Jewish Cinema Mississippi is very proud to present four films during the five days of our 2014 Festival starting Wednesday, January, 22nd and ending Sunday January 26th with a movie and live concert by noted musician (and documentary film star) Dan Nichols. This year’s film selection committee members represented a vast range of backgrounds and interests as they worked together to identify some of the many genres that are considered Jewish Cinema. Selection Committee co chairs Jonathan Larkin and Elaine Barenblat were joined by committee members Alec Kassoff, Dan Ring, David Kweller, Gail Dellar, Gavin Brannan, Lex Rofes, Peter Zapletal, Rose Mary Foncree, and Sheila Hailey as they worked very hard over the last few months to watch, review, discuss, and rate more than 25 feature films, short subjects and documentaries that were under consideration for the four available slots in the festival.
The selections for this year’s festival will stand apart for moviegoers in the variety and depth of the film’s subjects and their cinematic techniques. They are both entertaining and thought provoking as they explore contemporary Jewish life and culture in the United States and Israel while dealing with many of the hard issues confronting religious and cultural differences which exist. Hopefully they will provide a basis for community dialog long after each film is over.
The Selection Committee’s co-chairs, Jonathan Larkin and Elaine Barenblat were excited about the committee’s work on this project. Elaine mentioned “as a 20-something still relatively new to Jackson, I was thrilled and quite honored to be considered for this committee. I am very much a people-person and I love watching movies, so this has been an incredible experience and a wonderful fit for me. I look forward to continued work with Jonathan and everyone else as we finalize preparations for the big event!”
Jonathan added that “the entire committee focused on how to present the many aspects of what is now considered ‘Jewish film and culture’ to highlight its depth. And with the varied backgrounds and interests of the many members of the group, I am confident we succeeded in accomplishing this goal. We hope the greater Jackson community will join us all four evenings to experience what we’ve already shared with each other. The opportunity to showcase a brand new film being shown for the first time in the South (Wonders) and have a first showing of 2012 Foreign Film Academy Award Nominee and multiple Israeli Oscar winner Footnote is just an added plus to the selection”
The event continues to draw attendees from all segments of the Jackson community who share in the enjoyment of unique cultural experiences and independent films. We look forward to seeing our old friends as well as many new faces in January. We can’t wait to see you there!
Clarion-Ledger staff writer, LaRecca Rucker, authored a nice piece promoting this year’s JewishCinemaMississippi 2013 Film Festival on the clarionledger.com website. Speaking on the significance of one of this year’s films, Remembrance, set to screen on International Holocauset Remembrance Day, Beth Israel Rabbi Valerie Cohen states:
(It is ) the day that we honor the memory of millions of Jews and Gentiles who were massacred during the Holocaust…We use this day to reassert our commitment to human rights and religious and ethnic tolerance and appeal to our leaders to develop Holocaust history education programs to help prevent future acts of genocide.
The full article is available online at:http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013301240005
VisitMississippi.org is the official tourism resource for the State of Mississippi and we’re listed on their events page!
Check it out at: http://www.visitmississippi.org/event-details.aspx?id=23342&title=Jewish+Cinema+Mississippi+2013
Jackson Free Press writer Kathleen M. Mitchell writes:
"For the 11th year, Jewish Cinema Mississippi presents the best films of the year to explore Jewish culture. Out of 60 films screened, the selection committee chose four to bring to Madison’s Malco Grandview."
Check out the full write-up at:
Jewish Cinema Mississippi Announces 2013 Films and Program
Jewish Cinema Mississippi is pleased to announce its 2013 program. Jewish Cinema Mississippi 2013 (JCM2013) will be held on January 23, 24, 26, and 27 at the Malco Grandview Theater in Madison, MS. Dr. James Bowley, co-chair of this year’s festival, stated that “the film selection process was the most competitive year in the history of the festival. The Selection Committee screened sixty films and picked the four best. These are extraordinarily well-crafted films that have yet to be released commercially in the US or any other market.” The films range from the story of a long distance friendship between two teenagers on opposite sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a light-hearted documentary about the origin of that universally recognizable melody, Hava Nagila. The festival is cosponsored by Beth Israel Congregation and the Jewish Culture Organization at Millsaps College.
