FSLC and The Jewish Museum presents the 22nd Annual New York Jewish FIlm Festival

Posted by on 12.11.2012

THE 22ND ANNUAL NEW YORK JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL

NY’S PREEMINENT SHOWCASE FOR WORLD CINEMA EXPLORING THE JEWISH EXPERIENCE

Presented by Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Jewish Museum, Jan. 9-24
Press screenings on Dec. 17, 18, 19 & 20

NEW YORK, NY (December 11, 2012) – The Jewish Museum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center will present the 22nd annual New York Jewish Film Festival at the Film Society’s Walter Reade Theater, Jan. 9-24, 2013. The festival’s 45 features and shorts from 9 countries - 23 screening in their world, U.S. or New York premieres - provide a diverse global perspective on the Jewish experience. Many film screenings will be followed by filmmakers and special guests in onstage discussions.

The festival opens on Wednesday, January 9, with the New York City premiere of Peter Miller, Will Hechter and Sharyn Felder’s “AKA Doc Pomus,” presenting one of American music’s great untold stories. Paralyzed with polio as a child, Brooklyn-born Jerome Felder reinvented himself as a blues singer, renaming himself Doc Pomus, then emerged as a one of the most brilliant songwriters of the early rock and roll era, writing Save the Last Dance for Me, This Magic Moment, A Teenager in Love, and dozens of other hits. Spearheaded by his daughter Sharyn Felder and packed with incomparable music and rare archival imagery, the film features interviews with Dr. John, Ben E. King, Joan Osborne, Shawn Colvin, Dion, Leiber and Stoller, and B.B. King as well as passages from Pomus’s journals read by his friend Lou Reed. “AKA Doc Pomus” is produced by Will Hechter, Peter Miller and Sharyn Felder; and edited by Amy Linton.

The closing night film, the New York premiere of Margarethe von Trotta’s “Hannah Arendt,” stars acclaimed German actress Barbara Sukowa and covers a tumultuous four-year period in the life of the great philosopher and writer.  Following Arendt from New York’s New School, where she taught after escaping from a Nazi detention camp, to Jerusalem, where she covered the trial of Adolf Eichmann for The New Yorker, the film makes stirring drama of the backlash against her writing about the trial and her “banality of evil” theory.  The festival also includes the New York premiere of Michael Prazan’s “The Trial of Adolf Eichmann,” featuring detailed accounts of Eichmann’s capture, the drama that ensued in the courtroom and behind the scenes, the worldwide television coverage, and reactions in the media and public discourse around the globe.

Film critic and author J. Hoberman will present a special screening of the classic horror film, “The Black Cat,” directed by the versatile and prolific Edgar G. Ulmer, on January 17. The Czech-born director made films in a wide range of genres, languages, and countries, including four Yiddish talkies in the second half of the 1930s, when living in New York. Set in a striking art deco mansion and starring Béla Lugosi and Boris Karloff, “The Black Cat” includes satanic rituals, human sacrifice, and intrigue. Hoberman, author of Film After Film: Or, What Became of 21st Century Cinema, will also discuss and show clips from other works he considers compelling Jewish horror movies.

The Festival presents An Evening with the Safdie Brothers on January 13.  Acclaimed filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie started making films at an early age and formed the collective Red Bucket Films while students at Boston University, eventually winning international recognition for their feature Daddy Longlegs, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. The Safdie Brothers will present and discuss five shorts at 6 pm: “There’s Nothing You Can Do,” “We’re Going to the Zoo,” “The Acquaintances of a Lonely John,” “John’s Gone,” and “Black Balloon.” At 8:15 pm is a screening of “Daddy Longlegs (AKA Get Some Rosemary).” 34-year-old Lenny, with graying frazzled hair and wrapped up in the loneliness and freedom of a semi-directionless, solipsistic life, picks up his kids from school during their yearly two week visit with him.  Their time together is a jumble of lawless fun, strange visitors and adventurous excursions from Lenny’s midtown apartment, and leads to the big question about his relationship with them: am I their father, or their friend?

Enlivened by an exciting new score by klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals, Eugen Illés & Victor Janson’s “The Yellow Ticket” tells the story of a young Jewish woman (played by the great Pola Negri) who hides her identity in order to study medicine and is coerced into prostitution to pay the rent. The film addresses ethnic and religious discrimination, human trafficking, and poverty in startlingly progressive terms. Svigals and pianist Marilyn Lerner will provide live accompaniment at the January 10 screening.

A special program on January 20 shines the spotlight on the films of Franciszka Themerson (1907-1988) and Stefan Themerson (1910-1988), perhaps the most influential Polish experimental filmmakers.  Their five films, created between 1930 and 1937, rank with the greatest of the European avant-garde and helped to reveal film as a new medium of personal and political expression. Equally noteworthy were two others shot in England during World War II for the Film Unit of the Polish Ministry of Information and Documentation in Exile. Of these seven, only the last three survived the war. This program will feature the three surviving films - “Adventures of a Good Citizen,” “Calling Mr. Smith” and “The Eye and the Ear” - along with remakes of two lost works - “Apteka” (Pharmacy) and “Moment Musical” - produced by Bruce Checefsky, Director, Reinberger Galleries, Cleveland Institute of Art. Checefsky will introduce and discuss the films.


