2015 Film Selections Now Available!

Films are listed alphabetically.


An Apartment in Berlin
Documentary/Germany/2014/84 minutes
Directed by Alice Agneskirchner
English, Hebrew and German with English subtitles


Attracted by its cosmopolitan and international atmosphere, Berlin has become a magnet for young Israelis – and the three characters at the center of this film are no exception. Three generations after the Holocaust, Eyal, Yael and Yoav embark on a complex journey into the past. By retracing the lives and refurnishing the original apartment of a Jewish family from Berlin once deported by the Nazis, they take us into their current lives, raising different opinions on how, or if, to come to terms with history.

• Sunday, May 3, 11:00 am
Laemmle’s Playhouse, Pasadena


Sponsored by Pasadena Jewish Temple & Center in cooperation with the Villa Aurora

The Art Dealer (l’Antiquaire)
Los Angeles Premiere
Drama/France/2014/95 minutes
Directed by François Margolin
Starring Anna Sigalevitch
French with English subtitles


From renowned French director François Margolin (The Flight of the Red Balloon) comes this stylish new thriller set in the murky world of Nazi-looted art. A young journalist, Esther Stegmann, finds herself caught up in a web of betrayal and complicity as she embarks on a journey to recover family paintings that were stolen by the Nazis. Desperately searching for the truth in a past shrouded in mystery, she uncovers a story that has been carefully buried for decades by those closest to her and learns that some family secrets are best kept hidden.

• Saturday, May 2, 8:00 pm
Laemmle’s Town Center, Encino

Q&A with Randol Schoenberg, renowned art restitution lawyer and subject of “Woman in Gold”


Sponsored by Pamela & Randol Schoenberg in cooperation with the LA Museum of the Holocaust


Auf Das Leben! (To Life!)
Southern California Premiere

Drama/ Germany/2014/95 minutes
Directed by Uwe Janson
Written by Stephen Glantz
Produced by Alice Brauner
Starring Hannelore Elsner, Max Riemelt, Sharon Brauner
German with English subtitles


Adapted from the original story “If Stones Could Cry” by Stephen Glantz (writer of the acclaimed film Wunderkinder.) Fate has taken its toll on the suicidal aging cabaret singer and Holocaust survivor, Ruth, and Jonas, a sickly young man on the run, driven by his own secret. Yet despite their great age difference, they form a intense bond and teach each other about life and love and give each other a reason and purpose to live. A modern day “Harold and Maude.”

• Monday, May 4, 7:30 pm
Laemmle’s Music Hall, Beverly Hills

Introduction by Consul General Dr. Bernd Fischer of the Consulate General of Germany

Q&A with writer Stephen Glantz, moderated by ADL Associate Director Matthew Friedman


Tuesday, May 5, 7:30 pm
Laemmle’s Town Center, Encino

Q&A with writer Stephen Glantz, moderated by ADL Holocaust Education Chair Ron Frydman 


 Sponsored by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in cooperation with the Anti-Defamation League


2013 ADL Black transparent background


Short/Israel/2013/39 minutes
Directed by Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
Starring Sarah Adler & Ulrich Thomsen
Produced by Yael Abecassis & Hillel Roseman
Hebrew with English subtitles 

Nominee for the 2014 Academy Awards Best Live Action Short!


This Academy Award nominated film features strong performances by its lead actors as it tells the story of two strangers who meet unexpectedly at an airport. He mistakenly confuses her to be his assigned driver. She, enchanted by the random encounter, does not hurry to prove him wrong.

Playing with:

A Letter From The Past (Mikhtav me-he’avar)
West Coast Premiere
Short/Israel/2013/52 minutes
Directed by Ofer Zingerman
Produced by Yael Abecassis & Hillel Roseman
Hebrew with English subtitles 


It took the letter 28 years to arrive from Berlin, East Germany to Tel-Aviv, Israel. But Menachem is afraid to find out what the brother he lost contact with 40 years ago may have written in it. With the help his neighbor, Menachem dares to confront a secret that’s been haunting him since his adolescence, a secret born out of a decision made during the dark days of the Second World War. That decision changed his life and now Menachem finds that an even more difficult one lies ahead.

