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April 1, 2016 Comments Off on Seattle Jewish Film Festival Kicks Off 21st Year On Saturday…Includes Queer Documentary, “Oriented” Views: 1568 *The Strangeways Report, Arts & Entertainment, Film

Seattle Jewish Film Festival Kicks Off 21st Year On Saturday…Includes Queer Documentary, “Oriented”

ORIENTED, directed by Jake Witzenfeld, is a documentary with a queer focus screening at the Seattle Jewish Film Festival on Sunday, April 3, 2016.

ORIENTED, directed by Jake Witzenfeld, is a documentary with a queer focus screening at the Seattle Jewish Film Festival on Sunday, April 3, 2016.

Seattle, the City of a 1001 Film Festivals, will welcome the Seattle Jewish Film Festival to town for the 21st year, starting this Saturday, April 2, 2016 for a 9 day run of screenings and events at AMC Pacific Place, SIFF Cinema at The Uptown and the Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island. Some of the highlights will include the area premiere of actress Natalie Portman’s directorial debut, A Tale of Love and Darkness and a screening of the queer Israeli film,  ORIENTED, directed by Jake Witzenfeld on April 3rd with a screening at AMC Pacific Place. ORIENTED “follows three gay Palestinian friends in Tel Aviv as they explore their national and sexual identities, relationships with Israeli friends, and their families of origin.” The documentary film will feature a Q&A with director Witzenfeld (via Skype) moderated by  Danni Askini, Executive Director of Gender Justice League. Grab tickets to Oriented, HERE!

More info on all the events/films!

Seattle Jewish Film Festival Announces its “Twenty-One Run”
Honored Guests, Global Film, Music, Food, & Special Events
Drink Up the Culture! | April 2-10, 2016
 