In addition to “AKA Doc Pomus,” a trio of documentaries offers glimpses at the lives of three unique New Yorkers. Clara Kuperberg & Joëlle Oosterlinck’s “The Art of Spiegelman” is an intimate and homey portrait of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and artist Art Spiegelman, revealing him to be as witty, fascinating, and fiercely insightful in person as his extraordinary creative output leads readers to believe. Spiegelman evokes rich childhood memories and reflects on the evolution of his seminal work, Maus, and his development into a key figure in the underground comics movement. Tracie Holder and Karen Thorsen’s “Joe Papp in Five Acts” chronicles the life of this indomitable, dashing, street-wise champion of the arts, who introduced interracial casting to the American stage, brought free Shakespeare to Central Park and Hair and A Chorus Line to Broadway, and nurtured many great playwrights, directors, and actors. Featuring interviews with Papp conducted throughout his life, as well with such stars as Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline, the film explores the issues Papp championed: freedom of expression, democracy in the arts, and the definition of American culture. Neil Barsky’s “Koch” receives its New York City premiere.  While 86-year-old former Mayor Ed Koch has been called the “quintessential New Yorker” for his combative, funny, and blunt approach to public life, he is also an intensely private person.  This documentary traces Koch’s impact on public life in New York, covering issues at the center of his tenure that still resonate nationwide like race, homelessness, AIDS, and gay rights; and reveals the personal toll of being mayor of a wondrous city. Interviews with Carl McCall, Joyce Purnick, Charles Rangel, Henry Stern, and others are included.

Music plays a large role in “AKA Doc Pomus” and five other Festival films. Brigitte Bertele & Julia Willmann’s “Max Raabe in Israel,” receiving its United States premiere, follows the popular Berlin-based singer Max Raabe and his Palast Orchester, who brought their show Nacht oder Nie (Tonight or Never), a revue of German hits from the 1920s and ‘30s, to Israel. This film captures Raabe and his band’s thoughtful reactions to their emotionally and politically charged adventure, as well as the personal stories of concertgoers of different generations and their relationships to Germany.  Fabienne Rousso-Lenoir’s “Cabaret Berlin – The Wild Scene,” receiving its New York premiere, is a mesmerizing and exuberant assemblage of archival film, sound, and visual culture offering a glimpse at Berlin’s Weimar Republic cabaret scene, home to Europe’s most innovative and experimental artists, writers, and musicians. Jewish entertainers played a leading role in the cabarets, and paid a hefty (and early) price for their wit and irreverence. Rousso-Lenoir’s brilliantly conceived film is a tragic and beautiful love letter to a golden age of entertainment. It received the Yad Vashem Director’s Choice Award. In Beni Torati’s “The Ballad of the Weeping Spring,” receiving its New York premiere, Yosef, an Iraqi Jewish musician guilt-ridden over a car accident he caused twenty years ago, learns that a one-time bandmate and close friend is dying.  He decides to reunite the group to grant his dying friend’s final wish – a performance of The Weeping Springtime Symphony, a piece the two worked on together but never played - and perhaps to heal his own tortured soul. This riveting, quirky drama combines overtones of old-fashioned Westerns with outstanding Mizrahi music.  Gabriel Bibliowicz’s “Let’s Dance!” receiving its New York premiere, explores how Israel’s great dancers and choreographers that have turned the country’s modern dance community into an international success story. Through the works of leading choreographers Ohad Naharin, Rami Be’er, and Yasmeen Godder, the film delves into the exotic and vibrant world of Israeli dance culture, showcasing interviews, spectacular performances, and rich archival material. Roberta Grossman’s “Hava Nagila (The Movie)” receives its New York premiere.  “Hava Nagila” has been covered by everyone from Bob Dylan to Elvis and has become a Jewish staple that has transcended its origins.  This rollicking film follows the song’s journey from the shtetls of Ukraine through Israel to the Catskills, Greenwich Village, Hollywood, Bollywood, and beyond. The film features interviews with Harry Belafonte, Connie Francis, Glen Campbell, Leonard Nimoy, and Regina Spektor, among others.

A restored version of the archival film, “Kol Nidre,” directed by Joseph Seiden, will receive its United States premiere. A musical melodrama which was surprisingly risqué for its time, “Kol Nidre” is a rousing tearjerker that explores assimilation, cultural identity, family and generational conflict, gender roles, and marital expectations. The restoration and new English subtitles are by the National Center for Jewish Film.

Two documentaries from Israel also receive their New York premieres. In Tamar Tal‘s “Life in Stills,” the 96-year-old widow of photographer Rudi Weissenstein and her grandson embark on a quest to save the Photo House - a Tel Aviv print shop that contained Weissenstein’s life’s work, nearly one million negatives documenting Israel’s foundational moments - and preserve the collection. This moving film documents their story of a fraught journey full of humor and conflict, compassion and chutzpah. Dana Doron and Uriel Sinai’s “Numbered” examines the complex relationships three Auschwitz survivors have with the numbers tattooed on their arms. The ever-optimistic 84-year-old Gita Kalderon (76914), the realistic 84-year old Joka Levi (A11998), and the adventurous 79-year-old Dani Hanoch (B2823) each have their own perspective, and plenty to say about people’s ever-changing attitudes toward their inescapable past as it is writ large on their skin. Hanna Rabinovitz, daughter of prisoner number 64650, adds another perspective to the mix as a member of the next generation who tattoos her father’s number onto her own body.  Additional testimonies from 30 survivors help to make the film a riveting showcase of the clash between past and present, name and number, society and its symbols.