• Sunday, May 3, 2:45 pm
Laemmle’s Town Center,  Encino

Q&A with composer Assaf Rinde


In cooperation with the Consulate General of Israel and CSUN Jewish Studies Program

Barchu Call To Action
Student Film Showcase
Shorts & PSAs/USA/75 minutes
2015 Multiple teen directors

Back for the third year, LAJFF and The Righteous Conversations Project will showcase a diverse range of student films that illuminate human stories to promote a more just, humane and dignified world.

• Sunday, May 3, 11:00 am
Laemmle’s Royal

Student filmmaker panel


In partnership with The Righteous Conversations Project at LA Museum of the Holocaust 

Belle and Sebastian
Los Angeles Premiere
Drama/France/2014/104 minutes
Directed by Nicolas Vanier
French with English subtitles or dubbed into English

Dove “Family-Approved” – For Ages 12 and up

Belle & Sebastien

This cinematic, heartwarming tale is set during WWII in the snowy Alps of occupied France, on the border of Switzerland. Sebastian, lonely and dreaming of the day his mother will return from America for him, befriends “the beast” the local farmers are convinced is killing their sheep – an enormous yet gentle sheepdog who quickly becomes the boy’s best friend and protector. With Nazis in the village rooting out the resistance fighters helping Jewish refugees cross the border, Belle and Sebastian’s loyalty – to each other and the village that’s embraced them both – will be put to the test. Among the highest grossing French films of recent time, Belle and Sebastian is a heartwarming tale that will thrill audiences of all ages. 

Winner of the Films4Families Youth Jury Award at the Seattle International Film Festival.  

Sunday, May 3, 5:00 pm, Family Friendly Dubbed Version
Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills


Wednesday, May 6, 7:30 pm, Subtitled
Laemmle’s Town Center, Encino


Sponsored by the Goldrich Family Foundation in partnership with the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust


Los Angeles Premiere 

Drama/Russia/2014/120 minutes
Directed by Alexander Mitta
Russian with English subtitles 


The artistic and political revolution of early 19th century Russia is mythologized in this magical period drama about the uneasy relationship between two artistic geniuses. Inspired by the memoirs of Marc Chagall, the film blends fact and folklore to evoke the return of the iconic Jewish artist (portrayed by Leonid Bichevin) to his childhood home of Vitebsk. Leaving behind immense success in Paris, Chagall marries his love, Bella Rosenfeld, produces copious paintings, and establishes the Academy of Modern Art. Chagall invites Polish abstract painter Kazimir Malevich to teach at the art school and a rivalry develops. As the October Revolution sweeps across Russia, historical events intrude on personal struggles and threaten their lives. Brimming with surrealistic imagery from the paintings of Chagall and Malevich, this sumptuous melodrama marks veteran Russian filmmaker Alexander Mitta’s return after a decade-long hiatus. 

Wednesday, May 6, 7:30 pm
Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills

Q&A on behalf of Michael Schwartz, owner of Galerie Michael in Beverly Hills, we have Robert Avelano, Gallery Director, and Richard Reiner, Art Consultant, speaking on the art and life of Chagall


In cooperation with Galerie Michael, Beverly Hills

Dancing Before the Enemy: How a Teenage Boy Fooled the Nazis and Lived
Los Angeles Premiere
Documentary/USA/2014/63 minutes
Directed by Adam Bardach


Film producer Gene Gutowski (Repulsion, The Pianist) was fourteen when the Nazis in- vaded his hometown of Lwow, Poland. With a combination of chutzpah, street smarts and an unflinching will to live, he spent the war flirting with danger as a teenage Jew hiding in plain site. As recounted with humor and pathos to his son, filmmaker Bardach, his remarkable survival tale represents a thumb of the nose at darkness and totalitarianism.

