Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival Announces Opening & Closing Movies for 27th Annual Festival

Ellen Wedner, Director of The Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival, today announced the opening and closing films of the upcoming 27th annual festival that will present 30 movies from around the world.

The opening night screening on January 19 will be held at the Kravis Center's Cohen Pavilion and it will be the Palm Beach Premiere of ON THE MAP, from Israel. This is the true story of Israel's 1977 basketball team, the first team to bring the European Cup to Israel, just a few years after the Yom Kippur War. When this ragtag team of Israelis and Americans won, Israel was placed firmly on the map. With incredible footage of 1970s Israel and interviews with Bill Walton and the other athletes who made history, ON THE MAP honors Israeli heroes and mesmerizes fans of the game.

ON THE MAP was directed by Dani Menkin, who will attend the opening night screening and participate in a post-film discussion along with basketball legend Tal Brody. Filmed in English and Hebrew with subtitles, the 85-minute movie was produced by Nancy Spielberg and Roberta Grossman, who produced and directed ABOVE AND BEYOND, the Festival's opening night film in 2015.

The Premiere Partner for the opening night film is Jupiter Medical Center, with the Rubens Family Foundation serving as Film Guests Partner. Film Partners include Barbara Mines, Linda & Ray Golden, Barbara Kay, The Liman Foundation and Bente Lyons. For the third year, the Festival Season Partner is Howard Kaye Insurance Agency, LLC.

The closing film and awards ceremony will be held on February 12 at the Muvico Parisian at CityPlace in West Palm Beach. The film will be the Palm Beach Premiere of the 2016 Israeli film THE WOMEN'S BALCONY, which was directed by Emil Ben Sharon and is presented in Hebrew with subtitles.

The movie shows what happens when the synagogue's women's balcony comes crashing down during a bar mitzvah. A charismatic young rabbi offers to repair the damage and lead the community. But soon, the new rabbi is promoting a stricter interpretation: maybe the balcony crashed because the women of the congregation are not modest enough? This is a warm, poignant portrait of a modern Orthodox community struggling to balance protocol with practical, progressive values. A rousing, good-humored tale of women speaking truth to power, the film is at once rebellious and respectful in spirit.

THE WOMEN'S BALCONY has been charming Israeli filmgoers and critics alike and was a big hit at the Toronto International Film Festival 2016. It was nominated for five Ophir (Israeli Academy) Awards, and Variety raves, "Viewers will leave the theater in a joyous mood." The Film Partners for the closing movie of The Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival 2017 are the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, Howard Kaye Insurance Agency, LLC and the Donald M. Ephraim Family Fund.

Between the opening night and closing films, the 2017 Festival will present 30 memorable movies at the Cinemark Palace in Boca Raton, January 21-27; Cobb Theatres in Palm Beach Gardens, January 28-February 4; and the Frank Theatres in Delray Beach, February 5-11.

On Sale Information:

Opening Night tickets are $20 for Film Society members and $25 for nonmembers. For the rest of the Festival, film tickets range from $7 to $15 for Film Society members and $9 to $18 for nonmembers. They will be available for purchase in December through the website or by calling 877-318-0071.

For more information on membership, sponsor partnerships, pre-festival screenings and events, or to sign-up for the mailing list, please visit The 2017 festival films, trailers and complete schedule will be live on the website in December 2016.

About the Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival:

Presented by the Mandel Jewish Community Center of the Palm Beaches, The Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival strives to bring to South Florida the finest examples of cinema from around the world. Founded in 1990 the festival continues to grow and evolve as it continues to expand the selection of narrative features, short films and documentaries to reflect the tastes and needs of its audience. The 26th annual The Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival will be held Jan. 19 through Feb. 12, 2017. For more information, please visit

About the Mandel Jewish Community Center of the Palm Beaches:

The Mandel JCC has two locations in Palm Beach County. The Boynton Beach building is at 8500 Jog Road and the Palm Beach Gardens building is at 5221 Hood Road. For more information about the Mandel JCC of the Palm Beaches, visit

The mission of the Mandel JCC of the Palm Beaches is to build community and enhance connection to Jewish life. The Mandel JCC is a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County.

This program was made possible through a grant from the Palm Beach Jewish Boomer Platform and an Innovation Grant from the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County.

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