Daniel Burman’s “All In” is a romantic comedy about a professional gambler, single father, and Don Juan of the first rank in Buenos Aires. With his luck running at cards and with the ladies, he decides to take the plunge and embark on a new life of freedom - he gets a vasectomy. Just as everything in his life seems to be coming together, his old pre-marriage flame returns after years abroad to turn his life on its head.

Slawomir Grunberg and Tomasz Wisniewski’s “Castaways,” a deeply moving short documentary about the desperate acts of condemned parents to save their children, receives its world premiere.   Łapy was one of several stations in occupied Poland on the way to the Nazi death camp of Treblinka. Trains transporting Jews would slow down there and sometimes briefly stop while the tracks were being adjusted. Some parents managed to save small children by throwing them off the train; the last eyewitnesses to this story remember these times.  Three animated shorts are also featured: Co Hoedeman’s “55 Socks,” based on a poem by Marie Jacobs that pays tribute to the ingenuity of the Dutch people during a dark period of their history: the Hunger Winter of 1944-45; Jack Feldstein’s “Shards (Brokhshtiker)” a neon animation inspired by a Yiddish poem by Peretz Markish, who was among 13 Yiddish poets and writers murdered by Stalin’s forces in 1952; and Udo Prinsen’s “Audition,” inspired by drawings of Auschwitz prisoners and depicting a young trumpet player trying out for the camp’s orchestra to improve his chances for survival.  Michal Lavi’s “Glue,” a romantic modern fairy tale based on a short story by Israeli writer Etgar Keret, and Isabelle Stead’s “Kosher,” about a five-year-old Orthodox Jewish boy who adopts a pig as a pet, round out the shorts in the Festival. “55 Socks,” “Audition,” “Glue,” and “Kosher” are receiving their New York premieres.

This year’s New York Jewish Film Festival was selected by Rachel Chanoff, Independent Curator; Scott Foundas, Associate Director of Programming, Film Society of Lincoln Center; Marcela Goglio, Programming Associate, Film Society of Lincoln Center; and Aviva Weintraub, Associate Curator and Director of The New York Jewish Film Festival, The Jewish Museum; with assistance from Jaron Gandelman, Curatorial Assistant for Media and Film Festival Coordinator, The Jewish Museum.

The New York Jewish Film Festival is supported, in part, through public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; The Liman Foundation; Mimi and Barry Alperin; and the Martin and Doris Payson Fund for Film and Media.  Additional support is provided by the Polish Cultural Institute; the Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in New York; the Netherland-America Foundation; and the French Embassy.

The New York Jewish Film Festival’s screenings will be held at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, located at 165 West 65th St. between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway.

Single screening tickets for The New York Jewish Film Festival are $13; $9 for students and seniors (62+); and $8 for Film Society and Jewish Museum members.  Tickets to the January 13 Safdie Brothers double feature (Shorts & Conversation and Daddy Longlegs) are $20; $14 for Film Society and Jewish Museum members, students and seniors.

Tickets for New York Jewish Film Festival screenings go on sale December 27, 2012 at the Walter Reade Theater Box Office; and online at www.FilmLinc.com. For complete film festival information, visit www.FilmLinc.com, www.TheJewishMuseum.org, or call 212.875.5601. 


About The Jewish Museum
Led by Claudia Gould, Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director, The Jewish Museum is one of the world’s preeminent institutions devoted to exploring the intersection of art and Jewish culture from ancient to modern times. Widely admired for its exhibitions and collections that inspire people of all backgrounds, The Jewish Museum organizes a diverse schedule of internationally acclaimed and award-winning temporary exhibitions as well as dynamic and engaging programs for families, adults, and school groups. The Museum was established in 1904, when Judge Mayer Sulzberger donated 26 ceremonial art objects to The Jewish Theological Seminary of America as the core of a museum collection. Today, the Museum maintains a collection of 26,000 objects – paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, archaeological artifacts, ritual objects, and broadcast media. For more information, visit www.TheJewishMuseum.org.


Film Society of Lincoln Center
Under the leadership of Rose Kuo, Executive Director, and Richard Peña, Program Director, the Film Society of Lincoln Center offers the best in international, classic and cutting-edge independent cinema. The Film Society presents two film festivals that attract global attention: the New York Film Festival, which recently celebrated its 50th edition, and New Directors/New Films which, since its founding in 1972, has been produced in collaboration with MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award-winning Film Comment Magazine, and for over three decades has given an annual award—now named “The Chaplin Award”—to a major figure in world cinema. Past recipients of this award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks. The Film Society presents a year-round calendar of programming, panels, lectures, educational programs and specialty film releases at its Walter Reade Theater and the new state-of-the-art Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, WNET New York Public Media, the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.com.


FOR MEDIA SPECIFIC INQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT:


The Jewish MuseumAnne Scher, Director of Communications
Alex Wittenberg, Communications Coordinator
212.423.3271 - pressoffice@thejm.org

Film Society of Lincoln Center
John Wildman, Senior Publicist, 212.875.5419 - jwildman@filmlinc.com
David Ninh, Publicist, 212.875.5423 - dninh@filmlinc.com

The New York Jewish Film Festival, Jan. 9-24, 2013
Press Screening Schedule

Please join us for an advance press screening at The Walter Reade Theater, 165 W 65th St. close to Amsterdam Avenue, take the escalator, elevator or stairs to the upper level.

