CJFF Films

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The Women’s Balcony

Sunday, November 5  ■  6:30 p.m.  ■  Lincoln Theater
Directed by Emil Ben Shimon, Written by Shlomit Nehama, Narrative, 2016, 96 minutes, Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles

A mishap at a Jerusalem synagogue causes a major rift in a devout community in this rousing, comical, feminist narrative about speaking truth to patriarchal power. A joyous celebration turns into disaster when a women’s balcony at an Orthodox synagogue collapses. Stepping in to assume authority,a young and charismatic Rabbi first appears as a savior. But, fundamentalist ways soon divide the close-knit congregation along gender lines, as the self-righteous interloper insists that the accident is a divine warning against female nonconformity. A battle of the sexes ensues threatening to tear apart families, friends and the congregation.

Screenwriter Shlomit Nehama will be attendance to introduce her film and be interviewed by Dr. Lynn Kaye, Assistant Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the Ohio State University in a post screening discussion.

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1945

Tuesday, November 7 ■ 7 p.m. ■ Drexel Theater
Directed by Ferenc Török, Narrative, 2016, 91 minutes, Hungary, Hungarian with English subtitles

On an August day in 1945, villagers prepare for the wedding of the town clerk’s son. Meanwhile, two Orthodox Jews arrive at the village train station with mysterious boxes labeled “fragrances.” As they walk silently behind a horse-drawn cart, their presence elicits a spate of rumors. Bereft of Jews since their deportation during the war, the villagers are startled by the sudden resurgence of the village’s former denizens. With everyone’s sensitivity heightened, this quaint hamlet gets sent into turmoil. stunningly captures a transitional moment in European history with one village’s actions reflecting the moral corrosion of an entire continent.

Beautifully shot in black and white, this understated film quietly builds and ultimately packs an unexpected punch.

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Fanny’s Journey

Wednesday, November 8  ■  7 p.m.  ■  McConnell Arts Center/Worthington
Directed by Lola Doillon, Narrative, 2016, 94 minutes, France/Belgium, French with English subtitles

Based on a true story, Fanny’s Journey is an incredible tale of one young girl’s bravery, strength and survival. In 1943, following the arrest of their father in Paris, Fanny and her younger sisters are sent to an Italian foster home for Jewish children. When the Nazis arrive in Italy, the children’s fate is entrusted to 13 year-old Fanny who fearlessly treks through the countryside on a mission to reach the Swiss border.

Presented in partnership with Congregation Beth Tikvah

Preceded by short film, Wig Shop

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Monsieur Mayonnaise

Thursday, November 9  ■  7 p.m.  ■  Columbus Museum of Art
Directed by Trevor Graham, Documentary, 2016, 95 minutes, Australian, English/French with subtitles.

Filmmaker, visual artist and Hollywood cult-horror movie director Philippe Mora takes us on an epic adventure into his family’s secret past. In the film, Monsieur Mayonnaise, Philippe Mora packs his paints and easel as he embarks on a journey to create an audacious comic book about his parents, their survival and the Holocaust. From LA to Berlin, Paris to Melbourne, Mora takes us on a richly-layered journey starring artists, real-life heroes and Nazi villains. He uncovers his father’s remarkable exploits in the French Resistance. With the help of a family friend, Marcel Marceau, they saved thousands of Jewish lives by stuffing secret Resistance documents in baguettes dripping with mayonnaise.

Presented in partnership with the Columbus Museum of Art

Screening followed by discussion with Philippe Mora and Robin E. Judd, Associate Professor Department of History, The Ohio State University American Editor, The Journal of Modern Jewish Studies

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Forever Pure

Sunday, November 12  ■  1 p.m.  ■  Drexel Theatre
Directed by Maya Zinshtein, Documentary, 2016, 85 minutes, Israel/Norway/Russia/United Kingdom, Czech, Hebrew & Russian with English subtitles

Beitar Jerusalem Football Club is the only professional soccer team in Israel to have never signed an Arab player, a source of pride for its core fan base, as well as right-wing politicians who seek to exploit racial purity sentiments. The team is thrown into disarray midway through a successful 2012-13 season, when Russian billionaire-owner Arcadi Gaydamak recruits two Muslim players from Chechnya.