Q&A with filmmaker, Adam Bardach

Preceded by:
Death and the Maiden
Los Angeles Premiere
Short/Israel/Germany/2014/29 minutes
Written & Directed by Yael Lotem
German and Hebrew with English subtitles


Shortly after World War II, over 1,000 paintings were discovered in a cellar in southern France. The paintings were created by a young Jewish woman named Charlotte Salomon. She painted her turbulent life ina unique creation called: ‘Life? Or Theater? This film unravels her extraordinary and tragic story.

Monday, May 4, 7:30 pm
Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills


In partnership with Temple Emanuel and Hadassah

The Divorce
Los Angeles Premiere

Short/United Kingdom/17 minutes/2014
Directed by Danny Scheinmann & David Scheinmann


Jason and Olivia have been married for ten years and the joy has left their relationship. They go to the Rabbi to ask for a divorce. He suggests that before they separate they throw a party as a way of celebrating their ten years. The guests are confused. What do you wear to a divorce party? What do you say? What do you bring? Jason has a little too much to drink and reads a funny speech except no one finds it funny. Now with everyone staring at him, he has no choice but to speak from the heart. What he says changes everything.

Produced with support from The Pears Short Film Fund at UK Jewish Film Festival
Winner of the 2014 UK Jewish Film Festival

Playing with: 

West Coast Premiere 
Comedy/United Kingdom/Hungary/94 minutes/2014
Directed by John Goldschmidt
Starring Jonathan Pryce, Pauline Collins & Jerome Holder


Widowed and down on his luck, Nat Dayan (Pryce) is desperate to save his bakery in London’s East End. His customers are dying off, his sons have no interest in the family business, and hostile businessman Sam Cotton has his own greedy plans for the property. In a pinch, Nat reluctantly enlists the help of teenager Ayyash (Holder,) a refugee from Darfur. The Muslim boy assists with the bakery’s chores, while selling cannabis on the side to help his struggling mother make ends meet. Ayyash, one day accidently drops his stash into the dough and the challah starts flying off the shelf. An unlikely friendship forms between the old Jewish baker and his young Muslim apprentice. Meanwhile, Joanna (Collins,) the recently widowed landlady, has a none-too-subtle crush on Nat. A warmhearted and gently humorous story about overcoming prejudice and finding redemption in unexpected places.

Saturday, May 2, 8:00 pm
Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills 

Introduction by Stephen Margolis, Chair of the UK Jewish Film Festival 


In partnership with the UK Jewish Film Festival  

Forbidden Films
Los Angeles Premiere 
Documentary/Germany/2014/94 minutes
Directed by Felix Moeller
German with English subtitles 

1,200 feature films were made in Germany’s Third Reich. Some 100 of these were blatant Nazi propaganda, crafted specifically to engender anti-Semitism among the masses. Seventy years later, more than 40 of these films remain under lock and key, banned from public viewing. Director Felix Moeller (Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Süss) interviews renowned film historians and filmmakers who debate the power and potential danger of cinema when used for ideological purposes. Utilizing clips from these films he shows how controversial they still are, and how propaganda can retain its punch. 

Tuesday, May 5, 7:00 pm
Goethe Institut Los Angeles

Q&A with Dr. Jan-Christopher Horak, Director of UCLA Television and Film Archive, moderated by Fareed C. Majari, Director of the Goethe Institut


Sponsored by the Goethe Institut Los Angeles and the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany
NOTE ON PARKING: Guests are welcome to park in the parking garage below the Goethe-Institut after 6.00pm and receive $1 Validated parking.http://www.goethe.de/ins/us/los/uun/anf/enindex.htm

Frank vs. God
Los Angeles Premiere
Comedy/USA/2014/100 minutes
Directed by Stewart Schill
Starring Henry Ian Cusick and Ever Carradine


Sometimes overcoming life’s obstacles begins by serving God… with a lawsuit. Former hotshot lawyer, David Frank, is determined that someone must pay, after his house is destroyed by a tornado. His insurance company deems it an “act of God” and refuses to pay. With no other choice, he decides to sue God. His clever legal antics turn the courtroom into a spectacle as he cross-examines representatives of the world’s religions. But sparks fly when he meets God’s charming and intelligent Jewish defense lawyer, Rachel.

