Thursday, March 08, 2007


So today someone emailed me that he saw my film mentioned as one of the recommended films in an article in the NY Jewish newspaper. Funny this is the second article about us this week in NYC, and yet, we're not interesting anyone in NYC who'll show the film.
I totally don't get it.

Here's info about that film screening, if anyone will want to go, taken from the festival's website. It's interesting how every festival writes different synopsis's that reveal a different understanding of the film:

The Yiddish Theater: A Love Story
Sun, March 25: 5:30PM Q&A w/David Romeo & Stefan Kanfer with book sale and reception.
Tickets: $12/members; $16/nonmembers.
Tue, March 27: 5:05PM

Dan Katzir. 2006. 80 min. NR. Israel/US, in English/ Yiddish, with subtitles.
A delightful, touching documentary about an aging but tenacious Yiddish theater star, Zypora Spaisman, her young, spirited troupe, and their determination to preserve a 1000-year-old culture by reviving a 1916 Yiddish play in circa 2000 New York. When the production receives surprisingly glowing reviews, hope turns into a desperate search for money to take the show "uptown." A warm and wonderful little film you're guaranteed to love - no matter how you feel about Yiddish theater.
*Sun. March 25 at 5:30: Q&A w/David Romeo & Stefan Kanfer, book signing, reception. David Romeo was general manager and producer of the Yiddish Public Theater's production of Grine Felder (Green Fields), featured in the film. Stefan Kanfer is the author of Stardust Lost: The Triumph, Tragedy, and Mishugas of the Yiddish Theater in America, which traces the rise and fall of the Yiddish theater and its lasting impact on American culture.
Tickets: $12/members; $16/nonmembers


More Than A Night At The Movies
Local Jewish film festival offers a mix of documentaries, comedies, dramas and post-screening discussions.
Merri Rosenberg - Special To The Jewish Week

By now, the annual Westchester Celebrates Jewish Film Festival, which opens March 8 and runs through March 29 at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, has become a tradition for filmgoers in the county.

With its mix of documentaries, comedies and dramas, the series — now in its sixth year — offers more than conventional or clichéd expectations of “Jewish” movies. Many of the films feature post-screening panels or speakers to provide an experience that transcends simply an evening at the movies. Last year more than 5,000 people attended and organizers expect a larger turnout this year.

“We literally have hundreds of films to pick through. There’s really a lot to look at,” said Brian Ackerman, programming director of the Jacob Burns Film Center. “People know they can make films about ‘difficult’ subjects, and there is a support structure where [they] can be shown.”

Although subjects and themes range widely, and include offerings from the United States, Israel, Great Britain, France, Argentina, Germany, and Spain, among others, there are some clusters.

There are Israeli films such as “The Last Fighters,” about six survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto. The complexities of the Israeli-Arab situation are explored in such movies as “Blues by the Beach,” focusing on a Tel Aviv nightspot that was affected by a suicide bombing and “First Lesson in Peace,” about the director’s 6-year-old daughter who is enrolled in an Arab-Jewish primary school.

World War II and the Holocaust are the subjects of films such as the French documentary, “Nuremberg: The Nazis Facing Their Crimes,” and “The Rape of Europa,” a documentary about the Nazi theft and destruction of European art during the war, which includes a post-screening Q&A with the book’s author Lynn Nicholas and a Metropolitan Museum of Art curator. There is also a documentary about the Mauthausen concentration camp and its impact on the non-Jewish Austrian tour guides who work there, with a Q&A featuring Rabbi Andrew Baker, director of international Jewish affairs for the American Jewish Committee and Hannah Lessing, head of the Austrian Fund for Nazi victims. A German documentary, “Two or Three Things I Know About Him,” explores family memories of the filmmaker’s unapologetically Nazi father.

As Ackerman said, “We’re very conscious of the notion that there’s a stereotype of Jewish film festivals being about the Holocaust. [But] there were five fantastic films that just jumped off the shelf that we couldn’t ignore.”

The somber nature of many of the films reflects the current climate.

“This year, I was surprised by the number of movies that were focused on the Shoah,” said Laura Lewis, executive director of the American Jewish Committee in Westchester, which is a cosponsor of the film festival for the fifth year. “The number of people denying the Holocaust is growing, so perhaps people want to be sure that the ever receding memories of the Holocaust remain bright. And the war in the summer gave people a lot of pause for thought … Some of the somber mood may be a result of dashed hopes. This terrible situation will go on for a long time, and directors feel a need to comment on that.”

Still, there are plenty of lighter films, too, including “Ira and Abby,” a romantic comedy featuring Robert Klein, Jason Alexander and Judith Light; “Toots,” a nostalgic look at New York nightlife of the ‘40s and ‘50s directed by Toots Shor’s granddaughter and “The Yiddish Theater: A Love Story.”

The series is also cosponsored by the Elaine Dannheisser Foundation in association with The Westchester Jewish Chronicle, as well as corporate sponsors from the community. n

The Westchester Celebrates Jewish Film Festival opens March 8 and runs through March 29. For more information about specific programs, or to purchase tickets, check or call (914) 747-5555.

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