soldier. The three films-which are connected to each other by an advancing chronology and a series of overlapping characters-stand on their own as complete dramas, but seen together, they form a powerfully realized whole. "What Corti and Troller have done is what artists do: illuminate the life, the lives, within the history-the terrible drama, the bizarre comedy, the wry contradictions."-Stanley Kauffmann, THE NEW REPUBLIC.

APRIL 13 SUN 7 PM
GOD DOES NOT BELIEVE IN US ANYMORE
AUSTRIA 1982
DIRECTOR: ALEX CORTI
Vienna 1938. After Kristallnacht and the murder of his father, a young Viennese Jew (Johannes Silberschneider) flees from the Nazis and profiteers of Vienna. Scrambling for various exit visas and entry permits, he finally arrives in Prague where he meets a sympathetic Czech relief worker and an anti-Nazi German soldier (Armin Mueller-Stahl) who has escaped from Dachau. Together with other Jewish refugees, the three make their way to Paris and eventually to Marseille, hoping to sail to a safe port. "A superb, suspense-ridden adventure."-Kevin Thomas, LOS ANGELES TIMES. (110 mins.)

APRIL 14 MON 7 PM
SANTA FE
AUSTRIA 1985
DIRECTOR: ALEX CORTI
In 1940, a ship arrives in New York harbor filled with exhausted Jewish immigrants desperate to begin a new life. Alfred "Freddy" Wolff, a young Austrian Jew, dreams of starting a new life in the mythic American West (Santa Fe), but instead finds himself struggling to overcome the piercing alienation of immigrant life in Brooklyn. He joins an émigré community trying to recreate their European café life in a local coffee shop, but nothing can disguise the feelings of loneliness and profound loss that hang over everyone. (110 mins.)

APRIL 15 TUE 7 PM
WELCOME IN VIENNA
AUSTRIA 1986
DIRECTOR: ALEX CORTI
Freddy and his friend Adler, a left-wing intellectual who also immigrated to New York before the war, both return to Austria in 1944 as American soldiers. When the fighting finally ends, they are posted in Vienna, which has adopted an air of amnesia about Nazi crimes in an effort to "move on." The advent of the Cold War and pervasive anti-Semitism shatter their idealism. Freddy falls in love with the daughter of a Nazi, and Adler, disillusioned with Communism, falls in with a powerful black marketeer. "Remarkable for its fierce indictment of moral disarray in post World War II Austria and for its gritty recapturing of 1945 Vienna."-Walter Goodman, NEW YORK TIMES. (125 mins.)

APRIL 16 WED 7 PM
REFUSENIK
US 2007
DIRECTOR: LAURA BIALIS, STEPHANIE HOWARD
REFUSENIK chronicles the thirty-year movement to free Soviet Jewry between the early 1960s and the fall of the Iron Curtain. Gaining motivation following the Six-Day War, the Refuseniks strove to practice Judaism in an open society. Under the Soviet regime, this meant one thing alone: emigration. As a consequence of this seemingly simple desire, the Refuseniks lived under constant surveillance and danger; many of them endured punishment in Soviet Gulag labor camps. At first only a fledgling movement of students and housewives, the Refuseniks eventually helped crack the seemingly impenetrable wall of Soviet Communism. (100 mins.) INTRODUCED BY RABBI JOSHUA STAMPFER.

APRIL 17 THUR 7 PM
MY MEXICAN SHIVA
US/MEXICO 2007
DIRECTOR: ALEJANDRO SPRINGALL
After his abrupt death at a mariachi banquet, Moishe Tartakovsky has two angels hovering over his Mexico City shiva where his friends and family have gathered to remember their patriarch. The angels are attempting to divine from the mourners the content of Moishe's character, and whether the good or bad angel will escort him on. In short, Moishe's in trouble. His middle-aged son is trying to arrange an abortion for his girlfriend, his ultra-orthodox grandson faces arrest, and his daughter, still bitter and angry with her father for having left her mother, is obsessed with plastic surgery. Based on a short story by Ilan Stavans and featuring a raucous mariachi-inflected score by the Klezmatics, this dark, charming comedy generates authentic moments of reconciliation and vibrant humor in the face of loss. In Spanish, Hebrew, and Yiddish, with English subtitles. (102 mins.)

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