NY SEPHARDIC JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL - March 30th - April 6th, 2017 (20th Anniversary Edition)
NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival - 20th Annual - March 30th to April 6th, 2017.
20th Anniversary Edition
March 30 Thursday: OPENING NIGHT
7:00 p.m. Reception Pomegranate Award Ceremony
In honor of this years Pomegranate Lifetime Achievement Awardee Mr André Azoulay, ASF is dedicating Opening Night of the 20th NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival to Morocco. We will celebrate the Moroccan tradition of tolerance, which the awardee exemplifies, with live performances of Andalusian music as well as Moroccan delicacies.
April 1 - Saturday: - IRAQI NIGHT
8:30 p.m. Letters from Baghdad directed by Sabine Krayenbühl & Zeva Oelbaum
Feature Documentary, USA, France, UK, 2016, 95 min
Letters from Baghdad is the story of a true originalGertrude Bellsometimes called the female Lawrence of Arabia. A British spy, explorer, and political powerhouse, Bell played a pivotal role in the creation of Iraq. Voiced and executive produced by the Academy Award-winner Tilda Swinton and featuring newly discovered primary source documentation and rare footage, the film unveils this dramatic story of the modern Middle East.
Filmmakers in attendance for Q&As.
April 2 Sunday: SEPHARDIM IN THE SHOAH
2:00 p.m.TheNight of Fools directed by Rami Kimchi
Docu-Drama, Israel, 2014, 56 min
This film reveals the little-know story of Algerias mostly Jewish underground movement during WWII. With only 400 volunteers versus the Vichy garrison of 25,000 troops, the underground succeeded in taking control of Algiers for one night, before handing the city over the Americans, who arrive via an amphibious landing the next morning.
4:00 p.m. Victor Young Perez directed by Jacques Ouaniche
Feature Narrative, France, 2013, 110 min
Victor "Young" Perez is the heartbreaking true story of a Tunisian Jew, the World Flyweight Champion in 1931 and 1932, who was deported to Auschwitz.
6:30 p.m. Cloudy Sunday directed by Manoussos Manoussakis
Feature Narrative, Greece, 2016, 118 min
Set in Thessaloniki (Salonica) during the Nazi occupation in 1943, this film tells the story of the forbidden love between Estrea, a young Jewish woman, and Giorgos, the brother-in-law of the famed composer Vassilis Tsitsanis.
April 3 - Monday: AN EVENING OF EMPOWERING SEPHARDI WOMEN
5:00 p.m. Dimona Twist directed by Michael Aviad
Feature Documentary, Israel, 2016, 70 min
Like most of Israels southern periphery, Dimona was a town created for primarily Middle Eastern Jewish immigrants and refugees. Seven courageous Sephardi women share their stories about being shipped to this desert town originally built in the 1950s. Determined to create meaningful lives they found creative ways to overcome poverty and discrimination.
7:00 p.m. The Womens Balcony directed by Emil Ben-Shimon
Feature Narrative, Israel, 2016, 96 min
When a womens balcony collapses during a Bar Mitzvaha close-knit Sephardic congregation in Jerusalem fractures along gender lines. This popular crowd-pleaser about women speaking truth to patriarchal power is accompanied by stirring music and sumptuous food.
April 4 - Tuesday: FROM ETHIOPIA TO ISRAEL
5:00 p.m. Red Leaves directed by Bazi Gete
Feature Narrative, Israel, 2014, 80 min
Meseganio Tadela, 74, is a hard, obstinate man who emigrated from Ethiopia to Israel 28 years ago with his family. After losing his wife, Meseganio sets out on a journey that leads him through his children's homes realizing that he belongs to a rapidly disappearing class that believes in retaining Ethiopian-Jewish culture. Young Professionals Night: Love, Sephardi Style
YOUNG PROFESSIONALS NIGHT:
7:00 p.m. Dear God directed by Erez Tadmor and Guy Nattiv
Short Narrative, Israel, 2014, 16 min
Aaron is a simple man who guards the Wailing Wall. Day after day, a mysterious woman puts a note in between the ancient stones, and Aaron, recovering and reading the papers, fulfills her deepest wish.
7:15 p.m. Jewish Blind Date directed by Anaëlle Morf
Short Narrative, Switzerland, 2016, 16 min
Unhappy in love, Mary Lou decides to reconnect with her religious roots by marrying an observant Jew. In order to get married, she has to pass the Shidduch Test, which will determine whether her life will be a success or failure.
8:00 p.m. Love, Iranian-American Style directed by Tanaz Eshaghian
Feature Documentary, USA, 2006, 63 min
Sexual purity, money, and a mother's worries come together in this humorous guided tour of America's status-obsessed Iranian Jewish community. As Tanazs Iranian family attempts to marry her off now that she's reached the age of 25, she vacillates between soppy American ideas of romance, and a more business-like Persian approach, and in the end may be unable to execute either. Filmmaker in attendance for Q&As.
April 5 - Wednesday: A GREEK ODYSSEY
6:00 p.m. Trezoros: The Lost Jews of Kastoria directed by Lawrence Russo & Larry Confino
Feature Documentary, Greece, USA, 2016, 93 min
Using never before seen archival footage, this moving documentary set in the idyllic city of Kastoria, illuminates the lives of the Greek Sephardic community until Nazis took control of the town - dooming the substantial and storied community that had existed since the times of the Roman Empire.
Filmmaker in attendance for Q&As.
8:00 p.m. The Queen of Rebetiko: My Sweet Canary directed by Roy Sher
Feature Documentary, Greece, 2011, 90 min
The story of three young musicians from Greece, Turkey, and Israel who embark on a musical journey to tell the story of Greeces best-known and best-loved Rebetiko singer, Roza Eskenazi, a woman who sang the way she lived: with passion, fire, and love.
April 6 Thursday: CLOSING NIGHT
Maimonides Friendship Award Ceremony
7:00 p.m. Sallah Shabati directed by Ephraim Kishon Feature Narrative, Israel, 1964, 110 min This sharp, often hilarious satire that became the most successful film in Israeli history, is about new immigrants Sallah and his family, who are left in a shack near their promised apartment and are abandoned for months. This 1964 classic won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, putting Israel on the international film stage for the first time.
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