2010 Film Selections

Online Tickets Now Available!

2010 Highlights

2010 Film Categories

CONFLICTS and ISSUES

TRADITION and IDENTITY

HISTORY and LEGACY

INSPIRATION


CONFLICTS and ISSUES

Seven Minutes in Heaven (Sheva dakot be Gan Eden)
Los Angeles Premiere!

Drama/Israel/94 minutes/2009
Written & Directed by Omri Givon
Starring Reymond Amsalem, Award for Best
Actress, Israeli Film Academy

Hebrew with English subtitles


Since surviving a bus bombing, Galia has tended to her own recovery and also to that of her comatose boyfriend. However, the event itself is an enormous blur. On the anniversary of the explosion, Galia begins to confront and reconstruct her past. When handsome Boaz enters her life, she struggles between staying faithful to her boyfriend and making a new beginning. This film is a transcendental love story and a gripping psychological thriller.

The Loners (Habodedim)
United States Premiere!

Drama/Israel/92 minutes/2009
Written & directed by Renen Schorr
Hebrew & Russian with English Subtitles

A Tribute to Israeli Cinema
Debut appearance by Renen Schorr

This human drama, inspired by true events, centers around two loner Russian soldiers (Glory and Sasha) who are accused of smuggling arms and consequently arrested and placed in a ghastly military prison. The two young men do not want to lose their honor as soldiers and demand the opportunity to have an honorable military trial. The military isnot at all concerned with their wishes, and pushes to get them tried as civilians. Glory, insisting on a retrial, stages a mutiny and takes over the prison. This causes conflicts that send the story towards an unexpected direction.

  • Closing Night
  • Thursday, May 13, 7:30 pm
  • Laemmle’s Town Center
  • Buy tickets for The Loners (Habodedim)
  • Q & A with Renen Schorr moderated by Danielle Berrin of the Jewish Journal
  • In cooperation with the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity
  • In partnership with the Consulate General of Israel and JConnectLA

My Summer Friend
Los Angeles Premiere!

Short/USA/29 minutes/2010
Written & Directed by Antwone Fisher
Starring Mykelti Williamson & Annie Abbott

After sixteen years in prison, Romell is released on parole. He is offered an opportunity for employment at the House of David, an assisted living facility. Romell is promptly befriended by Aliza who, through her persistent urging, motivates Romell to change his outlook on life and to recognize the value of time. Ultimately, Aliza’s guidance and stories of her own tragic experiences inspire Romell to change his life for the better.

  • Q & A with Antwone Fisher

Followed by:

Holy Rollers
Los Angeles Premiere!

Drama/USA/87 minutes/2010
Directed by Kevin Asch
Written by Antonio Macia
Starring Jesse Eisenberg & Justin Bartha

Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival. LAJFF is proud to get an exclusive sneak preview of this much talked about film!



Inspired by actual events in the late nineties when Hasidic Jews were recruited as mules to smuggle ecstasy from Europe into the US. Sam Gold (Jesse Eisenberg), a young Hasid from an Orthodox Brooklyn community reluctantly follows the path his family has chosen for him. A neighbor, Yosef (Justin Bartha), senses Sam’s resistance and propositions him to transport ‘medicine’ for an Israeli dealer. Now exposed to the exciting and gritty worlds of city nightlife, Sam begins to spiral deeper into their destructive lifestyle. Sam’s double life begins to rip his family apart. In an attempt to find his path back to God, Sam must make life and death decisions.

  • Tuesday, May 11, 7:00 pm
  • Laemmle’s Music Hall
  • Buy tickets for My Summer Friend/Holy Rollers
  • Q & A with screenwriters Antwone Fisher & Antonio Macia moderated by
    Naomi Pfefferman Magid, Arts Editorof the Jewish Journal
  • Sponsored by Birthright Israel NEXT LA
  • In cooperation with the Jewish Journal

TRADITION and IDENTITY

Yiddish Hillbillies
Short/USA/3 minutes/2008
Directed by Eric Krasner

Combine vintage animation with clips of the world’s most violent orchestra, add some Mickey Katz to the soundtrack and you get, ‘Der Yiddishe Hillbillies.’

Followed by:
The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground
United States Premiere!
Documentary/USA/104 minutes/2010
Directed by Erik Greenberg Anjou

In memory of LAJFF volunteer Libby Sklamberg, mother of Klezmatic musician Lorin Sklamberg.

