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JCC Special Events: KC Jewish Film Festival

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           Save the Date!  October 11 - October 19, 2014

 


 

The Kansas City Jewish Film Festival (KCJFF) features Great Films, with a Jewish Twist, that
would not be seen in the Kansas City area otherwise. 


Your contribution helps the Kansas City Jewish Film Festival bring these great stories to our
city and to produce special events celebrating Jewish culture and film. 

Your generous contribution is essential to the future of the KCJFF.


To make a donation, just click on the button below and enter an amount that you would like to donate.

KCJFF is a non-profit 501 c (3) organization.  Your donation is tax-deductible.

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Thank you to our Sponsors! 

2013 Films


 

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A Bottle in the Gaza Sea

Director: Thierry Binisti 
2013 | 100 min | Drama
France | Israel | Canada
Hebrew | Arabic | French | English subtitles 

17-year-old Tal has emigrated from France to Jerusalem with her family. She writes a letter expressing her refusal to accept that only hatred can reign between Israelis and Palestinians. She slips the letter into a bottle, and her brother throws it into the sea near Gaza, where he is carrying out his military service. A few weeks later, Tal receives an e-mail response from a mysterious “Gazaman,” a young Palestinian named Naim. Thus begins a turbulent but tender long-distance friendship between two young people separated by a history they try to understand and change.


 

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Nicky's Family

Director: Matej Minác 
2013 | 96 min | Documentary
Czech Republic |  Slovak Republic
English


Sponsored by Sheryl and Ron Davidow

One act of kindness changed the world.  Nicky’s Family tells the nearly forgotten story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II.  Dozens of Winton’s “children” have been found and  his family has grown to almost 6,000 people, many of whom have gone on to achieve great things themselves.  Winton’s courageous acts many years ago continue to influence people from all over the world and motivate them to do good.


 

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The Matchmaker

Director: Avi Nesher
2012 | 112 min | Drama
Israel
Hebrew | English subtitles


Sponsored by the Alon family in memory of Michal Alon

Avi Nesher’s latest film mixes comedy with drama as it tells a
coming-of-age story of Arik, a teenager growing up in Haifa in 1968.  Arik lands a summer job working for matchmaker Yankele Bride.  A mysterious Holocaust survivor, Yankeleh, has an office in the back of a movie theater that screens only love stories and is run by a family of seven Romanian dwarves. During his summer with Yankeleh, Arik is introduced to a new world, built on the ruins of an old one.


 

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Hitler's Children

Director: Chanoch Ze’evi
2012 | 80 minutes | Documentary
USA | Germany | Israel
German | Hebrew | English | English subtitles


Sponsored by Shirley and Barnett Helzberg


Hitler’s Children is a film about the descendants of the most powerful figures in the Nazi regime: men and women who were left a legacy that permanently associates them with one of the greatest crimes in history. What is it like for them to have grown up with a name that immediately raises images of murder and genocide? How do they cope with the fact that they are the children of Himmler, Goering, Hoess?

Discussion Following: Rabbi Neil Schuster, KU Hillel  



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The Optimists
Director:Jacky Comforty
2005 | 83 min | Documentary | USA

Bulgarian | English | Hebrew | English subtitles

Sponsored in honor of the
Bulgarian - Kansas City Federation partnership

by Patricia Werthan Uhlmann

In 1943 11,500 Bulgarian Jews at Nazi deportation centers were told to go home.
Ultimately, the entire 50,000-member Jewish community of Bulgaria was spared the Holocaust, the only Jewish community to survive intact in Nazi Europe.  Israeli filmmaker Jacky Comforty is the son of Bulgarian Jews; his paternal grandparents and extended family were among those rounded up for the train ride to Auschwitz. He grew up wanting to tell the story of the Bulgarian Jews before those who lived it are gone. This is that story.