Saturday, May 2, 8:00 pm
Temple Menorah, Redondo Beach

Q&A with Stewart Schill


Life & Hummus
West Coast Premiere

Short/USA/Israel/2014/40 minutes
Directed by Alex Matros
English, Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles


A Jewish American filmmaker travels through Israel, on the hunt for ‘the worlds best’ hummus. For three weeks his search for the food’s origins also introduced him to both Arabs and Israeli’s with a common love for hummus. As Alex ate his way through the Middle East, his joy in discovering the exotic tastes and the people who poured all their love into their food is infectious. This is a great little film to lift the spirits and go out looking for your closest Middle Eastern restaurant.

Q&A with Alex Matros 

Preceded by:

Wandering Rabbi
West Coast Premiere

Short/USA/2014/15 minutes
Directed by Henry Wiener


A young, traveling rabbi makes his way through the American South, struggling to breathe life back into dwindling rural Jewish congregations. Making stops in backwoods swamps and open delta, in towns like Greenwood, Natchez, and Tupelo. Wandering Rabbi gives viewers the opportunity to meet an eclectic array of people and communities.

Q&A with Henry Wiener

Saturday, May 2, 8:00 pm
Congregation Beth Shalom of Santa Clarita


Sponsored by Congregation Beth Shalom of Santa Clarita

Tuesday, May 5, 12:30 pm
National Council of Jewish Women


Community Sponsor: Café Europa

Sponsored by Chana & Phil Bell in honor of Sophie & Max Lazar 

Mr. Kaplan
Dramedy/Uruguay/2014/98 minutes
Directed by Alvaro Brechner
Spanish with English subtitles


After fleeing Europe during WWII, Jacob Kaplan built a quiet and successful life for himself in Uruguay. Then at the age of 76, he begins to question his worth. After learn- ing of a mysterious German prowling the shores of a nearby beach, he becomes con- vinced that he’s found a Nazi war criminal in hiding and plans to expose him. Mr. Kaplan is a heartwarming story that explores family, aging, and the drive for significance.

Wednesday May 6, 7:30 pm
Temple Israel of Hollywood


Sponsored by Temple Israel of Hollywood


The Outrageous Sophie Tucker
Los Angeles Premiere
Documentary/USA/2014/96 minutes
Directed by William Gazecki
Produced by Susan and Lloyd Ecker
Featuring: Barbara Walters, Tony Benett, Bruce Vilanch, Michael Feinstein, Mamie Van Doren & Connie Stevens 


The rags to riches story of Sophie Tucker, the iconic superstar who ruled the worlds of vaudeville, Broadway, radio, television, and Hollywood throughout the 20th century. Before Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Bette Midler, Marilyn Monroe, and Mae West, Sophie Tucker was the first woman to infatuate her audiences with a bold, bawdy and brassy style unlike any other. Using all of “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas” 400-plus recently rediscovered personal scrapbooks, authors Susan and Lloyd Ecker take you on their seven-year journey retracing Tucker’s sixty-year career in show business.


Thursday April 30
7:00 pm doors open for reception and red carpet
8:15 pm show begins with…


The Steve Tisch Cinema Center at the Saban Theatre, Beverly Hills

Q&A with filmmakers Susan and Lloyd Ecker and Mamie Van Doren, moderated by Stan Taffel, three time Emmy Award Winner, Hollywood Host and Classic Film Archivist


Sponsored by Annette and Robert Lichtenstein
Co-Sponsored by Temple of the Arts

NOTE ON PARKING: Street parking after 7 pm on Wilshire or after 6 pm on La Cienega. Paid lots are located at 8484 Wilshire (Flynt Building) or 8383 Wilshire (off Gale.)