RSVP to pressoffice@filmlinc.com


Monday, Dec. 171:45pm
The Fifth Heaven
Dina Zvi-Riklis | Israel | 2011 | 103m | Hebrew with English subtitles

4:00pm
How to Re-establish a Vodka Empire
Daniel Edelstyn & Hilary Powell | U.K. | 2012 | 75m


Tuesday, Dec. 18
9:00am
All In
Daniel Burman | Argentina | 2012 | 113m | Spanish with English subtitles

11:15am
Let’s Dance!
Gabriel Bibliowicz | Israel | 2012 | 52m | Hebrew with English subtitles


Wednesday, Dec. 19
1:45pm
AKA Doc Pomus
Peter Miller, Will Hechter & Sharyn Felder | Canada/U.S. | 2012 | 99m


Thursday, Dec. 20
1:30pm
The Trial Of Adolf Eichmann
Michael Prazan | France | 2011 | 90m | Hebrew, German, English & French with
English subtitles

The New York Jewish Film Festival, Jan. 9-24, 2013
Schedule at a Glance (Detailed Program Information Follows)

Screenings at the Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th Street close to Amsterdam Avenue
www.FilmLinc.com 

Wednesday, Jan. 9
12:30  Süskind
3:15  AKA Doc Pomus
6:00  Süskind
8:45 AKA Doc Pomus

Thursday, Jan. 10
1:00  Kol Nidre
3:30  How to Re-establish a Vodka Empire with Shards
6:00  Koch
8:30  The Yellow Ticket, with live musical accompaniment by Alicia Svigals
and Marilyn Lerner

Saturday, Jan. 12
6:30  How to Re-establish a Vodka Empire with Shards
9:00 The Ballad of the Weeping Spring

Sunday, Jan. 13
1:00  Kol Nidre
3:30  Koch
6:00  An Evening with the Safdie Brothers: Shorts and Conversation
8:15  Daddy Longlegs

Monday, Jan. 14
1:30  Joe Papp in Five Acts
4:00  Numbered with Audition
6:00  Joe Papp in Five Acts
8:30  Policeman

Tuesday, Jan. 15
1:00  Aliyah
3:30 Oma and Bella with Kosher
6:00  Hava Nagila (The Movie)
8:15  Oma and Bella with Kosher

Wednesday, Jan. 16
1:00 Life? Or Theatre?
3:30  Yorzeit with 55 Socks
6:15  Life? Or Theatre?
8:30  The Trial of Adolf Eichmann

Thursday, Jan. 17
1:00  The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
3:30 The Fifth Heaven
6:30  Yorzeit with 55 Socks
9:00  The Black Cat and Other Tales with J. Hoberman

Saturday, Jan. 19
6:30  In Case I Never Win the Golden Palm with Glue
9:00  Aliyah

Sunday, Jan. 20
1:00  The Fifth Heaven
3:45  Max Raabe in Israel
6:00  The Films of Franciszka and Stefan Themerson with Bruce Checefsky
8:15  Numbered with Audition

Monday, Jan. 21 (Martin Luther King Day)
1:30  In Case I Never Win the Golden Palm with Glue
4:00  Cabaret Berlin – The Wild Scene
6:00  The Art of Spiegelman with Castaways
8:00  Papirosen

Tuesday, Jan. 22
1:30  Papirosen
4:00  The Art of Spiegelman with Castaways
6:00  Max Raabe in Israel
8:30  Cabaret Berlin – The Wild Scene

Wednesday, Jan. 23
1:00  All In
3:45  The Cutoff Man
6:00  All In
8:45  The Cutoff Man

Thursday, Jan. 24
1:00  Let’s Dance! with Life in Stills
3:30  The Ballad of the Weeping Spring
6:00  Let’s Dance! with Life in Stills
8:30  Hannah Arendt

The New York Jewish Film Festival, Jan. 9-24, 2013
Detailed Program and Schedule Information

OPENING NIGHT
Wednesday, January 9

NEW YORK CITY PREMIERE
AKA Doc Pomus
Peter Miller, Will Hechter & Sharyn Felder | Canada/U.S. | 2012 | 99m
Doc Pomus’ dramatic life is one of American music’s great untold stories. Paralyzed with polio as a child, Brooklyn-born Jerome Felder reinvented himself as a blues singer, renaming himself Doc Pomus. He then emerged as a one of the most brilliant songwriters of the early rock and roll era, writing Save the Last Dance for Me, This Magic Moment, A Teenager in Love, Viva Las Vegas, and dozens of other hits. Spearheaded by his daughter Sharyn Felder and packed with incomparable music and rare archival imagery, this documentary features interviews with collaborators and friends including Dr. John, Ben E. King, Joan Osborne, Shawn Colvin, Dion, Leiber and Stoller, and B.B. King, as well as passages from Doc’s private journals read by his close friend Lou Reed. Edited by Amy Linton.
Wed Jan 9: 3:15pm, 8:45pm


CLOSING NIGHT
Thursday, January 24

NEW YORK PREMIERE
Hannah Arendt
Margarethe von Trotta | Germany | 2012 | 110m | German and English with English subtitles
This biopic starring Barbara Sukowa covers a tumultuous four-year period in the life of the great philosopher and writer, Hannah Arendt.  The film starts in New York at The New School, where Arendt taught after having escaped from a French detention camp and moves on to Jerusalem, where she covered the trial of Adolf Eichmann for The New Yorker. The German director Margarethe von Trotta makes stirring drama of the backlash against Arendt’s writing about the trial and her “banality of evil” theory.
Thu Jan 24: 8:30pm


