Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival To Showcase 8 Movies At New Satellite Film Festival
The popular 28th annual The Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival may have concluded a few weeks ago, but the cinematic love continues at a new satellite mini-festival next month in Jupiter.
The new Jupiter Satellite Film Festival will present eight extraordinary movies, April 16-19, at the Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas at 201 US-1 in Jupiter.
"We have selected some amazing films that will appeal to movie buffs of all ages and backgrounds," promises Festival Director Ellen Wedner. "They are extraordinarily diverse and very engaging. You don't have to be Jewish to be thoroughly entertained and enthralled, you just have to appreciate and enjoy good films."
"And the Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas is the perfect place to enjoy these films because it offers state-of-the-art sound and projection technology," she adds.
The eight films scheduled for The Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival's new Jupiter Satellite Film Festival include:
Monday, April 16:
4 pm - LET YOURSELF GO
In this screwball comedy from Italy, Elia is a Jewish psychoanalyst with an austere and detached manner. Elia lives alone in a flat on the same floor as his ex-wife Giovanna, with whom he is still secretly in love. After a minor illness, his doctor instructs him to lose some weight. He befriends a vivacious Spanish personal trainer, Claudia, a single mother with an unhinged criminal ex-boyfriend. As Claudia drags Elia around Rome, a series of mishaps ensue, breathing new energy into his tired and predictable life.
Awards: Italian Golden Globe Best Comedy; Best Supporting Actress Italian Film Critics Award.
(Directed by Francesco Amato; Italian with subtitles. 2017, 98-minutes)
7:30 pm - THE TESTAMENT
In this film from Israel, Yoel, a Holocaust researcher, is in the midst of a widely publicized legal battle with powerful forces in Austria, concerning a brutal massacre of Jews which took place, towards the end of WWII, in in the village of Lensdorf. An influential family of industrialists on whose land the murder took place is planning to build a real estate project there. Yoel suspects that their aim is to bury the affair for good, but he has trouble finding the conclusive evidence that would stop the project. During his investigation he also hears classified testimonies of Holocaust survivors. To his shock, his mother is among them. Her secrets lead him into a double inquiry, both personal and scientific. As an historian with an unshakeable commitment to the truth, he literally digs deeper, even at the cost of ruining his personal and professional life.
(Directed by Amichai Greenberg; English, Hebrew, German with subtitles. 2017, 96-minutes)
Tuesday, April 17:
4 pm - THE LIGHT OF HOPE (Palm Beach Premiere)
From Switzerland: In the early 1940's, refugees from all over Europe sought shelter from persecution by the Nazis and Franco's regime in Spain. Among them, there were countless Jewish women and their children. The refugee camps were in horrendous condition. A young Red Cross nurse, Elisabeth Eldenbenz, decided to convert an abandoned mansion into a maternity home and provide the refugees safety and shelter. In so doing, she saves their lives from certain death and hides them from their Nazi persecutors. Despite the surrounding hardship, the villa becomes a safe haven filled with the laughter of children. Soon, however, Gestapo agents grow suspicious of her and demand she hand over all Jewish refugees or be imprisoned. Elisabeth, the mothers, and their supporters will do everything in their power to prevent it. Elizabeth Eldenbenz was awarded the status of Righteous Among Nations by the Government of Israel in 2002.
Awards: Luchon Festival Audience Award, Gaudi Awards and Swiss TV Awards, Best Actress
(Directed by Silivia Quer; Spanish, German with subtitles. 2017; 98-minutes)
7:30 pm - SHELTER
This subtle thriller from Israel is set in Hamburg, tells the story of Naomi, a one-time top Mossad agent who is coaxed back to work. She is dispatched to a safe house with a new false passport, a gun and a mission to protect a most valuable asset. That would be Mona, the Lebanese former spouse of a Hezbollah leader. After turning on her one-time partners, Mona has since gone under the knife, emerging with a different face and the promise of a new life in Canada. That is provided she can survive her two-week convalescence while her militant ex-comrades scramble to track her down and take her out. In this game of deception, beliefs are questioned and choices are made that are not their own. And yet their fate takes a surprising turn in this suspense-laden, elegant neo-noir.