Discussion Following: Alan Edelman and Patricia Werthan Uhlmann


 

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Paris-Manhattan

Director: Sophie Lellouche
2012 | 77 min | Comedy/Romance 

France | French | English subtitles


Sponsored by Denise and Scott Slabotsky


Alice is obsessed with the movies of Woody Allen. She continually quotes lines from his films and even prescribes her customers his classic works to help alleviate their ailments.  Alice’s increasingly concerned Jewish parents hope to cure her fixation by setting her up with a handsome French gentleman but even he quickly realizes that he’s no match for the man of her dreams.  Playfully poking fun at France’s ongoing love affair with the acclaimed New York auteur, Paris-Manhattan affectionately references a slew of indelible movie moments, and is a fun and brazenly nostalgic comedy for anyone ever bitten by the Woody bug, or the City of Light…or both.

 


 

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Foreign Letters

Director: Ela Thier
2012 | 100 min | Drama
USA | English

Sponsored by the Gill family and the
Kershenbaum family

 

Set in the 80’s, 12-year-old Ellie arrives in the US from Israel and must cope with homesickness and humiliations in school. Life brightens when she meets Thuy, a Vietnamese refugee. The two girls find solace and adventure with each other but when their friendship comes to an end, Ellie must give up her efforts to blend in and embrace who she is, in order to win her friend back.  Ellie learns that oceans, or wars, or even one’s parents, can change the fact that once you are friends with someone — it’s forever.

Discussion Following: Tamara Falicov, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Kansas 

 


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Dorfman in Love

Director:  Bradley Leong
2013 | 92 min | Comedy | USA | English

Sponsored by Bonnie and Herb Buchbinder

Deb Dorfman is 27 and single, living in suburban Los Angeles with her depressed widowed father and working for her manic married brother.  When Jay, her unrequited love, needs a cat sitter for a week, Deb volunteers.  Bad news: Jay just moved into a downtown L.A. loft and it’s a total mess. Good news: this gives Deb one week to transform the chaos into the perfect home for Jay and win his heart.  Over the course of one crazy week, Deb Dorfman discovers true love by having learned to love herself.

 


 


 


 

2012 Films


Remembrance

Saturday, October 13 - 7:30 p.m.
Director: Anna Justice | Germany/Poland/USA 2011 | 105 min
English, German and Polish; English subtitles

Sponsored by Deb and Mike Gill

In this epic romance spanning three decades, a Polish partisan and German Jewish woman forge an unshakeable bond in the dark shadow of the Holocaust.  After a daring escape from a Nazi death camp, Tomasz and a pregnant Hannah are forcibly separated in the chaos of war, each convinced the other has died.  The events of 1944 Poland are crosscut with 1976 Brooklyn, where an older Hannah-now married mother- glimpses a television interview that rocks her to the core.  The stunning realization that her lost love may still be alive triggers a spiral of unresolved emotions and moral ambiguities as Hannah must now confront her unresolved past.  Based on actual events, Remembrance is a heartfelt journey told with restraint and compassion.



 

The Rescuers

Sunday, October 14 - 2:00 p.m.
Director: Michael King | USA 2012 | 94 min | English

Sponsored in honor of Dr. Jonathan Chilton

Many heroes defied the Nazis to save countless Jews, chief among them the 12 diplomats whose efforts are documented in this riveting documentary from award winning filmmaker Michael King and Producer Joyce D. Mandell. The film traces the journey of Stephanie Nyombayire, a young Rwandan anti-genocide activist who teams up with Sir Martin Gilbert, the renowned Holocaust historian, to travel across 15 countries and three continents interviewing survivors and descendants of the diplomats who rescues tens of thousands of Jews from the unspeakable horrors of the Nazi death camps.  While Nyombayire embarks upon this quest in an effort to uncover potential solutions for the ongoing genocide in Darfur and elsewhere, what emerges from their journey is a testament to the ways in which the inherent good in the human spirit can trump institutional evil.


