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Short Film Competition

HAVA NAGILA (THE MOVIE)
4:00PM

Exuberant
It’s to music what the bagel is to food –”Hava Nagila” translates to “Let Us Rejoice.” It’s a Jewish staple which has become a worldwide phenomenon. Performed by Bob Dylan, Elvis, Chubby Checker, and many more international celebrities, follow the song on its journey from the shtetls of Europe to American simchas... even to baseball games! Featuring interviews with Harry Belafonte, Connie Francis and others, travel from the Ukraine and Israel to the Catskills and Hollywood... and, yes, even to Bollywood! You’ll explore 150 years of Jewish history.

After the film, members of the Klezmer Band, Klezundheit will play Hava Nagila live in Centre Court with a birthday cake for Israel @ 65.

Introduction by Film Festivae Co-chairs Jeffrey Korn & Louise Levine
Sponsored by Marilyn & Sam Fox

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St. Louis Premiere
USA • English
Director: Roberta Grossman

Documentary (75 min.)

 


THE BOYS: THE SHERMAN BROTHERS’ STORY
7:00PM

“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!” A tribute to the half-century partnership of brothers, Robert and Richard Sherman, who created songs and music for 50 movies, including hugely popular Disney classics such as Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book and The Aristocats. With their genius for family entertainment, they wrote catchy tunes such as “Chim Chim Cheree,”“Just a Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Medicine Go Down,” and “It’s a Small World (After All).”

Unlike their songs, the Sherman brothers have never been a household name. But they earned a string of honors including two Oscars, one Grammy, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The film boldly explores a pungent mystery: “Bob” and “Dick” collaborated on a catalog of 1,000 of the world’s sunniest songs, but their private relationship was grim and aloof. The film was directed and produced by their respective sons, Jeff and Gregg, first cousins born and raised within blocks of each other in Beverly Hills. But they only saw each other at public events, where their two families would withdraw to opposite sides of the room!

Sponsored by Ken and Nancy Kranzberg
Introduction by Mike Isaacson, Executive Producer, The MUNY

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English
Directors: Gregory V. Sherman, Jeffrey Sherman
Documentary (104min.)


FREE MEN
2:00PM

Tense and engaging. Inspired by actual events and personalities from a little-known chapter of WWII history, when the Paris Grand Mosque sheltered Jews and was the center for a group of daring, Muslim freedom fighters allied with the French Resistance. Younes, a young Algerian immigrant, is in France to “make his pile and go home.” But with peril, secrets, and informants on every side, Younes is inescapably entangled and challenged to choose a path of action. FREE MEN is a powerful reminder of the universal struggle for liberation.

Sponsored by Sima and Phil Needleman
Introduction by Batya Abramson
Goldstein, Executive Director,
Jewish Community Relations Council

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St. Louis Premiere
France
French with English subtitles
Director: Ismaël Ferroukhi
Feature (99 min.)


FOLLOW ME – The Yoni Netanyahu Story
5:30PM

Inspiring and heart-breaking. An affectionate and moving tribute to “Yoni” Netanyahu-the eldest of the three sons born to the parents of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Yoni emerges as a poet, a lover, a scholar and a soldier. He led the brilliant 1976 rescue of hostages at Uganda’s Entebbe Airport and, tragically,
was the only Israeli soldier to be killed there. Many photos of the epically handsome Yoni, excerpts from his prophetic and stirring letters to family and sweethearts. Plus reminiscences on camera by the people whose lives he touched, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Shimon Peres and Yoni’s ex-wife, Tuti Goodman.

Sponsored by Linda and Nathan Cohen and Miki and Morrie Zimring
Introduction by Samuel Heiman, veteran, Israeli Defense Force

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St. Louis Premiere
USA
English
Directors: Jonathan Gruber &
Ari Daniel Pinchot
Documentary (84 min.)


REMEMBRANCE
8:00PM

Gripping. Despite all odds, Hannah, a young Jewish woman and Tomasz, a Polish partisan, find a way for love at a Nazi concentration camp, and manage a daring escape. Then by circumstances of the ongoing war, they are parted. Each, believing the other is dead moves on—while continuing to be haunted by the painful past. Decades later, in New York City, by the smallest chance, Hannah catches a TV interview with a man whom she is convinced is Tomasz. 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. Audience Choice for Best Feature or Best Picture in San Francisco and Germany.

Introduction by Judy Zisk Lincoff, LCSW

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St. Louis Premiere
Germany
German, Polish,
English, English subtitles
Director: Anna Justice
Drama (105 min.)
St. Louis Premiere
Poland
Polish, English subtitles
Director: Jan Kidawa-Blonski
Political Thriller (118 min.)


