The eighth annual Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, kicks off March 12 and continues through March 19 with a slate of 11 award-winning films that explore and celebrate Jewish life and experience.
The festival takes place at various venues in Sarasota County. In response to last year’s strong turnout, organizers have added more matinee and evening screenings at downtown’s Hollywood 20. Tickets are $12 per film, except for the opening night movie and dessert “to-go,” which is $25. A closing night dinner, which includes a multi-course Israeli culinary adventure, is $50. You can also purchase a pass to all 11 films for $125; for complete info go to jfedsrq.org or call (866) 465-3995.
The week commences with an opening night celebration at 7 p.m. March 12 at the Ritz, welcoming guest of honor Dr. Bogdan Bialek, the hero of the new documentary Bogdan’s Journey, which tells the story of his pursuit of the terrible truth about an attack on Holocaust survivors, receiving its Florida premiere here. The closing night film on March 19 features the documentary In Search of Israeli Cuisine, in which celebrity-chef restaurateur Michael Solomonov travels across Israel to savor a “food revolution rooted in centuries-old traditions.” The film will be shown at 3 p.m. and is followed by a dinner, the latter at Michael’s On East.
In between, film lovers can enjoy the following movies:
The Kind Words, a quirky comedy-drama about three siblings seeking to uncover a secret about the man who raised them.
Shalom Italia, a documentary about three Italian Jewish brothers gathering to find the cave that saved their family from the camps in World War II.
Baba Joon, a feature film about the conflict between an immigrant father and his son, who wants to build a new identity in a new country.
The Last Mentsch, a poignant narrative about friendship and healing.
Moos, a contemporary comedy set in Amsterdam’s Jewish community about a young woman who dreams of going to acting school.
The People vs. Fritz Bauer, based on the true story of a man who had a hand in bringing Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann to justice.
Fire Birds, about a down-on-his-luck Israeli detective trying to solve a murder mystery that entwines past and present.
Dirty Wolves, also inspired by true events, set in Spain’s rural Galicia region in 1944, where Nazi forces use political prisoners and slave laborers to mine the tungsten they need for manufacturing weapons.
A Trekkie Celebration: For the Love of Spock, directed by Adam Nimoy, son of the late Jewish actor Leonard Nimoy, including clips and interviews with fans and actors from various incarnations of Star Trek. Attendees are encouraged to dress in their favorite Trekkie costumes.
Again, you can find complete schedule and film information at jfedsrq.org.