A Serious Man

Monday, October 15 – 7:30 p.m.
Directors: Ethan and Joel Cohen | USA 2009 | 106 min | English

Sponsored by Robin and Bill Carr

Imaginatively exploring questions of faith, familial responsibility, delinquent behavior, dental phenomena, academia, mortality, and Judaism- and intersections thereof- A Serious Man is the story of an ordinary man’s search for clarity.  It is 1967, and Larry Gopnik, a physics professor at a quiet Midwestern university, facing a myriad of challenging difficulties, struggles to find balance.  Can anyone help him cope with his afflictions and become a righteous person- a mensch- a serious man?

Discussion Following: Rabbi Neil Schuster, KU Hillel


Jews and Baseball - An American Love Story

Wednesday, October 17 – 7:00 p.m.
Director: Peter Miller | USA 2010 | 91 min | English

Sponsored by Scott Slabotsky
Co-sponsored by
B'Yachad: A program of CAJE/ Jewish Federation

Jews and Baseball explores the connection between Jewish Americans and baseball, our nation’s most iconic institution.  More than a film about sports, it is a story of immigration, assimilation, bigotry, heroism, traditions, and the shattering of stereotypes.

Discussion Following: Dr. Raymond Doswell, VP of Curatorial Services, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

 


 

This Is Sodom

Saturday, October 20 – 8:00 p.m.
Directors: Adam Sanderson & Muli Segev
Israel | 2010 | 88 min | Hebrew with subtitles

Sponsored by the Alon family in memory of Michal Alon

The biggest box office hit in Israel in 25 years, This Is Sodom is a raucous and bawdy comedy.  As God’s wrath draws closer, Abraham, Lot, the Sodomites and even the avenging angels are seduced by the decadent delights of the most famous Sin City in history.  Skewering everything from religious figures, reality TV, game shows, musicals and vapid celebrities to contemporary Israeli culture, the cast of the comedy troupe Eretz Nehederet (the Israeli Saturday Night Live)  leaves no sacred cow unslaughtered.


  The Yankles

Sunday, October 21 – 4:00 p.m.
Director: David R. Brooks | USA 2009 | 115 min | English

Sponsored by Trudy and John Jacobson

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!

The Yankles is the story of an upstart, orthodox yeshiva baseball team that earns a ticket to compete in the college world series.  Their coach, Charlie Jones, is an ex-major league center fielder on parole and desperate to fulfill his community service.  While The Yankles strive for success on the field, Charlie works to rebuild his reputation and relationships, and, in the process, finds redemption.


 

Le Concert

Sunday, October 21 – 8:00 p.m.
Director: Radu Mihaileanu | France/ Russia 2009 | 119 min
French and Russian with subtitles

Sponsored by Shirley and Barnett C. Helzberg

Thirty years ago the renowned conductor of the Bolshoi orchestra was fired for hiring Jewish musicians.  Now a janitor at the Bolshoni, he mops the stage where he once conducted.  One day he intercepts an invitation for the Bolshoi to play in Paris and decides to gather together his old orchestra musicians to perform in Paris in the place of the current Bolshoi orchestra.  Le Concert is a crowd- engaging, emotionally stirring film that will leave you cheering!

SUBMIT YOUR FILM
The Kansas City Jewish Film Festival is currently seeking submissions for October 2014 Deadline for submission for the 2014 KCJFF is February 28, 2014. Narrative and documentary films, features and shorts, are all welcome for consideration, so long as the work meets the spirit of our mission statement:

"The Kansas City Jewish Film Festival provides our diverse community an opportunity to encounter Jewish ideas and values by creating an open, inviting, and entertaining forum for films that explore issues of culture, identity, and history."



If you are a filmmaker or distributor with a recent film that you believe would fit well into our festival, please send a DVD for the committee's consideration to:

Kansas City Jewish Film Festival
Attn: Krista Blackwood
Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City
5801 West 115 Street, Suite 101
Overland Park, KS 66211

2013 Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City.
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