The 21st annual Seattle Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Stroum Jewish Community Center, is delighted to announce its full lineup: a dynamic and diverse array of films from around the world. Kicking off with Natalie Portman’s A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS on Opening Night, April 2 and closing with Israel’s Best Foreign Language Oscar submission BABA JOON on Closing Night, April 10 with special guest, star Navid Negahban (HOMELAND, AMERICAN SNIPER), in attendance, SJFF brings the best in Jewish and Israeli global cinema to the Pacific Northwest in venues around Seattle and Mercer Island.
This year’s theme, “We’re 21! Drink up the Culture!” honors 21 years as one of the largest, longest-running, and most sophisticated film festivals in our region, with poster art by local graphic novelist David Lasky, an Eisner Award-winning cartoonist and Newbery Medal colorist. SJFF celebrates reaching its “adulthood” with a toast and a tribute, showcasing 25 films from a dozen countries in 9 days, supplemented by guest artists and speakers, performers, family and food programs, and special events.
The April 3 screening of ROSENWALD at AMC Pacific Place will follow a special awards ceremony, when SJFF presents its 2016 REEL Difference Award to the film’s Emmy-nominated and Peabody-winning director, Aviva Kempner, and presents its inaugural REAL Difference Award to educator, community activist, and founding chair of the Seattle Jewish Film Festival, Deborah Rosen. The REAL/REEL Difference Award is bestowed every other year upon distinguished artists and community leaders who have dedicated their talents and resources to making a difference in the world.
Other filmmaker guests to the Festival include director Jake Witzenfeld of ORIENTED, who will join audiences for his April 3 screening at AMC Pacific Place. ORIENTED follows three gay Palestinian friends in Tel Aviv as they explore their national and sexual identities, relationships with Israeli friends, and their families of origin. This insightful documentary looks closely and carefully into an oft-ignored subset of the Palestinian community and Israeli subculture. Another first-time documentary filmmaker, Eli Adler, will attend the Festival with his father and documentary subject Jack Adler. Eli Adler’s film SURVIVING SKOKIE is a deeply personal and moving look at the legacy of the Holocaust as it stretches across decades and oceans. SURVIVING SKOKIE screens at SIFF Cinema Uptown on April 4.
Gourmands and foodies can rejoice on April 7 as SJFF 2016 welcomes IN SEARCH OF ISRAELI CUISINE at SIFF Cinema Uptown. Emmy and Peabody Award winner and two-time Academy Award nominee, director Roger Sherman unveils Israel’s dynamic and delicious fusion cuisine through the inquisitive eyes and insatiable curiosity of James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Solomonov of Zahav in Philadelphia. Solomonov will be in attendance; tickets include a catered “taste of Zahav” following the show.
No film festival is complete without live musical performances and SJFF 2016 delivers with perennial favorites The KlezKatz! at the annual Matzoh Momma Sunday Brunch at AMC Pacific Place on April 3 featuring DOUGH. Later that afternoon, Seattle-based women’s vocal ensemble Dunava performs following BULGARIAN RHAPSODY during SJFF’s annual post-film coffee klatch with biscochos (Sephardic Jewish biscotti). On April 9, SJFF presents its Centerpiece Film & Concert. ROCK IN THE RED ZONE will be followed by a special live performance from Israeli musician and documentary subject Avi Vaknin at the Stroum Jewish Community Center’s state-of-the-art theater.
Regular screening tickets are priced at $13 ($10 for SJCC members). SJFF Full Festival Pass is priced at $225 ($200 for SJCC members) and includes access to all film screenings and ticketed special events. SJFF Flex Pack includes 8 tickets for $125 ($100 for SJCC members). Flex Pack tickets can be used for special events (Opening Night on 4/2, Matzoh Momma Sunday Brunch on 4/3, “Sderock” Film and Concert on 4/9, and Closing Night on 4/10) as well as regular screenings. Full Festival Passes, Flex Packs, and individual tickets for all screenings and events are on sale now at http://seattlejewishfilmfestival.org/festival/tickets.
Full lineup details are below.
Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 PM
AMC Pacific Place
Logline: Academy Award®-winner Natalie Portman makes her feature directorial debut in this adaptation of Israeli author Amos Oz’s international best-selling memoir about his immigrant family’s struggles adapting to a foreign land alongside the birth of the State of Israel.
Sunday, April 3 at 9:30 AM
AMC Pacific Place
Logline: Jonathan Pryce stars as an old Jewish baker whose failing business gets an unexpected boost when his young Muslim apprentice, a refugee from Darfur, accidentally drops cannabis into the dough, and an unlikely friendship buds.
**followed by Q&A with Chair of Sephardic Studies at UW, Assistant Professor of History Devin Naar, plus a live musical performance from Seattle-based women’s vocal ensemble Dunava**
Sunday, April 3 at 1:30 PM
AMC Pacific Place
Logline: Two teens fall for the same girl in this Oscar®-nominated, Bulgarian coming-of-age drama. The love triangle is set against the backdrop of the Holocaust, as the police round up Jews for deportation in their Ladino-speaking, Greek community.
**2016 award winners, education and community activist Deborah Rosen and director Aviva Kempner in attendance**
Sunday, April 3 at 4:30 PM
AMC Pacific Place
Logline: Award-winning filmmaker Aviva Kempner (THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HANK GREENBERG, SJFF 2000) illuminates the life of unsung hero Julius Rosenwald, the Sears owner who funded thousands of African American schools in the segregated South.
**director Jake Witzenfeld in attendance**
Sunday, April 3 at 7:20 PM
AMC Pacific Place
