Saturday, March 10, 2007


Got a little blurb about our screening in Santa Barbara.

Honor for Nature

The Jewish community received a warm reception at the 22nd annual Santa Barbara Film Festival during its 10-day run from Jan. 25 to Feb 4.

A highlight of the festival was the presentation of the Sir David Attenborough Award for Excellence in Nature Filmmaking to director Davis Guggenheim and Al Gore for their Academy Award-winning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth."

Before receiving the award from director James Cameron, Guggenheim and Gore participated in a Q-and-A with cinematographer Mike deGruy.

They discussed the filmmaking process; the world's recognition of global warming; and their fathers, director Charles Guggenheim and former Sen. Al Gore, Sr., who had worked together on a campaign documentary in the 1960s.

The festival also featured documentaries about Shoah survivors, most of which were were followed by Q-and-As with the filmmakers and survivors.

Dan Katzir's "Yiddish Theater: A Love Story," about New York's Lower East Side Yiddish theater world, portrays the late Zypora Spaisman and her colleagues as they attempted to keep their company alive during the eight days of Chanukah in 2000.

Jon Kean's "Swimming in Aushwitz" tells the stories of six survivors -- Eva Beckmann, Rena Drexler, Renee Firestone, Erika Jacobi, Lili Majzner and Linda Sherman -- who didn't know each other while at Auschwitz-Birkenau, but come together years later to discuss family, faith and the camp.

The film "Henry" documents Dr. Henry Morgentaler, a Canadian abortionist, Holocaust survivor, womanizer and crusader as he reflects on his life and actions.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara and UCSB presented "Video Portraits of Survival: Volume Two," which contains stories of Santa Barbara survivors and refugees of the Shoah.

-- Sara Bakhshian, Contributing Writer

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