BRAVE MISS WORLD & More Set for San Diego Jewish Film Festival

BRAVE MISS WORLD & More Set for San Diego Jewish Film Festival

The 24th Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival, presented by the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS, will open February 6-16, 2014. Sponsored by Leichtag Foundation.

The San Diego Jewish Film Festival showcases over 60 of the best contemporary Jewish themed films from around the world celebrating life, human rights, and freedom of expression. Productions or co-productions from 15 different countries will be presented. (Seven films from Germany; five films from Canada; nine films from France; 9 films from Israel and two films from the United Kingdom). The mission of the Film Festival is to offer outstanding world cinema that promotes awareness, appreciation and pride in the diversity of the Jewish people to attendees of the community at large.

Highlights for this year's event will include a screening of BETHLEHEM, the official Academy Award entry for best foreign film. The film will screen three different times: February 8 at 6:15 at the Clairemont Reading; February 9 at 4:00pm at Edwards San Marcos Stadium; and February 15 at 6:30pm at the Clairemont Reading.

Bethlehem tells the story of the complex relationship between an Israeli Secret Service officer and his teenage Palestinian informant. Shuttling back and forth between conflicting points of view, the film is a raw portrayal of characters torn apart by competing loyalties of impossible moral dilemmas, giving an unparalleled glimpse into the dark and fascinating world of intelligence. This film is best described as equal parts brutal, horrific and riveting. NY Times Critic A.O. Scott calls it a "Terrific Israeli movie - like a West Bank The Wire."

Spend a day at the movies on February 9th at the Clairemont Reading for the German screening of GENERATION WAR (Parts One & Two). There will be a 30-mintue intermission. February 9th at 1:00pm/3:30pm at the Clairemont Reading.

Not since the historic broadcasting of the 1978 American miniseries Holocaust has Germany been so riveted by a television series about the Nazi horrors. GENERATION WAR is presented from the unusual viewpoint of the Germans themselves. This is the extraordinary miniseries about five longtime German friends who are torn apart over a six-year span, some Brave and some cowardly, some embracing the Nazi ideology, and one who is Jewish. At nearly every moment, our protagonists are faced with choices between complicity and rebellion, self-preservation and self-sacrifice, blood on their hands and love in their hearts - only to discover the deceptive nature of such seemingly black and white propositions. A bracing piece of political art.

If you get hungry between screenings, a special lunch order from local delis can be placed when purchasing your tickets at the Box Office for the screenings on February 7th, especially before the screening of THE STURGEON QUEENS at 1:30pm at the LFJCC. This humorous documentary about two New York sisters and their "appetizing store" will make you want to visit their store next time you're in New York. This film will also be shown on February 8 at 6:45 pm at the Clairemont Reading and February 9 at 1:00 pm at the Edwards San Marcos Stadium.

Another international documentary favorite will be NATAN about French filmmaker Bernard Natan. Natan will screen one time only on Sunday, February 16 at 1:30pm. Viewer Discretion - adult content.

Bernard Natan dominated the French film industry with his groundbreaking work for much of the 1920's and 1930's, establishing him as one of the founding fathers of French cinema and the person who rescued Pathé Films - the French equivalent of Louis B. Mayer and Samuel Goldwyn. Natan brought sound cinema to France and Cinemascope to the screen before the word existed. So how did he come to be completely forgotten? Rumors and falsehoods have surrounded Natan's life story for decades. David Cairns and Paul Duane have excavated an extraordinary tale that aims to rewrite the history of European cinema, finally bringing the truth to light.

On Tuesday, February 11th at 7:15pm, the San Diego Premiere of THE CONGRESS, directed by Ari Folman (Waltz of Bashir) and starring Robin Wright, Jon Hamm, Paul Giamatti, and Harvey Keitel will screen for one time only. This film has the largest collection of animators to work on one film, over 200 animators! Six countries were involved with co-productions from Israel, France, Belgium, Poland, Luxembourg and Germany. The live shots were filmed in Israel. Over 70% of the film is animation; 30% live action. The discussion following the film will focus on animation creativity and science fiction using the age-old Hollywood story about actresses becoming too old for leading roles.

An esteemed panel of film industry experts will moderate a discussion with Dr. Sharon Wu, Professor of Film Animation; Dr. Matthew Sloan, International Film Programmer; David Brin, best-selling author of Science Fiction; and Beth Accomando, executive with KPBS (San Diego public Radio & TV)

The centerpiece film in partnership with Project Sarah, Brave MISS WORLD directed by Cecilia Peck (daughter of Gregory Peck) will screen on February 11th and 12th. The film centers on Miss Israel (Linor Abargail) becoming Miss World and the traumatic life experience that became her platform during her reign as Miss World. A live SKYPE interview with Linor Abargil from Israel will take place following the screening on February 12th.

February 10th is the 12th Annual THE JOYCE FORUM, which presents outstanding Jewish-themed short subject documentaries, by rising stars and seasoned filmmakers from around the world. This year, it's the film festivals first juried competition by a distinguished panel of jurors presenting five awards at the Garfield Theatre at 7:30pm. Two of the entries are local San Diegians: Russian filmmaker, Costa Fam will present his film SHOES and Michael Carnick will be in attendance with his film ROLLING ROMANCE.

"The 24th Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival film line-up this year definitely has something for everyone. Whether it's serious drama, documentaries, comedies, shorts or major epics, you'll find those films that you enjoy", commented film festival director, Craig Prater. "I expect many of our most interesting discussions will come as a result of our guest speakers' comments about the various films", continues Prater.

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