Aliyah
Elie Wajeman | France | 2012 | 90m | French with English subtitles
Alex desperately wants to move to Israel, scraping together money dealing drugs to get himself there and invest in his cousin’s restaurant, while keeping his brother out of trouble and kibitzing with his large extended family on the gritty streets of northeast Paris. Auteur-in-the-making Elie Wajeman’s stylish and brooding drama deftly draws out this story of a young man caught between family ties and his dream of a better life.
Tue Jan 15: 1:00pm
Sat Jan 19: 9:00pm


All In
Daniel Burman | Argentina | 2012 | 113m | Spanish with English subtitles
A winning romantic comedy about a hot streak, a big bet, and the dangers of getting what you hoped for, Daniel Burman’s All In is the story of Uriel, a professional gambler, single father, and Don Juan of the first rank. With his luck running at cards and with the ladies, Uriel decides to take the plunge and embark on a new life of freedom—he gets a vasectomy. Just as everything in his life seems to be coming together perfectly, Gloria, his old pre-marriage flame, returns to Buenos Aires after years abroad to turn his life on its head.
Wed Jan 23: 1:00pm, 6:00pm


The Art of Spiegelman
Clara Kuperberg & Joëlle Oosterlinck | France | 2010 | 43m | English & French with English subtitles
This intimate and homey portrait of the life and work of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and artist Art Spiegelman reveals him to be as witty, fascinating, and fiercely insightful in person as his extraordinary creative output would lead you to believe. Spiegelman evokes rich childhood memories and reflects on the evolution of his seminal work Maus, his development into a key figure in the underground comics movement, and more.
PRECEDED BY
WORLD PREMIERE
Castaways
Slawomir Grunberg & Tomasz Wisniewski | Poland/U.S. | 2012 | 17m | Polish with English subtitles
A deeply moving short documentary about the desperate acts of condemned parents to save their children. Łapy was one of several stations in occupied Poland on the way to the Nazi death camp of Treblinka. Trains transporting Jews would slow down there and sometimes briefly stop while the tracks were being adjusted. Some parents managed to save small children by throwing them off the train; the last eyewitnesses to this story remember these times.
Mon Jan 21: 6:00pm
Tue Jan 22: 4:00pm


NEW YORK PREMIERE
The Ballad of the Weeping Spring
Beni Torati | Israel | 2012 | 105m | Hebrew with English subtitles
Twenty years after a car accident, for which he was held responsible, the  legendary tar (lute) player Yosef Tawila is running a bar in northern Israel. The son of Avram, his bandmate, best friend, and another survivor from the crash, arrives with the news that his father is dying. He brings notations for The Weeping Springtime Symphony, a piece Yosef and Avram worked on together but never played. Yosef decides to reunite the remaining members of the band to grant his dying friend’s final wish—and perhaps to heal his own tortured soul. This is a riveting drama with outstanding Mizrahi music.
Sat Jan 12: 9:00pm
Thu Jan 24: 3:30pm


The Black Cat and other tales
Edgar G. Ulmer | U.S. | 1934 | 65m
Film critic and author J. Hoberman introduces this special screening of the classic horror film directed by the versatile and prolific Edgar G. Ulmer. The Czech-born director made films in a wide range of genres, languages, and countries, including four Yiddish talkies in the second half of the 1930s, when living in New York. Set in a striking art deco mansion and starring Béla Lugosi and Boris Karloff, The Black Cat includes satanic rituals, human sacrifice, and intrigue. Hoberman, author of Film After Film: Or, What Became of 21st Century Cinema, will discuss and show clips from other works he considers compelling Jewish horror movies.
Thu Jan 17: 9:00pm

NEW YORK PREMIERE
Cabaret Berlin - The Wild Scene
Fabienne Rousso-Lenoir | France/Germany | 2010 | 70m | German with English subtitles
Built like a cabaret show and emceed by actor Ulrich Tukur, this mesmerizing and exuberant assemblage of archival film, sound, and visual culture offers a front row seat to the best show in town: Berlin’s Weimar Republic cabaret scene, home to Europe’s most innovative and experimental artists, writers, and musicians. Jewish entertainers played a leading role in the cabarets, and paid a hefty (and early) price for their wit and irreverence. Rousso-Lenoir’s brilliantly conceived film is a tragic and beautiful love letter to a golden age of  entertainment. It received the Yad Vashem Director’s Choice Award and was produced by ARTE.
Mon Jan 21: 4:00pm
Tue Jan 22: 8:30pm

U.S. PREMIERE
The Cutoff Man
Idan Hubel | Israel | 2012 | 76m | Hebrew with English subtitles
First-time writer/director Idan Hubel has crafted a poignant and compelling family drama around a down-on-his-luck man who takes up an unlikely profession—he cuts off the water supply to people who don’t pay their bills. The more Gaby cuts off, the more money he makes; like a thief, he sneaks into backyards to do his dirty work, receiving the scorn of the neighborhood. This is a moving portrait of a man—played by multi-talented Moshe Ivgy—caught between the torment of his thankless task and the need to support his family.
Wed Jan 23: 3:45pm, 8:45pm


AN EVENING WITH THE SAFDIE BROTHERS


Shorts and ConversationAcclaimed filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie present and discuss five shorts: There’s Nothing You Can Do (4m), We’re Going to the Zoo (14m), The Acquaintances of a Lonely John (14m), John’s Gone (21m) and Black Balloon (20m). The brothers started making films at an early age and formed the collective Red Bucket Films while students at Boston University, eventually winning international recognition for their feature Daddy Longlegs, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
Sun Jan 13: 6:00pm