Sunday, May 3, 7:15 pm
Laemmle Town Center, Encino

Q&A with filmmakers Susan and Lloyd Ecker


In cooperation with the MorningStar Commission


Prisoners of War (Hatufim)
Drama-Series/Israel/2010 – 2013
Written, directed & produced by Gideon Raff
Hebrew with English subtitles


Winner of the Israeli Academy Award for Best Drama Series. Adapted into the acclaimed series “Homeland” for Showtime!

The series depicts three Israeli soldiers who were captured seventeen years ago while on a secret mission in Lebanon. The story begins with the soldiers’ return home after years of negotiations for their freedom. It explores their reintegration into a society that has made them national icons, while working through the trauma of being held captive and tortured. As they undergo military debriefings, a psychiatrist finds discrepancies in their stories, and an investigation is launched to discover what they are hiding.


Thursday, May 7, 7:30 pm
ArcLight Cinemas, Sherman Oaks

Q&A with series creator, Gideon Raff moderated by Rob Eshman, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of The Jewish Journal


Sponsored by the Israeli-American Council (IAC)


Roadmap Genesis
Los Angeles Premiere
Documentary/USA/78 minutes/ 2015
Directed by Nolan Lebovitz
Featuring Alan Dershowitz, Rabbi David Wolpe, Rabbi Sharon Brous


Roadmap Genesis is a film that makes the case that the Book of Genesis is more relevant now than ever before. The film exposes viewers to a wide spectrum of ideas and dialogues, including conversations with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (now on the Fox News Channel), Alan Dershowitz, Rabbi David Wolpe, Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, and Rabbi Sharon Brous. Roadmap Genesis promises to lift the U.S. out of its current decline, and return it to prosperity, promise, and accomplishment.

Wednesday, May 6, 7:30 pm
Laemmle’s Royal, West LA

Q&A with Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple, Rabbi Sharon Brous of IKAR, and filmmaker Nolan Lebovitz, moderated by Susan Freudenheim, Executive Editor at the Jewish Journal


In partnership with Atid of Sinai Temple, Sinai Temple and IKAR

Secrets of War
West Coast Premiere 

Drama/Belgium/Luxembourg/Netherlands/2014/96 minutes
Directed by Dennis Bots
Dutch with English subtitle

Suitable for young audiences – This film is recommended for ages 12 and up


Inseparable childhood friends in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands find their loyalty severely tested in the family-friendly, coming-of-age story. Summer 1943, 12-year-old best friends Tuur and Lambert are all but oblivious to the dangers of the war. Days are spent going to school and playing in the woods and caves outside their idyllic village in Limburg. Reality soon intrudes and begins to divide families. Tuur’s family joins the resistance movement, while Lambert’s parents, allied with the Nazi party, force him to join the Nazi Youth. Their relationship becomes particularly strained, however, with the arrival of Maartje, a dark-haired girl with a mysterious identity. As the boys compete for her attentions, jealousy and betrayal set in motion a series of high-stakes events that will alter their lives forever.

Official Selection for Toronto International Film Festival

Preceded by:
Curt Lowens: A Life of Changes
Short/USA/6 minutes/2014
Directed by Justin Binder, August Blum, Robert Carlson, Levin Glaser, George Khabbaz, Kayla Mossanen, and Tammy Shine


The High school students in the Righteous Conversations Workshop bring to the screen Holocaust Survivor Curt Lowens’ story of escape and resistance during World War II in Holland, where he placed and cared for hundreds of Jewish children in hiding.