Logline: Three gay Palestinian friends in Tel Aviv explore their national and sexual identities, as well as relationships with Israeli friends, Jewish boyfriends and their families of origin in this insightful documentary about an oft-ignored subset of the Palestinian community and Israeli subculture.
**director Eli Adler and his father, documentary subject Jack Adler, in attendance**
Monday, April 4 at 6:10 PM
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Logline: This moving documentary takes a personal look at the Holocaust, centered on a series of dark days in Skokie, Illinois, that forced a community of survivors—including the filmmaker’s father—to relive their devastating past.
Monday, April 4 at 8:35 PM
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Logline: This heart-pounding docudrama recounts the untold true story of the hijacking of Sabena flight 571 by Palestinian terrorists and the harrowing Israeli military rescue effort.
Tuesday, April 5 at 6:30 PM
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Logline: When a dedicated teacher at a French high school encourages her unruly class of underprivileged, inner-city pupils to create a project about teens during the Holocaust, they find more common ground and humanity than they ever expected.
**followed by Q&A with Rabbi Mark Spiro**
Tuesday, April 5 at 8:45 PM
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Logline: A sensitive and eye-opening examination of a deeply personal, taboo topic and important prohibition in Orthodox Judaism: wasting one’s seed.
Wednesday, April 6 at 6:30 PM
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Logline: A tender and funny French drama starring Julie Depardieu about the sunny 1960s reunion of three friends who survived Auschwitz, lovingly based on filmmaker Jean-Jacques Zilbermann’s mother and her friends.
Wednesday, April 6 at 8:45 PM
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Logline: After their mother’s death, three siblings’ shocking secrets bubble up from the past leading them on a quirky journey filled with rivalry, romance, and revelations as they try to discover the truth.
Thursday, April 7 at 4:40 PM
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Logline: Behind 12-year-old Mussa’s carefree laugh and toothy grin is a mystery: he hasn’t spoken since his family fled Sudan five years ago, seeking a better life in Israel. A potent and moving documentary about the immigrant experience.
**documentary subject, James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Solomonov, in attendance**
Thursday, April 7 at 6:20 PM
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Logline: Director Roger Sherman (a two-time Oscar® nominee) follows James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Solomonov on a cinematic and culinary tour of Israel’s vibrant food scene—proving there’s way more to Israeli food than falafel and hummus.
Thursday, April 7 at 9:15 PM
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Logline: Michael, the son of a beloved, once-famous Jewish musician, returns to Morocco to bury his father. When he meets his father’s bandmates, his life unexpectedly transforms.
Friday, April 8 at 1:30 PM
Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island
Logline: An absorbing documentary about rebellious American socialite Peggy Guggenheim, who spent a lifetime—and a fortune—breaking society’s rules to become one of the preeminent art collectors of the 20th century.
Saturday, April 9 at 6:30 PM
Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island
Logline: When Lucas’s secret stash of cash is stolen after a one-night stand with a sexy blonde, he puts his law degree and love of detective novels to good use in this witty, Argentinian rom-com whodunit.
**followed by live musical performance from rock star and documentary subject Avi Vaknin**
Saturday, April 9 at 8:40 PM
Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island
Logline: Sderot, a town of factory workers and rock musicians transforming Israel’s sound, is also the target of near-constant Hamas rockets. Filmmaker Laura Bialis travelled there to tell this captivating story and fell in love, changing the course of her life.
Sunday, April 10 at 1:00 PM
Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island
Logline: Twenty years after Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination, a candid and sensitive portrait of the complex leader and his dramatic life emerges, through rare archival footage, news interviews, home movies, and private letters—as recounted by Rabin himself, in his own words from assembled recordings.
**short film director Gail Reimer (IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF REGINA JONAS) in attendance**
Sunday, April 10 at 3:25 PM
Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island
Logline: An international team of architects, historians, artists, and scholars chase an improbable dream: to reconstruct one of Poland’s most magnificent, lost wooden synagogues in this visually resplendent documentary. Film provided by the National Center for Jewish Film.
**star Navid Negahban (HOMELAND, AMERICAN SNIPER) in attendance**
Sunday, April 10 at 6:15 PM
Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island
Logline: In 1980s Israel, three generations of stubborn Persian-Jewish immigrants struggle to manage their family’s ramshackle turkey farm in the Negev Desert in this coming-of-age, father-son drama. Israel’s submission to the 2016 Oscars®.
About Seattle Jewish Film Festival: www.seattlejewishfilmfestival.org In its 21st year, the Seattle Jewish Film Festival is a nine-day annual event and year-round international cinematic exploration and celebration of Jewish and Israeli life, culture, and history. Founded in 1995 by AJC Seattle, SJFF is now a program of the Stroum Jewish Community Center and a vital cornerstone of its Cultural Arts season and programming.  Central to the J’s community-building mission, SJFF brings people together to inspire learning and new perspectives by showcasing the virtuosity and diversity of Jewish cinema and talent.

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