What follows is a national scandal. Hate-filled fans erupt in anger and vitriol, and the bewildered Chechnyan players are targeted for a torrent of abuse. When the team captain attempts to bridge the divide, he pays dearly for it. As racism sends the club spiraling out of control, what emerges is a disturbing portrait of how money, mob-mentality and identity politics can test democratic values.

Screening followed by discussion

Preceded by short film, The Transfer

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Young Jewish Professionals Event
Forever Pure
November 1 • 7-10 p.m. • The Bottle Shop, 237 King Avenue, Columbus, 43201
Event includes film, one drink ticket and light hors d’oeuvres

Presented in partnership with Young Jewish Columbus and the Jewish Federation of Columbus.

Tickets: $10

Click to Buy Tickets for YJP Event

The Bloom of Yesterday

Sunday, November 12  ■  3:30 p.m.  ■  Drexel Theatre
Directed by Chris Kraus, Narrative, 2016, 125 minutes, Austria/Germany with English subtitles

A German Holocaust researcher, grandson of a Nazi war criminal, is struggling with his family history, career and a general state of misanthropy.

At the height of his personal and professional crisis, he’s assigned a new intern who might be his exact opposite. She is a passionate, frenetic French woman whose grandmother was killed by the Nazis. After a rocky start, the kookily mismatched pair bond, speak candidly about their family legacies, and stumble toward romance.

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BANG! The Bert Berns Story

Sunday, November 12  ■  6 p.m.  ■  Drexel Theatre
Directed by Brett Berns, Documentary, 2016, 95 minutes, USA, English

With hits that include Twist and Shout, Hang On Sloopy, and Piece Of My Heart, Bert Berns is the most influential producer/songwriter you’ve never heard of. He helped launch the careers of Van Morrison and Neil Diamond and produced some of the greatest soul music ever made.

From his Russian-Jewish roots in the Bronx, brushes with the Mob, to his days in pre-Castro Cuba – filmmaker Brett Berns brings his late father’s story to the screen through rare footage and interviews with Van Morrison, Keith Richards, Paul McCartney and many other 60’s music biz luminaries.

Preceded by short film, The Chop

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Mr. Gaga

Tuesday, November 14  ■  7 p.m.  ■  Wexner Center for the Arts
Directed by Tomer Heymann, Produced by Barak Heymann, Documentary, 2016, 100 minutes, Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles

Ohad Naharin has spent the past 25 years pushing the boundaries of physical and political expression through the language of body movement. He pioneered a singular choreographic style known as Gaga. This exuberant film illuminates the creative process of an audacious Israeli choreographer widely hailed as an icon of modern dance. Naharin’s career has spanned several prestigious dance ensembles, culminating in his tenure as artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company. Eight years in the making, Mr. Gaga captures Naharin’s genius through extensive rehearsal footage, eye-popping performance and interviews with dancer and collaborators.
Presented in partnership with BalletMet, The Ohio State University’s Melton Center for Jewish Studies, Department of Dance and Wexner Center for the Arts.

Producer Barak Heymann introduces the film and participates in post-screening discussion with BalletMet Artistic Director, Edwaard Liang.

Reception following screening

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Whose Gonna Love Me Now?

Wednesday, November 15  ■  7 p.m.  ■  Canzani Center (CCAD)
Written, directed and produced by Barak & Tomer Heymann, Documentary, 2016, 84 minutes, UK/Israel, English & Hebrew with English subtitles

Whose Gonna Love Me Now? follows the inspirational and intensely personal journey of Saar, an Israeli man rejected by his religious family and community. He leaves Israel to live freely as a gay man in London but is subsequently diagnosed as HIV positive. With the camaraderie, support and love of his friends in his adoptive city, and fellow members of the London’s Gay Men’s Chorus, Saar begins to repair the relationships with his family and the country he left behind.

The London Gay Men’s Chorus provides a glorious soundtrack for this documentary about the power of forgiveness and the pull of home no matter how far away one goes.