Daddy Longlegs (AKA Get Some Rosemary)
Josh & Benny Safdie | U.S. | 2009 | 100m
34-year-old Lenny, with graying frazzled hair and wrapped up in the loneliness and freedom of a semi-directionless, solipsistic life, picks up his kids from school. This is his yearly two weeks with Sage, 9, and Frey, 7, and their time together is a jumble of lawless fun, strange visitors and adventurous excursions from Lenny’s Midtown apartment. A madcap drama about a man pondering his relationship with his sons and wondering: am I their father, or their friend?
Sun Jan 13: 8:15pm


NEW YORK CITY PREMIERE
The Fifth Heaven
Dina Zvi-Riklis | Israel | 2011 | 103m | Hebrew with English subtitles
Set in 1944 in British-controlled Palestine, this beautifully realized coming-of-age drama, based on a book by Rachel Eytan, tells the story of Maya, a teenager deserted by her parents and deposited at an orphanage for Jewish girls on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. As she waits—along with the other children and their adult supervisors—for liberation from crushing isolation, a forbidden romance blooms that throws into sharp relief not only her own struggles but those of her fellow exiles and the land that receives them.
Thu Jan 17: 3:30pm
Sun Jan 20: 1:00pm


THE FILMS OF FRANCISZKA AND STEFAN THEMERSON
Various titles | Poland/U.K. | 1930s & ‘40s | Polish with English subtitles
Franciszka Themerson (1907-1988) and Stefan Themerson (1910-1988), perhaps the most influential of Polish experimental filmmakers, produced five  films from 1930 to 1937 that rank with the greatest of the European avant-garde and helped to reveal film as a new medium of personal and political expression. Equally noteworthy were two others shot in England during World War II for the Film Unit of the Polish Ministry of Information and Documentation in Exile. Of these seven, only the last three survived the war. This program will feature three surviving Themerson films from the 1930s & ‘40s (Adventures of a Good Citizen, Calling Mr. Smith and The Eye and the Ear) alongside remakes of two of those lost—Apteka (Pharmacy) and Moment Musical—by Bruce Checefsky, Director, Reinberger Galleries, Cleveland Institute of Art. Checefsky will introduce and discuss the films.
Sun Jan 20: 6:00pm


NEW YORK PREMIERE
Hava Nagila (The Movie)
Roberta Grossman | U.S. | 2012 | 73m
It has been covered by everyone from Bob Dylan to Elvis; it’s one of the most infectious party songs ever written in any language; it’s a Jewish staple that has transcended its origins and become a worldwide hit on the level of the bagel—it’s Hava Nagila! This rollicking film follows the song’s journey from the shtetls of Ukraine to Israel to the Catskills, Greenwich Village, Hollywood, Bollywood, and beyond, using it to explore Jewish history and identity and illuminate cross-cultural connections that only music can achieve. Hava Nagila (The Movie) features interviews with Harry Belafonte, Connie Francis, Glen Campbell, Leonard Nimoy, Regina Spektor, and many others.
Tue Jan 15: 6:00pm


NEW YORK PREMIERE
How to Re-establish a Vodka Empire
Daniel Edelstyn & Hilary Powell | U.K. | 2012 | 75m 
Documentary filmmaker Dan Edelstyn grew up in Northern Ireland only vaguely aware of his ancestry, but the discovery of his grandmother’s memoir inspires a quest to trace and reconnect with his Jewish Ukrainian roots. Edelstyn balances his personal journey with the story of his grandmother, giving voice to a highly educated cosmopolitan Jew from a merchant family fully integrated with the aristocracy of the day. The film’s parallel narratives become a fascinating and layered exploration of a common theme: the desire for return and the rediscovery of heritage.
PRECEDED BY
Shards (Brokhshtiker)
Jack Feldstein | U.S. | 2012 | 2m | Yiddish with English subtitles
On August 12th, 1952, 13 Yiddish poets and writers were murdered by Stalin’s forces. This neon animation of Shards (Brokhshtiker), a Yiddish poem by Peretz Markish, one of those killed, was created to commemorate the 60th anniversary of that night.
Thu Jan 10: 3:30pm
Sat Jan 12: 6:30pm


NEW YORK PREMIERE
In Case I Never Win The Golden Palm
Renaud Cohen | France | 2011 | 82m | French with English subtitles
This delightfully self-referential satire is a feature by Renaud Cohen, who stars as Simon, a director who hasn’t made a film in 10 years and has begun attending a support group for ex-filmmakers struggling to kick their addiction to film. When he shaves his head on a bet and discovers a cranial lump that may or may not be the beginning of the end, he leaps into production—and existential crisis—to make the only film he knows how: the one about the life he is living. Charming and self-effacing, the film turns angst into whimsy and humor in the best French tradition.
PRECEDED BY
NEW YORK PREMIERE
Glue
Michal Lavi | Canada | 2012 | 7m
Based on a short story by the acclaimed Israeli writer Etgar Keret, Glue is a romantic modern fairytale that packs heavy doses of love, betrayal, and fantasy into a 7-minute story about a husband in need of awakening and his adventurous wife.
Sat Jan 19: 6:30pm
Mon Jan 21: 1:30pm