For 23 years the Klezmatics have been pushing the boundaries of roots music. Founded in klezmer and Yiddish arrangements, the band has collaborated with Itzhak Perlman, Chava Alberstein and kosher-gospel sensation Joshua Nelson. In 2006 they released “Wonder Wheel: Lyrics by Woody Guthrie.” Composing original music to newly discovered lyrics, the band won a Grammy Award for Best World Music. Anjou followed the band from the American heartland to Poland and Budapest, into recording studios and onto the concert stage, to capture the band’s relentless march forward.

An Evening of Kosher Film and Photography
Presented by ATID & Birthright Israel NEXT LA

The entire community is welcome to join us for an evening of “Jewish Culture”
with food, music, Jewish-themed photography and short films made by emerging
artists and filmmakers in their 20′s & 30′s.


HISTORY and LEGACY

So Soon Forgotten

Short/Canada/15 Minutes/2009

written & Directed by Zach Bernbaum

German & Hebrew with English subtitle

As thousands are sent to the gas chambers, an SS Officer is determined to stop a
train full of Hungarian Jews on its way to Auschwitz. Inspired by true events,
this is a story about human decency and putting one’s life at risk for the sake of
others. It recounts how against all odds, one man can make a difference, and be a
guiding light in the darkest of times.

  • Q & A with Zach Bernbaum

Followed by:

Shadows in Paradise

Documentary/USA/58 minutes/2008

Directed by Peter Rosen

By 1939, 30,000 intellectuals and radicals were exiled from Europe; 80% were
Jewish. These dramatic events sent many of the greatest minds of the 20th century
into exile in the United States, including Arnold Schoenberg, Thomas Mann,
Bertholt Brecht and Fritz Lang. In some ways, Los Angeles in the 30′s and early
40′s may be seen as its afterglow when scores of emigres, fleeing the upsurge of
European fascism, briefly transformed Southern California into one of the capitals
of world culture.

  • Wednesday, May 12, 1:00 pm

       Laemmle’s Town Center

    Buy tickets for So Soon Forgotten/Shadows in Paradise
  • Q & A with Randol Schoenberg
  • Invited guest: Katharina Schulenberg, Associate Producer
  • Sponsored by the Goldrich Family Foundation
  • Sponsored by Pamela & Randol Schoenberg and
    the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Berlin ’36

Los Angeles Premiere!

Drama/Germany/100 minutes/2009

Directed by Kaspar Heidelbach

Starring Karoline Herfurth

German with English subtitles

Inspired by the true story of Jewish high jumper Gretel Bergmann, this film
replays a remarkable piece of forgotten Olympic history. Bergmann was considered
a top contender for the gold medal at the 1936 Summer Games in Nazi-controlled
Berlin. Facing threats of an Olympic boycott if Jewish athletes were barred from competing, Bergmann is invited to training camp. However, the Nazis conspire to replace her with an unknown uber-athlete, Marie Ketteler, who has a secret, only to be revealed years later. The two athletes forge an unexpected friendship. This powerful film celebrates triumph over tyranny.

  • Sunday, May 9, 7:30 pm

       Laemmle’s Town Center

    Buy tickets for Berlin ’36
  • Sponsored by Goethe-Institut Los Angeles
  • Sponsored by CSUN Jewish Studies Program

Bride Flight

Los Angeles Premiere!

Drama/The Netherlands/130 minutes/2008

Directed by Ben Sombogaart

Dutch & English with English subtitles

The moving story of three women on the KLM flight that won the 1953 Air Race
from London to Christchurch, New Zealand, where they were headed to join
their already-settled fiances. Fifty years after they met on that flight, Esther,
Marjorie and Ada meet at the funeral of a fellow passenger and as they reflect on
life, love and loss, they discover just how intertwined their lives have been over
the past half century.

Cameo performance by Rutger Hauer.

  • Monday, May 10, 7:30 pm

       Laemmle’s Music Hall

    Buy tickets for Bride Flight
  • Preceded by Wine & Cheese & Shopping at Dave & Lil’s Boutique, 4:00 – 7:00 pm
  • Sponsored by the Drasin Family

Chapter 21

Short/USA/11 minutes/2009

Written and Directed by Ilya Farfell

The story of an Israeli Soldier and a Palestinian activist, each on their own journey. What they have in common is the love of chess. What separates them is their cultural background and a border inside one land.