LITTLE ROSE
2:00PM

Taut and harrowing. Espionage and love sparks a May-September romance embedded in a portrait of late ‘60s Poland during an anti-Semitic campaign of the repressive Communist regime. Kamila-sexy but naive and uneducated, unwillingly becomes Little Rose. Her boyfriend, a thug in service with the secret police, persuades her to insinuate herself in the life of a university professor who is suspected of clandestine pro-Zionist and anti-Communist activities. Viewer Discretion: Adult Content.

Introduction by Michael Kahn, Attorney and Author St.

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St. Louis Premiere
Poland
Polish, English subtitles
Director: Jan Kidawa-Blonski
Political Thriller (118 min.)


TORN
5:30PM

Heart-wrenching. The dilemma of Father Romuald Waszkinel/Jacob Weksler is captured at the Western Wall, where he puts on his priest’s collar and then immediately covers his head with a yarmulka. Jacob was born in Nazi-occupied Poland and was raised by Catholic parents as if he were their own child. As a young man, he entered the priesthood. Then as a last confession, his adoptive mother revealed that she was not his birth mother and that his biological parents were Jewish. When, at age 67, Jacob emigrates to Israel in quest for his Jewish roots, his devotion to Catholicism proves an overwhelming obstacle.

Introduction by Rabbi Hyim Shafner of Bais Abraham Congregation

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St. Louis Premiere
Israel
English, Hebrew, Polish
with subtitles
Director: Ronit Kerstner
Documentary (72 min.)


THE NAMES OF LOVE
8:00PM

Zany and sexy. Boy-Arthur Martin, a barely Jewish, politically middle-of-the-road, straightlaced, zoologist-meets girl-Baya Benmahmoud, a beautiful, scatter-brained liberal who believes in “Love, not war,” and whose goal is to convert right-wing men to her left-wing politics. The duo throws political ideologies to the winds and falls head over heels in love. Everything you’d expect from a French, romantic comedy-plus a little more.

Introduction by Cate Marquis,
Film Critic, St. Louis Jewish Light

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St. Louis Premiere
France
French, English subtitles
Director: Michel Leclerc
Romantic Comedy (102 min.)


SHOLOM ALEICHEM – Laughing in the Darkness
2:00PM

Intelligent and poignant. “Sholom Aleichem” Rabinowitz was born in 1859 in Czarist Russia. Despite a series of misfortunes, he became the most prolific and famous Yiddish writer of all time-200,000 people attended his funeral. Sholom Aleichem was the original genius behind Fiddler on the Roof, some of which was adapted word-for-word from his story about Tevye, the Dairy Man. Precious, archival film footage of Eastern Europe and cameos by mavens and admirers, including the author of Up the Down Staircase, his granddaughter, Bel Kaufman.

Sponsored by Rose Calodney, Yiddish Culture Fund
Introduction by Dr. Ethan
Schuman, Cantor Nusach Hari
B’nai Zion and Yiddish enthusiast

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St. Louis Premiere
USA
English (some Yiddish with
English subtitles)
Director: Joseph Dorman
Documentary (123 min.)


MY AUSTRALIA
5:30PM

Tender and humorous. Young Tadek-street smart, resilient and good-natured-steals the show in an emotional but also comic portrait of a single mother in 1960s’ Poland, who conceals her Jewish background while raising her two sons as Catholics. But when Tadek and his older brother are arrested for assaulting Jewish children, Halina reaches a breaking point and decides the family must emigrate to Israel. About coming of age in radically, shifting circumstances and Israel’s first generation of immigrant pioneers. Based on the personal experience of director and writer, Ami Drozd. Winner at Jersualem International Film Festival of the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film.

Introduction by Menachem Szus, who lived in Poland in 1960’s as well as Australia & Israel

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St. Louis Premiere
Poland and Israel
Polish and Hebrew, English subtitles.
Director: Ami Drozd
Drama (96 min.)


JOANNA
8:00PM

Sensitive and suspenseful. In a story about an abandoned Jewish child and the young, Polish woman who rescues her, celebrated Polish writer/director, Feliks Falk captures the shadowy world of Nazi-occupied Poland where no one can be trusted. Childless Joanna forms a surrogate bond with little Róza while facing constant danger from paranoid neighbors and family, the watchful eye of the Polish underground, and the romantic advances of a Nazi officer. A sympathetic perspective on the Polish experience in WWII, Jewish rescue and conflicting moral choices. Showered with awards in Poland and at the Moscow International Film Festival for screenplay, acting, directing and Best Picture.