Joe Papp In Five Acts
Tracie Holder & Karen Thorsen | U.S. | 2012 | 84m
New York’s indomitable, dashing, street-wise champion of the arts, who introduced interracial casting to the American stage, brought free Shakespeare to Central Park (not to mention Hair and A Chorus Line), and nurtured many of our greatest playwrights, directors, and actors, finally gets the proper spotlight. Using his life and work as its prism, Joe Papp in Five Acts explores the issues Papp championed: freedom of expression, democracy in the arts, and the definition of American culture. This documentary includes interviews with Olympia Dukakis, James Earl Jones, Kevin Kline, Larry Kramer, Martin Sheen, Meryl Streep, Christopher Walken, and others. A Production of The Papp Project, Thirteen’s American Masters, and ITVS in association with WNET.
Mon Jan 14: 1:30pm, 6:00pm


NEW YORK CITY PREMIERE
Koch
Neil Barsky | U.S. | 2012 | 95m
While 86-year-old former Mayor Ed Koch has been called the “quintessential New Yorker” for his combative, funny, and blunt approach to public life, he is also an intensely private person. This documentary traces Koch’s impact on public life in the city—covering issues at the center of his tenure that still resonate nationwide like race, homelessness, AIDS, and gay rights—and reveals the personal toll of being mayor of a wondrous city. Interviews with Carl McCall, Joyce Purnick, Charles Rangel, Henry Stern, and others are included.
Thu Jan 10: 6:00pm
Sun Jan 13: 3:30pm


U.S. PREMIERE OF RESTORED VERSION
Kol Nidre
Joseph Seiden | U.S. | 1939 | 88m | Yiddish with English subtitles
This musical melodrama tells the story of Jenny, a young woman torn between two childhood boyfriends. Refusing to marry Joseph, who has become a rabbi, she elopes instead with Jack, an actor who makes her pregnant and eventually abandons her. Brought to the brink of disaster, Jenny is rescued by community, love, and Judaism. Surprisingly risqué for its time, Kol Nidre is a rousing tearjerker that explores assimilation, cultural identity, family and generational conflict, gender roles, and marital expectations. Restoration and new English subtitles by the National Center for Jewish Film.
Thu Jan 10: 1:00pm
Sun Jan 13: 1:00pm


NEW YORK PREMIERE
Let’s Dance!
Gabriel Bibliowicz | Israel | 2012 | 52m | Hebrew with English subtitles
This extraordinary window onto Israeli society explores how the need to move, shift, and be in constant motion has produced generations of great dancers and choreographers that have turned the country’s modern dance community into an international success story. Through the works of leading choreographers   Ohad Naharin, Rami Be’er, and Yasmeen Godder, the film delves into the exotic and vibrant world of Israeli dance culture, showcasing spectacular performances, rich archival material, interviews, and more to create a unique and surprising view of Israeli society and one of its most exciting and joyful aspects.
PRECEDED BY
NEW YORK PREMIERE
Life in Stills
Tamar Tal | Israel | 2011 | 60m | Hebrew and German with English subtitles
When the Photo House—a Tel Aviv print shop that contained the late photographer Rudi Weissenstein’s life’s work of nearly one million negatives documenting Israel’s foundational moments—is scheduled for demolition, Weissenstein’s 96-year-old widow Miriam and her grandson Ben embark on a quest to save it and preserve the collection. This moving film documents their story of a fraught journey full of humor and conflict, compassion and chutzpah.
Thu Jan 24: 1:00pm, 6:00pm


NEW YORK PREMIERE
Life? Or Theatre?
Frans Weisz | The Netherlands | 2011 | 85m | Dutch, English, French & German with English subtitles
In this moving and original documentary, director Franz Weisz revisits the haunting legacy of the German Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon and her magnum opus Leben? Oder Theater?, the subject of his 1981 narrative feature film, Charlotte. An extraordinary series of more than 700 autobiographical paintings with text, overlays, and notes on musical accompaniment, Salomon’s masterpiece was created while she was in her early 20s and living in the south of France, having been sent out of Hitler’s Germany to live with her grandparents. Using a recently discovered letter written by Salomon soon before her arrest and  deportation to Auschwitz as a point of departure, Weisz’s stylistically daring film incorporates shots from Charlotte, mise-en-scène using the artwork, and testimony from witnesses to Salomon’s life to dig deeper into her remarkable story.
Wed Jan 16: 1:00pm, 6:15pm


U.S. PREMIERE
Max Raabe in Israel
Brigitte Bertele & Julia Willmann | Germany | 2012 | 90m | German with English
subtitles
When the wildly popular Berlin-based singer Max Raabe and his Palast Orchester brought their show Nacht oder Nie (Tonight or Never), a review of German hits from the 1920s and ‘30s primarily written and originally performed by such talents as the Comedian Harmonists, Marlene Dietrich, Friedrich Hollaender and others, to Israel, the reception was dramatic. This film captures Raabe and his band’s thoughtful reactions to their emotionally and politically charged adventure, as well as the personal stories of concertgoers of different generations and their relationships to Germany.
Sun Jan 20: 3:45pm
Tue Jan 22: 6:00pm


NEW YORK PREMIERE
Numbered
Dana Doron & Uriel Sinai | Israel/U.S. | 2012 | 60m | Hebrew with English subtitles
This powerful film examines the complex relationships three Auschwitz survivors have with the numbers tattooed on their arms. The ever-optimistic 84-year-old Gita Kalderon (76914), the realistic 84-year-old Joka Levi (A11998), and the adventurous 79-year-old Dani Hanoch (B2823) each have their own perspective, and plenty to say about people’s ever-changing attitudes toward their inescapable past as it is writ large on their skin. Hanna Rabinovitz, daughter of prisoner number 64650, adds another perspective to the mix as a member of the next generation who tattoos her father’s number on her own body. Additional testimonies from 30 survivors help to make this documentary a riveting showcase of the clash between past and present, name and number, society and its symbols.
PRECEDED BY
NEW YORK PREMIERE
Audition
Udo Prinsen | The Netherlands | 2011 | 6m | No dialogue
Inspired by drawings of Auschwitz prisoners, the animated short Audition depicts a young trumpet player trying out for the camp’s orchestra to improve his chances for survival. A firing squad decides whether he is admitted, while his father listens from a distance.
Mon Jan 14: 4:00pm
Sun Jan 20: 8:15pm