  • Ilya Farfell invited

Preceded by:

Exodus 1947

Documentary/USA/55 minutes/2006

Written, Directed and Produced by
Elizabeth Rodgers and Robby Henson

Narrated by Morley Safer

After World War II, a group of private American citizens banded together in a
clandestine effort to transport Holocaust survivors to Palestine. On July 11, 1947,
4,500 Jewish refugees were crammed into a decrepit steamship, later named Exodus
1947.

  • Monday, May 10, 7:00 pm

    Melnitz Hall, UCLA

    Buy tickets for Chapter 21/Exodus 1947
  • Q & A with Elizabeth Rodgers and passengers of the Exodus
  • Co-sponsored by the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies, the UCLA Israel
    Studies Program, and Bruins for Israel
  • Tuesday, May 11, 12:30 pm

    Westside JCC

Playing with: This Song is Old

This Song is Old

Los Angeles Premiere!

Documentary/USA/29 minutes/2009

Directed by Bruis Sheridan

When octogenarian Sam Pfeffer heard about the Bnei Menashe, a people who
claim descent from a lost tribe of Israel and practice Judaism, he decided to
obtain a Torah and deliver it to them in remote northeastern India. So began a
personal odyssey across half the planet and 3000 years of history.

The Desperate

Short/USA/33 Minutes/2009

Directed by Ben Hur Sepehr

On a rainy night in a concentration camp, a fearsome, high-ranking Nazi General is forced to plead with a condemned Jewish doctor to save his dying only son. With the General at an impasse, he discovers that he must connect with the underlying humanity
that connects them both as fathers before there is to be any hope for his son.

  • Q & A with Ben Hur Sepehr

Followed by:

No. 4 Street of Our Lady

Los Angeles Premiere!

Documentary/USA/Poland/65 minutes/2009

A Film by Barbara Bird, Judy Maltz & Richie Sherman

Polish & Hebrew with English Subtitles

If your neighbors were being hunted down and came to your door begging for help, would you risk your life to save theirs? This film tells the remarkable, yet little-known, story of Francisca Halamajowa, a Polish-Catholic woman who rescued 16 of her Jewish
neighbors during the Holocaust. Before World War II, more than 6,000 Jews lived in
Sokal, a small town in Eastern Poland. By the end of the war, only about 30 had survived, half of them rescued by Halamajowa.

Jerusalem

Short/USA/Israel/5 minutes/2008

Directed by Charles Annenberg Weingarten

Reggae rock star Rocky Dawuni pays musical tribute to Jerusalem, a holy place cherished by many. Experience Rocky’s vision of peace and harmony as he walks the streets, witnessing the beautiful faces and places of this ancient yet modern city.

  • Q & A with Rocky Dawuni

Followed by:

The Last Survivor

Los Angeles Premiere!

Documentary/USA/88 minutes/2010

Directed by Michael Pertnoy & Michael Kleiman

Hebrew & Swedish with English Subtitles

Following the lives of four survivors of different genocides – Rwanda, Darfur
Congo and the Holocaust – this thoughtful character-based film presents the inspiring stories of these survivors and their struggle to make sense of tragedy. By working to educate, motivate and promulgate a civic response to mass atrocity crimes, they present an opportunity to learn from the past in order to have a lasting impact on the future.

  • Tuesday, May 11, 7:30 pm

       Emanuel Arts Center Theatre

    Buy tickets for Jerusalem/The Last Survivor
  • Q & A with Michael Pertnoy, moderated by Janice Kamenir-Reznik of Jewish World Watch
  • Reception to follow
  • Sponsored by Mickey Fine Pharmacy
    and Hansen’s Cakes
  • Wednesday, May 12, 7:30 pm

       Laemmle’s One Colorado

    Buy tickets for Jerusalem/The Last Survivor

  • Q & A with Michael Pertnoy
  • Sponsored by Pasadena Jewish Temple & Center
  • Both programs in partnership with Jewish World Watch

Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Süss

Sneak Preview – LA Premiere!