The festival opens on Wednesday, January 23, 2013, with My First Wedding, a 2011 film from Argentina about the politics of the proverbial “Big Day.” Jewish-born Adrián and Catholic-born Leonora have finally reached their wedding day. Instead of gracefully embracing matrimony, Adrián spends the hours leading up to the ceremony trying to postpone it, not because he’s got cold feet (or does he?), but because he’s clumsily lost both his and his bride-to-be’s sacred wedding rings. Disaster ensues in director Ariel Winograd’s winning comedy. The opening film is presented in loving memory of Suzanne Goodwin, a member of the 2012 festival planning committee, who passed away unexpectedly in 2012.
On Thursday, January 24, the festival presents A Bottle in the Gaza Sea, described by one reviewer as “THE story (to see to understand) the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.” It is a story of two opposites: a teenage girl living in Israel and a boy living in Palestine. The thought of people from both countries befriending one another is unimaginable considering the circumstances and years of war and rivalry – yet it happens.
On Saturday night (January 26), JCM2013 will feature Hava Nagila: THE MOVIE, followed by a live Klezmer concert (sometimes referred to as “Jewish soul music”). The film is a documentary romp through the history, mystery and meaning of the great Jewish standard. Featuring interviews with Harry Belafonte, Leonard Nimoy, Connie Francis, Glen Campbell, Regina Spektor and more, the film follows the ubiquitous party song on its fascinating journey from the shtetls of Eastern Europe to the kibbutzim of Palestine to the cul-de-sacs of America. Michael Steiner, Co-Chair of JCM2013, noted that “Hava Nagila has been a huge hit this year at other Jewish film festivals in the United States and abroad. It’s a foot-tapping celebration of 100 years of Jewish culture and spirituality. It peels back the rich history, mystery and meaning of the song which is “kitschy, but oh so profound.” The film and short concert to follow will have you dancing out of the theater.
The live Klezmer concert will begin immediately after the film Hava Nagila: THE MOVIE. The artists who will be performing include Glenn Hartman and Jonathan Freilich, two founding members of the New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars, and Beth Israel’s own Buddy “Dr. Rhythm” Fish. Klezmer is a musical tradition of the Jews of Eastern and Central Europe dating back to the 15th century. Klezmer is easily identifiable by its characteristic expressive melodies, reminiscent of the human voice. It was originally based upon devotional vocal music heard in the synagogue and later strongly influenced by traditional European dance music. The art was nearly lost in the 1930’s and 1940’s as most performers were killed during the Holocaust. Klezmer has been undergoing a revival over the last 40 years and JCM2013 is proud to bring this rich musical tradition to central Mississippi.
The festival’s final showing falls on Sunday, January 27, designated by the United Nations as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Rabbi Valerie Cohen, Beth Israel Congregation’s religious leader, stated that “Beth Israel is proud to show the filmRemembranceon this special day of observance, the day that we honor the memory of millions of Jews and gentiles who were massacred during the Holocaust. We use this day to reassert our commitment to human rights and religious and ethnic tolerance and appeal to our leaders to develop Holocaust history education programs to help prevent future acts of genocide.
The film, Remembrance, depicts a remarkable love story that blossomed amidst the terror of a German concentration camp in 1944 between a Polish prisoner and his Jewish girlfriend. More than thirty years later in New York, the happily married 52-year-old woman accidentally finds out that her former Polish lover is still alive. And she has to see him again. As one reviewer stated “To those who swore they’d seen enough Holocaust-themed films to last a lifetime: Rescind your vow, just this once. Remembrance is that good. It’s better than good. It’s unforgettable.”
For more information about the festival and to purchase tickets and festival passes in advance, please visit www.JewishCinemaMS.com. Tickets purchased on the web site through January 18th are discounted. Full price tickets and festival passes can be purchased at the door each night of the festival.
Press Contacts & Sponsorship Opportunities
Dr. James Bowley, Co-Chair, 601-454-9075
George Glass, Public Relations, 601-898-9778
Michael Steiner, Co-Chair, 601-572-6122