Oma and Bella
Alexa Karolinski | Germany/U.S. | 2011 | 76m | German with English subtitles
An intimate and touching glimpse into the lives of roommates Regina Karolinski (Oma) and Bella Katz, Holocaust survivors and close friends, living in Berlin. Directed by Oma’s granddaughter, the film makes their daily life of cooking, storytelling, and striving to retain a part of their past while remaining very much engaged in the present into a poetic meditation on heritage, memory, and identity, using their love of cooking as a charming leitmotif.
Preceded by
PRECEDED BY
NEW YORK PREMIERE
Kosher
Isabelle Stead | U.K./France | 2010 | 10m | French with English subtitles
Isaac is a happy-go-lucky, moptopped five-year-old with Coke bottle glasses and an outsized imagination. When he befriends a little pig that miraculously appears at his doorstep, his Orthodox family objects—inspiring a precocious crisis of faith in the boy.
Tue Jan 15: 3:30pm, 8:15pm


Papirosen
Gaston Solnicki | Argentina | 2011 | 74m | Spanish with English subtitles
Argentine filmmaker Gaston Solnicki has fashioned nearly 200 hours of footage shot over a decade into a family portrait at once epic and intimate—achieving the rare feat of turning the home movie into art. He captures four generations of his Buenos Aires clan on vacations and at family gatherings, digging into the family archives (vintage 8mm footage, a video recording of a Bar Mitzvah) to supplement it and incorporating the musings of his grandmother, Pola, a Holocaust survivor, to craft a deeply affecting meditation on the meaning of family and the weight of history.
Mon Jan 21: 8:00pm
Tue Jan 22: 1:30pm


Policeman
Nadav Lapid | Israel | 2011 | 112m | Hebrew with English subtitles
A winner of three prizes at the Jerusalem Film Festival and a special jury prize at Locarno, this stunning first feature hinges on the intertwined machinations of an elite antiterrorist police unit and a group of wealthy young anarchists on a collision course with each other. Provocative and highly topical, Policeman captures the flashpoints in Israeli society between the haves and have-nots, contrasting opposing societal forces and finally pitting them against each other in a narrative that’s both thrilling drama and heavy with portent.
Mon Jan 14: 8:30pm


NEW YORK PREMIERE
Süskind
Rudolf van den Berg | The Netherlands | 2012 | 118m | Dutch with English subtitles
This riveting drama tells the story of Walter Süskind (played by Jeroen Spitzenberger), who worked for the Jewish Council in Amsterdam during World War II. By playing a cat-and-mouse game with S.S. officer Aus de Fünten – played by Karl Markovics (The Counterfeiters) – Süskind managed to save almost a thousand Jewish children from deportation. Based on a true story.
Wed Jan 9: 12:30pm, 6:00pm


NEW YORK PREMIERE
The Trial Of Adolf Eichmann
Michael Prazan | France | 2011 | 90m | Hebrew, German, English & French with English subtitles
This immensely compelling piece of historiography features detailed accounts of Eichmann’s capture, the drama that ensued in the courtroom and behind the scenes, the worldwide television coverage, and reactions in the media and public discourse around the globe. The film is a remarkable document of the fate and impact of one of Nazism’s greatest villains.
Wed Jan 16: 8:30pm
Thu Jan 17: 1:00pm


The Yellow Ticket
Eugen Illés & Victor Janson | U.S. | 1918 | 52m | Silent with live musical accompaniment by Marilyn Lerner (piano) and Alicia Svigals (violin)
Enlivened by an exciting new score by Alicia Svigals, The Yellow Ticket tells the story of a young Jewish woman (played by the great Pola Negri) who hides her identity in order to study medicine and is coerced into prostitution to pay the rent. The film addresses ethnic and religious discrimination, human trafficking, and poverty in startlingly progressive terms.
Thu Jan 10: 8:30pm


U.S. PREMIERE
Yorzeit (Jorcajt)
Zuzanna Solakiewicz | Poland | 2011 | 52m | Polish with English subtitles
In the ruined cemetery in Gorlice, in southern Poland, Meir Moszkowicz has come annually for the last 30 years from his home in Israel to visit the grave of a Tzaddik (righteous man), forgotten years ago by the world. Meir has no family connection to Gorlice—his ancestors are from Hungary and Romania—but his long yearly journey to care for the graves and work on restoring the cemetery reveals transcendent faith, love, and joy.
PRECEDED BY
New York Premiere
55 Socks
Co Hoedeman | Canada/The Netherlands | 2011 | 9m
A film of rare beauty from Oscar-winning director Co Hoedeman, 55 Socks is an animated short based on a poem by Marie Jacobs that pays tribute to the ingenuity of the Dutch people during a dark period of their history: the Hunger Winter of 1944-45.
Wed Jan 16: 3:30pm
Thu Jan 17: 6:30pm

Thank You to Our Sponsors