Documentary/Germany/99 mins/2009

Written and Directed by Felix Moeller

German & French with English Subtitles

Veit Harlan was one of Nazi Germany’s most notorious filmmakers. Millions all
across occupied Europe saw his fi lms, the most deceitful of which was the viciously
anti-Semitic propaganda fi lm Jew Süss(1940), produced under Joseph Goebbels
and required viewing for all SS members. Harlan was the only artist from the Nazi era
to be charged with war crimes. This film includes interviews with his children and
grandchildren as they consider his legacy and the hard questions it continues to pose.

Auf Wiedersehen

United States Premiere!

Documentary/USA/72 Minutes/2010

Directed by Linda Mills & Brian Dilg

Author and activist Linda Mills pries open the darkly guarded doors of history
as she journeys with her 10 year old son, her mother, Annie Mills and aunt, Rita Sinder to Vienna, Austria from where the sisters fled in 1939. There they discover an astonishing
array of collaborators, victims and unlikely heroes in a startling adventure spanning from World War II to 9/11. Annie Mills and Rita Sinder are both recognized and accomplished women in the LA Jewish community.

  • Tuesday, May 11, 5:00 pm

       Laemmle’s Town Center

    Buy tickets for Auf Wiedersehen
  • Discussion to follow with Rabbi Ed Feinstein, Rita Sinder and Annie & Linda Mills
  • Reception to follow
  • Sponsored by Valley Beth Shalom

INSPIRATION

A Matter of Size (Sipur Gadol)

Los Angeles Premiere!

Comedy/Israel/90 minutes/2009

Directed by Erez Tadmor & Sharon Maymon

Hebrew with English Subtitles

Herzl is a shy 340 pound man living with his mother in Ramle. Fired from his job because of his unpresentable image and dumped by his weight lossgroup because he keeps adding rather than shedding pounds, he takes a job as a dishwasher in a Japanese restaurant. There, he discovers the one activity where girth is a virtue and fat guys can
be rock stars – sumo wrestling! He and three obese friends begin a rigorous training program and follow their path from body shame to body celebration and from loneliness to love. With echoes of The Full Monty, this is a hilarious yet tender film.

The Yankles

Comedy/USA/115 minutes/2009

Directed by David R. Brooks

Written by David R. Brooks & Zev Brooks

A washed-up former pro player, Charlie, is sentenced to mandatory community service for a drunk driving conviction. Attempting to rebuild his reputation by volunteering to coach baseball, he soon discovers that the only people willing to give him a second chance are equally desperate yeshiva students on a quest to start their own team. While striving to lead the Yankles to the league championships, Charlie works to mend fences
with those he has wronged in the past. Co-starring Don Most (Happy Days).

  • Sunday, May 9, 5:00 pm

       Laemmle’s Town Center

    Buy tickets for The Yankles
  • Q & A with cast and producers
  • Appropriate for age 11+

       Disclaimer: Some adult language
  • Sponsored by Shirley and Phil Sniderman
  • Cracker Jacks courtesy of Susan and Mike Vizvary

Anita

Drama/Argentina/104 minutes/2009

Directed by Marcos Carnevale

Starring Norma Aleandro & Alejandra Manzo

Spanish with English Subtitles

Anita Feldman, a young woman with Down syndrome, lives a happy, routine life being meticulously cared for by her mother (Norma Aleandro). But one tragic morning changes everything when Anita is left alone and the nearby Argentine Israelite Mutual Association is bombed. As she wanders through the city, confused, she learns not only to
care for herself, but touches the lives of those around her, from an alcoholic to a family of Asian immigrants. Alejandra Manzo, an actress with Down syndrome, gives a heartbreaking and touching performance in the title role.

  • Sunday, May 9, 7:30 pm

       Laemmle’s Music Hall

    Buy tickets for Anita
  • Wednesday, May 12, 7:30 pm
       Laemmle’s Town Center

    Buy tickets for Anita
  • Sponsored by HaMercaz
  • In cooperation with the Consulate General of Argentina
  • In cooperation with the Consulate General of Israel

Student Film Showcase

Shorts/USA/80 minutes/2010

In its third year, this event will showcase Jewish student films from day/high schools throughout Los Angeles. We will present a diverse and exciting range of student work that represents the burgeoning talent of our future generation of filmmakers.

  • Sunday, May 9, 3:00 pm

       Laemmle’s Town Center

    Buy tickets for Student Film Showcase
  • Q & A with student filmmakers
  • Sponsored by The Jewish Federation
    Valley Alliance and the Martin F. Witkin Fund