Introduction by Felicia Wertz, born and raised in post-war Poland, and a Holocaust survivor

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 Click here to view trailer

 

St. Louis Premiere
Poland
French, German, Polish, French
with English subtitles
Director: Feliks Falk
Feature (105 min.)


DRESSING AMERICA: Tales From the Garment Center
2:00PM

Vibrant and sentimental. America’s apparel industry was founded by immigrant Jews who transformed a half-square mile of New York City into an urban village, packed with sewing machine operators, cutters, tailors, designers, trim manufacturers, machine and tool suppliers and a class of entrepreneurial “garmentos” who managed by dressing America to go from picking rags to middle-class riches in a single generation. This bountiful film includes personal memories and historical narrative that spins an affectionate, whole-cloth portrait of a quintessentially, American experience.

Sponsored by Fox Family Foundation
Introduction by Harvey Gerstein, retired V.P. of Miss Elaine who spent his career in the garment industry

 

Free Bonus Film
THE TRIANGLE FIRE

On March 25, 1911, when a catastrophic fire broke out in a New York City garment factory, nearly 150 people - mostly young, immigrant women - perished because of gross negligence. The lethal blaze sparked public outrage and had an enduring effect on safety in the workplace and also sparked the formation of labor unions. Narrated by Tovah Feldshuh.

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St. Louis Premiere
USA
English
Directors: Steven Fischler and
Joel Sucher
Documentary (56 min.)

 

USA
English
Director: Daphne Pinkerson
Documentary short (39 min.)
Harrowing.


GOD’S FIDDLER – Jascha Heifetz
5:30PM

Riveting and complex. The first-ever film biography of the legendary violinist, Jascha Heifetz, who dominated the twentieth century and continues to be exalted into the twenty-first as an untouchable genius. But the paradox: although idolized by millions, Heifetz confounded or alienated those closest to him. Sometimes he was a quirky but generous mentor, at other times, a demanding task master. And his relationship with his own three children was, at best, distant. Fascinating, archival stills and motion footage. Illuminating interviews including one with celebrated violinist, Itzhak Perlman. Of course, the film includes many breathtaking performances by the virtuoso himself.

Introduction by Lorraine Glass- Harris, Violinist, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

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St. Louis Premiere
Russia, USA
English
Director: Peter Rosen
Documentary (88 min.)


NICKY’S FAMILY
8:00PM

Tearful and inspiring. Sir Nicholas Winton was a 29-year old, British stockbroker when he canceled a ski vacation and joined a friend in Prague. That trip was the catalyst for the Czech Kindertransport, a nearly single-handed operation by which Sir Winton saved hundreds of children from Nazi persecution. Although for the following 50 years, the children knew nothing about their rescuer. Compelling testimony from the “children” plus
a dramatic reunion in Prague with Sir Winton at age 102 seals his legacy in history. Audience Choice for Best Film in Warsaw, United Kingdom, Montreal, Atlanta and Denver.

Sponsored by Deborah and Kent Hirschfelder
Introduction by George Spooner, who was on the Kindertransport from Vienna to England in 1938

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St. Louis Premiere
Cambodia, Czech Republic, Israel,
Slovakia, United Kingdom, USA
English
Director: Matej Minac
Documentary (96 min.)


KINDERBLOCK 66
12:00PM (noon)

They came as boys and left as men. Sixty-five years after they were liberated from Buchenwald, four men trace their stories from the death marches of 1944 to their liberation in 1945. Upon seeing this influx of new prisoners, the Communist-led underground at Buchenwald, which administered the camp on a day-to-day basis, made a conscious decision to protect the youths who were among the newest inmates. They established a children’s
block, block 66. The location of the barrack was furthest away from the camp’s main gate and from the Nazi SS gaze. The block was led by Antonin Kalina, a Czech Communist and his deputy, Gustav Schiller, a Polish Jew. The underground strove until the last days of the war and beyond to keep the youths alive. On April 11, 1945, Buchenwald was liberated. Nearly 1,000 boys survived.

Introduction by Filmmaker Steven Moskovic and his father Alex Moskovic, survivor of Kinderblock 66
Sponsored by Dana and Troy Pohlman and Co-sponsored by t he St. Louis Holocaust Museum & Learning Center

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St. Louis Premiere
USA
English, German, Czech with
English subtitles
Director: Steven Moskovic
Documentary



 

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