The Film List
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Feb. 16-28: Documentary Fortnight 2012. The Museum of Modern Art’s annual gathering of contemporary non-fiction films includes several unusual programs this year. In addition to short films by Jem Cohen, a new look at the Arab Spring and a deft examination of a hundred years of Ukrainian Jewish history, there will be two programs on interactive documentary and the Internet. Most of the screenings will take place at MoMA (11 W. 53rd St.), but there will also be several screenings in other locations.

Feb. 27:  “They Call It Myanmar,” a new documentary on the history of oppression and terror created by the military government of Burma, directed by Robert H. Lieberman. Landmark Sunshine Cinema (143 E. Houston St.)

March 1-11: Rendezvous with French Cinema. This round-up of outstanding new films from France, now in its 17th year, includes, among others, Ismaël Ferroukhi’s “Free Men.” Venues include Alice Tully Hall, Walter Reade Theatre, Eleanor Bunim Film Center (Lincoln Center), IFC Center (323 Sixth Ave.) and BAMCinématek (30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn).

March 15-22: The 16th Annual Sephardic Jewish Film Festival. A splendid showcase of the under-publicized, underappreciated culture of the Sephardim. Another chance to catch up with some recent Israeli hits, including “Mabul” and “Three Mothers.” Center for Jewish History (15 W. 16th St.) and the JCC in Manhattan (Amsterdam Avenue and 76th Street).

March 21-April 1: New Directors/New Films. The 41st edition of this always-exciting event offers the usual mix of new faces from across the globe. The event usually includes a couple of new Israeli films and the cream of the American independents. Museum of Modern Art (11 W. 53rd St.)

March 23: “Musical Chairs,” a new feature film by Susan Seidelman — her first feature film released in six years — is a comedy/drama about competitive ballroom dancing and its wheelchair counterpart. Theater TBA.

April 3: “Restoration,” perhaps the best fiction feature in this year’s N.Y. Jewish Film Festival, this taut family drama about a furniture restorer struggling to save his business was directed with great panache by Joseph Madmony (“The Barbecue People”). JCC in Manhattan (Amsterdam Ave. and 76th St.).

April 11-19: “The Graduate,” in a new 35mm print. Directed by Mike Nichols, this is the film that made Dustin Hoffman a major star and, by doing so, knocked away the de facto ban against Jewish actors in romantic leads. Film Forum (209 W. Houston St.)

April 18-29: The 11th Annual Tribeca Film Festival. By now a signature New York film event, this one always includes a lot of interesting Jewish-themed films and usually showcases some major new Israeli talent. Multiple venues all over Manhattan.

April 26: Israel in Short. For the sixth consecutive year the JCC in Manhattan presents an evening of short films from Israel, another sign of the burgeoning film industry in the Jewish State. JCC in Manhattan (Amsterdam Ave. and 76th St.).