Director/Producer Barak Heymann in attendance to introduce the film and participate in a post-screening discussion with David Brown, The Harmony Project Founder & Creative Director

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Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story

Thursday, November 16  ■  7 p.m.  ■  JCC
Directed Daniel Raim, Documentary, 2016, 94 minutes, USA, English

Young Dustin Hoffman framed by Anne Bancrofts’s legs in The Graduate is arguably one of cinema’s most iconic images. Movie fans know the work of Harold and Lillian Michelson, even if they don’t recognize their names. Working largely uncredited in the Hollywood system, storyboard artist Harold and film researcher, Lillian left an indelible mark on classics by Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks and Stanley Kubrick. Through a mix of love letters, film clips and candid conversations with Danny DeVito, Mel Brooks and Francis Ford Coppola, the film offers a moving portrait of a marriage and the unknown talents that helped shape the films we love.

Jim Burstein will introduce the film and discuss the contributions that American Jews have made in the movie industry.

Presented in partnership with The Leventhal Artist program and its supporting organization including The Columbus Jewish Foundation and The Ohio State University Hillel and Film Studies program.

Enjoy a New York Style Deli Dinner Before Harold and Lillian
Dinner: $20 Dinner must be prepaid. Reservation deadline: November 9
To order a dinner, please click here.

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Love is Thicker Than Water

Sunday, November 19  ■  5:30 p.m.  ■  JCC
Directed by Emily Harris & Ate De Jong, Narrative, 2016, 101 minutes, United Kingdom, English

In this modern-day retelling of Romeo and Juliet, Vida and Arthur are the star-crossed lovers. Vida is a young cellist and the indulged daughter of a wealthy Jewish family in London. Arthur is a bike messenger and a gifted photographer from a working-class Welsh mining town. When they meet sparks fly and they rush headlong into a relationship. Their bond is tested when the fates of their two vastly different families converge. Punctuated by quirky animated segments and a great soundtrack, the film explores the ups and downs of a young couple in contemporary London and the hard questions about faith and devotion.

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Past Life

Sunday, November 19  ■  8 p.m.  ■  JCC
Directed by Avi Nesher, Narrative, 2016, 109 minutes, Israel/Poland, English, German, Polish, Hebrew with subtitles

Inspired by true events, Past Life tracks the daring 1977 trans-European odyssey of two sisters – one an introverted ambitious classical music composer, and the other a combative liberal magazine editor. As they try to unravel a disturbing wartime mystery that has cast a foreboding shadow on their entire lives, they realize that freedom from the shackles of the past requires painful sacrifices, as does the struggle to discover one’s unique voice. As guilty secrets and troubling revelations are dredged up, the film boldly charts dangerous emotional territory, still very much part of the Israeli collective subconscious.

Writer-director Avi Nesher, himself the son of Holocaust survivors, based his screenplay on actual events chronicled in Can Heaven Be Void?, the wartime diaries of Dr. Baruch Milch.

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Keep The Change

Monday, November 20  ■  6:30 p.m.  ■  McCoy Center for the Arts, New Albany
Directed by Rachel Israel, Narrative, 2017, 94 minutes, USA, English

Winner of Best Narrative Feature and Best New Narrative Director, Tribeca Film Festival

Under the guise of a New York romantic comedy, Keep the Change does something quite radical: It paints a refreshingly honest portrayal of a community of adults on the autism spectrum. At a support group for adults with disabilities at the JCC in Manhattan, we meet David and Sarah. David is an upper-class charmer who leads a very comfortable life, until he is mandated to attend this support group. Forced to come to terms with his own high-functioning autism, he is aloof, smug and disdainful of his fellow attendees. Sarah is an optimistic and outgoing woman who expresses herself with aphorisms. Unlike David, she is quite accepting of her disability. The two are paired for one of the group’s exercises, and a trip to the Brooklyn Bridge is the beginning of their budding romance. While thoroughly charming and quite funny, the story also portrays a community that is seldom represented and rarely understood.

Lead actors in the film are on the autism spectrum.

Film contains mild sexual content.

Presented in partnership with LifeTown.

Reception following the screening

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