Tuesday, May 5, 7:30 pm
Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills

Q&A with Holocaust survivor/Dutch resistance fighter and veteran actor, Curt Lowens


In partnership with Holland Hollywood Connection and the Consulate General of the Netherlands, & the Righteous Conversations Project


Touchdown Israel 
Los Angeles Premiere
Documentary/Israel/USA/2014/81 minutes
Directed by Paul Hirschberger
English and Hebrew with English subtitles


Packed with plenty of gridiron action, gritty athletics and irreverent humor, TOUCHDOWN ISRAEL goes inside the improbable rise of the pigskin sport in the Holy Land. American-style, full-contact, tackle football was first imported in the late 1980s by foreign-born Israelis who missed the scrimmages of their youth. Initially hampered by woefully inadequate playing fields and an indifferent public, the Israeli Football League received a boost from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who funded a football stadium and continues his support as a league sponsor. Today, football in Israel is thriving, with 11 teams and over 600 amateur players from a cross-section of Israeli society, including Arabs, Christians, secular and Orthodox Jews ­ even Palestinians. Filmmaker Paul Hirschberger captures the surprising camaraderie among these weekend warriors who hail from widely different backgrounds, but sideline their differences for the sake of teamwork and love of sport. In a quest for an Israel Bowl championship, ordinary Israeli citizens are transformed into fierce competitors, revealing new aspects of themselves along the way. In a country where off-the-field rivalries run deep, TOUCHDOWN ISRAEL celebrates the unifying power of sports amidst the broad religious and cultural diversity of Israel.

Q&A with Director, Paul Hirschberger 

Sunday, May 3, 5:00 pm
Laemmle Town Center, Encino


Dedicated to the memory of Robert Irmas, a supporter of the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival with a passion for his family, life and sports.

Treblinka’s Last Witness
West Coast Premiere

Documentary/USA/2014/100 minutes
Produced and Directed by Alan Tomlinson
Executive Producers John LaBonia, Michael Berenbaum & Adrienne Kennedy
English, Polish and Hebrew with English subtitles


Samuel Willenberg, now 92 years old, is the last living survivor of the Treblinka death camp where an estimated 900,000 Jews were murdered in a period of just 13 months at the height of World War II. Still haunted 70 years later by the horrors he witnessed, Samuel has immortalized the Treblinka story in a series of bronze sculptures of the tragic victims who dwell indelibly in his memory like ghosts. These breathtaking sculptures, together with archival footage and photographs illustrate Samuel’s riveting narrative.

Q&A with director Alan Tomlinson and producer and Holocaust scholar, Michael Berenbaum moderated by Naomi Pfefferman Magid, Arts & Entertainment Editor of the Jewish Journal

Sunday, May 3,  7:15 pm
Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills


Sponsored by Marilyn Ziering in cooperation with the Sigi Ziering Institute as the American Jewish University and the Consulate General of Poland

Documentary/Ethiopia/USA/2014/68 minutes
Directed by Melissa Donovan
English and Amharic with English subtitles

An inspirational story of hope, love and a journey of unimaginable possibilities.  A spirited 10-year-old girl, Zemene, struggles with poverty, poor education, and a life-threatening condition: a severe curvature of the spine.  At a critical moment, Zemene crosses paths with Dr. Rick Hodes, a compassionate Jewish American internist, whose life’s work is to help those in need.  With his help she gains access to quality education and undergoes surgery to correct her kyphosis. Five years after her journey begins, she returns to her rural village, determined to help others.

Sunday, May 3, 2:45 pm
Laemmle’s Music Hall, Beverly Hills

Q&A with Melissa Donovan,  and Dr. Robert M. Bernstein, MD of Cedars-Sinai, moderated by Susan Freudenheim, Executive Editor at the Jewish Journal


(Dr. Bernstein is Professor of Surgery, Medical Director of The Orthopaedic Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center)

In partnership with Jewish Wisdom & Wellness: A Festival of Learning, HUC-JIR Kalsman Institute on Judaism, & Health and Cedars-Sinai
Register for Free Events Presented by Jewish Wisdom & Wellness: Click here

LogoBanner Ced Kal_URL[1]


Monday, May 4, 7:30 pm
Laemmle’s Town Center, Encino

Q&A with Melissa Donovan, moderated by Janice Kaminer-Reznik, Co- Founder and President of Jewish World Watch


In partnership with Jewish World Watch