ZIG ZAG KID to Kick Off 2013 Boston Jewish Film Festival, 11/6; Lineup Announced!

ZIG ZAG KID to Kick Off 2013 Boston Jewish Film Festival, 11/6; Lineup Announced!

The Boston Jewish Film Festival, Nov. 6-18, turns 25 this milestone year. "The Festival has been making people think, laugh, feel, love, and dream for a quarter of a century," says Artistic Director Amy Geller. "I am so proud and honored to be part of this rich cultural legacy." This year, there are 46 films from 13 countries including Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and the Netherlands, and, of course, many from Israel and the U.S.; 40 films are Boston area premieres.

Geller is particularly proud of the many films with local connections. "The New England area with its vital history of documentary filmmaking is also incredibly fruitful for Jewish cinema." Unorthodox, made by Nadja Oertelt and Anna Wexler, who met as MIT undergrads and live in Boston, has its world premiere Nov. 10 at the ICA. The tongue-in- cheek mockumentary Your Good Friend, also a world premiere Nov. 10 at the Coolidge, stars Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, formerly of Congregation Beth El of the Sudbury River Valley. Finally, The Dewey Stone Connection: From Exodus to Independence, the Closing Night film Nov. 17 at the MFA, celebrates the late Dewey Stone, a Zionist philanthropist in 1940s Brockton, MA, and "an unsung hero for Israel."

Opening and Closing Nights and Mid-Fest Films:

The Zig Zag Kid, a movie adaptation of famed Israeli author David Grossman's book, kicks off the 25th Festival on Nov. 6 at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. The hero is the smart, sassy, 13-year-old son of a police inspector. After receiving a mysterious letter, the youth finds himself on an exciting, Hitchcockian mission to prove that he can be the best police inspector in the world, like his father. Directed by Flemish filmmaker Vincent Bal and starring Isabella Rossellini.

The Mid-Fest Event on Nov. 13 is the documentary Sukkah City, also screening at Coolidge Corner Theatre. Bringing the Sukkot tradition of Sukkah-making into the 21st century, author Joshua Foer challenges 12 architects and designers to construct artistic sukkahs to be placed in Manhattan's Union Square to be judged and visited by the public. Infinite possibilities make for an incredible competition. In person: filmmaker Jason Hutt.

Closing Night features The Dewey Stone Connection: From Exodus to Independence on Nov. 17 at the Museum of Fine Arts. The documentary tells the incredible saga of Brockton, Mass. native Dewey Stone, an unsung hero for Israel. Discussion with director Michael Traub and members of Dewey's family following the screening.

The 25th year promises to be an expanded program for all Festival goers. "There'll be more fun elements to heighten the Festival experience and reach out to a wider audience - more family programming, young adult programming, local celebrities, food, music and social opportunities."

Programs include:

The Family Film Series is back by popular demand with screenings for families with children 11 and up, including The Zigzag Kid and JERUSALEM, a 3D Imax film at the Museum of Science.

BJFF FreshFlix - Not Your Bubbie's Festival, a festival within a festival for the 20-40s crowd, kicks off with the 3rd Annual Short Film Competition. The audience will pick the winning shorts via text voting. FreshFlix also features the first BJFF midnight movie ever: Israel's hit thriller, Big Bad Wolves. In addition, there are opportunities for young adults to engage, discuss, meet the director and schmooze before and after screenings.