Opening Night // Magic Men
Sponsored by The Jacob & Charlotte Lehrman Foundation
Dir. Guy Nattiv and Erez Tadmor (100min, Israel, 2014)
Hebrew and Greek with English Subtitles
In the latest feature from the directors of The Flood (Mabul), A Matter of Size, and Strangers, a 78-year-old Greek-born atheist (Makram Khouri, Ophir-winner for Best Actor) and his estranged Hasidic rapper son travel from Israel to Greece searching for the magician who saved his father’s life during World War II. Their Adriatic road trip involves much familial bickering but also has moments of affection, humor, and good will, as father and son reconnect during their adventure.
Opening Night Party with Director Guy Nattiv will be held at the Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza immediately following the screening.
Catering by Provisions.
Centerpiece Evening // Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem
THEODORE BIKEL: IN THE SHOES OF SHOLOM ALEICHEM
Dir. John Lollos (75min, USA, 2014)
Portraits of two beloved icons – Sholom Aleichem and Theodore Bikel – are woven together in this enchanting new documentary. The two men have much in common: wit, wisdom and talent, all shot through with deep humanity and Yiddishkeit. Theodore Bikel, the unstoppable performer whose career spans more than 150 screen roles (including an Oscar-nominated turn in The Defiant Ones) and countless stage and musical productions, is also the foremost interpreter of Sholom Aleichem’s work. Now 90, Bikel has played Tevye the Milkman on stage more than 2,000 times, and has animated Aleichem’s work through his two celebrated musical plays about the great Russian author.
Theodore Bikel will participate in an extended Q&A following the Centerpiece Evening on Saturday, February 21.
Centerpiece Evening // Hester Street
Dir. Joan Micklin Silver (90min, USA, 1975)
Yiddish and English with English Subtitles
Joan Micklin Silver’s humorous and poignant movie about a traditional Jewish woman (Carol Kane) who arrives with her son to America in the 1890s, only to discover that her cheating husband has assimilated and resents his wife’s old fashioned ways. In an Oscar-nominated performance Kane overcomes her heartbreak by adapting to the new land. This groundbreaking independent film tells a heartfelt immigration tale full of Yiddish sentiment and culture and paints a wonderfully vibrant picture of the Lower East Side.
Film selected and synopsis written by Aviva Kempner, WJFF Founder.
WJFF VISIONARY AWARD
The Annual Visionary Award recognizes creativity and insight in presenting the full diversity of the Jewish experience through moving image. The 2015 honorees are Carol Kane and Joan Micklin Silver.
Carol Kane will be with us after the screening for an extended Q&A and the presentation of the WJFF Visionary Award.
Carol Kane first appeared on screen in seminal films of the 1970s: Carnal Knowledge, Dog Day Afternoon and Annie Hall. Her breakout role in Hester Street, netted an Oscar Nomination for Best Actress. Her role as Simka Dahblitz-Gravas on television’s Taxi earned her two Emmy Awards. First and foremost a stage actress, she is well-loved for her portrayal of Madame Morrible in Broadway’s Wicked (2005-2009). Among other projects, she is currently on the hit TV series Gotham.
Joan Micklin Silver established herself as one of the country’s premier independent film directors with the release of Hester Street. She went on to direct many critically acclaimed box office successes such as Between The Lines and Crossing Delancey. She also conceived and directed the musical revue A…My Name Is Alice with Julianne Boyd.
Spotlight Evening // East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem
EAST JERUSALEM, WEST JERUSALEM
Dir. Erez Miller and Henrique Cymerman (80min, Israel, 2014)
English, Hebrew and Arabic with English Subtitles
Legendary singer-songwriter David Broza journeys to East Jerusalem to record his latest album with Israeli, Palestinian and American musicians. Broza hopes that bridging cultures through music can be one small step toward peaceful coexistence. The film weaves together soulful music and personal conversations of hope in a time and a place where hope is most needed.
Followed by a Q&A and 45 minute set from David Broza, Mira Awad and Steve Earle.
Closing Night // Mr. Kaplan
Sponsored by The Melvin and Estelle Gelman Foundation – Elise and Marc Lefkowitz
Dir. Alvaro Brechner (98min, Uruguay/Germany/Spain, 2014)
Spanish with English Subtitles
Jacob Kaplan lives an ordinary life in Uruguay. Like many of his other Jewish friends, Jacob fled Europe for South America after World War II. But now, turning 76, he’s become rather grumpy and fed up with his community and his family’s lack of interest in its own heritage.
Becoming convinced that his German neighbor is a runaway Nazi, he secretly takes on the role of a spy – only he is no match for the forces of age. This heartwarming comedy tells the truth of life that transcends time and ideology.
Uruguay’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award.
Closing Night Reception and Audience Award announcements follow the screening.