(Directed by Eran Riklis; English, Arabic, Hebrew with subtitles. 2018; 93-minutes)
Wednesday, April 18:
4 pm - DREAMING OF A JEWISH CHRISTMAS
Set entirely in a Chinese restaurant, this is an offbeat, irreverent musical documentary from Canada that tells the story of a group of Jewish songwriters, including Irving Berlin, Mel Tormé, Jay Livingston, Ray Evans, Gloria Shayne Baker and Johnny Marks, who wrote the soundtrack to Christianity's most musical holiday. It's an amazing tale of immigrant outsiders who became irreplaceable players in pop culture's mainstream - a generation of songwriters-who found in Christmas -the perfect holiday in which to imagine a better world, and for at least one day a year, make us believe in it.
(Directed by Larry Weinstein; English. 2017; 52-minutes)
7:30 pm - PARADISE
From Russia and Germany, this is a compelling story of three people, Olga, Jules and Helmut, whose paths cross during WWII. Olga, a Russian aristocrat and member of the French Resistance, is arrested by Nazi police for hiding Jewish children. She is sent to jail where she meets Jules, a French-Nazi collaborator who is assigned to investigate her case. Then she is shipped to a concentration camp, where she crosses paths with high-ranking SS officer Helmut, who once fell madly in love with her. Helmut offers her an escape. Yet as time passes, and the fate of Nazi defeat looms, Olga's notion of paradise is irrevocably changed. Variety raves, "Russian veteran Andrei Konchalovsky is in robust form in this richly monochrome, perspective-rotating Holocaust drama."
Awards: Best Director Award Venice International Film Festival; Best Screenplay Mar del Plata film festival.
(Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky; French, Russian, German, Yiddish with subtitles. 2016; 130-minutes)
Thursday, April 19:
4 pm - THE INVISIBLES
In June 1943, Germany infamously declared Berlin "Judenfrei"- "free of Jews." But at that moment there were still 7,000 Jews living in the Nazi capital: hiding in attics, basements, and warehouses, protected by courageous Berliners while desperately trying to avoid deportation. Only 1,700 lived to liberation. The experiences of four survivors are followed, interweaving their testimony with highly accomplished dramatizations, an unusual hybrid approach that brings edge-of-the-seat suspense to their years spent underground. The two men and two women whose stories unfold are well chosen, and their younger selves are sensitively portrayed. From Germany.
Awards: Audience Silver Award Mill Valley Film Festival
(Directed by Claus Räfle; German with English subtitles. 2017; 100-minutes)
7:30 pm - AN INSRAELI LOVE STORY
Based on the true story of director and actress Pnina Gary, this is a passionate story of love and independence. Set in pre-state Palestine, Eli (Aviv Alush, The Women's Balcony) and Margalit are torn between their love for one another and where they see their own futures in the Jewish state. In the budding theatre world of Tel Aviv and the kibbutzim, Margalit finds her place in the spotlight. Eli, while planning to marry Margalit, is drawn deeper into the struggle for Jewish independence from the British. According to Habana, "With sensitivity and simplicity Wolman weaves the love story between the two young idealists into the pivotal moments that gave birth to the state. He pours honest romantic content into this cynicism free relationship from the country's age of innocence."
Awards: Runner Up Feature Film and Audience Award, The Donald M Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival; Audience Award, Best Actress Audience Award at The Golden Rooster, One Hundred Flower Festival ("The Chinese Oscar")
(Directed by Dan Wolman; Hebrew with subtitles. 2016; 93-minutes)
Tickets are available now at the Festival Box Office at www.pbjff.org or at 877.318.0071 during normal business hours. Matinee tickets are $12 for the Front Section rows and $14 for the Premium section. Evening tickets are $14 for the Front section and $16 for the Premium Section. Film Society member prices apply and 2018 Badges will be honored.
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 29th annual The Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival will be held in early 2019. For more information, please visit www.PBJFF.org.
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 www.jcconline.com.
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.