It’s the bat mitzvah year for one of the county’s premier cultural events, the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.
The 13th annual festival, which this year runs from March 19 to April 10 at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, includes feature films, biopics and documentaries on subjects ranging from anti-Semitism in France and the civil rights era in America to profiles of Israeli prime ministers and an in-depth exploration of the cultural history of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Other distinctive programs include films about such musicians as Marvin Hamlisch (who died in 2012), Woody Guthrie and Israeli Arik Einstein (who died last November), some including performances and discussions. The films, 39 in all, reflect an international perspective as well, with movies from Israel, Argentina, France, Poland, Germany and Macedonia, among others.
“This year’s expanded lineup of dramas and documentaries includes magic, Israeli history and family secrets,” said Karen Sloe Goodman, the festival’s co-programmer. “We have many events with special guests including the riveting scholar Simon Schama on the history of the Jews, Nora Guthrie on her father Woody’s Yiddish connection, and Alisa Solomon on Fiddler on the Roof.”
The Jewish Week editor and publisher, Gary Rosenblatt, will also be participating in a Q&A for a program titled “Fringes: New Adventures in Jewish Living” on March 24.
AJC Westchester is the largest sponsor of the festival, and some of the special AJC programs include opening night March 24, featuring “50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus,” about a Jewish couple from Philadelphia who went to Nazi-era Vienna to save Jewish children. Following the screening there will be a Q&A with AJC’s national executive director, David Harris, and a reception. Another documentary, “Jews and Money,” about anti-Semitism in France, screens on April 6; a Q&A with Rene-Pierre Azria, chairman of AJC France, follows the screening. And on April 6, there is also a special tribute to Arik Einstein, featuring film and music.
For more information about the screenings and special programs, please check: www.burnsfilmcenter.org/films/film-series/detail/74942.
For a complete list of festival sponsors and partners, please check: www.ajc.org/westchester/jff2014.
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