CJFF Films

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The Reel Pass is Your Pass to Film Fun!

Be inspired, educated and entertained by 13 FILMS! Meet and greet acclaimed directors, screen writers, film writers, film subjects and local scholars participating in the Film Festival.

The Reel Pass includes all films, events, bus transportation and food.

Early Bird Special

Purchase your Reel Pass by October 18 for only $140. After October 18, the Reel Pass is $150
The Reel Pass is a $175 JCC member value/ $195 non-member value.

Opening Night

It Must Schwing! The Bluenote Story

Sunday, November 3 • 6:30 p.m. • The McCoy Center for the Arts

Directed by Eric Friedler, Documentary, 2018, 113 minutes, Germany, English/German with English subtitles

This film is a must-see love letter to Blue Note Records, the most iconic label in the history of jazz. Produced by Wim Wenders, It Must Schwing features beautiful animation, interviews, sublime jazz images and a swinging soundtrack.

Escaping Nazi Berlin, jazz lovers Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff became New York record producers and founded the company in 1939. Having immigrated to New York to escape persecution, the two men felt a deep affinity with the African American musicians who faced blatant discrimination and segregation. Respecting them as artists and equals, Blue Note records launched the careers of giants like Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, John Coltrane and many more.

Presented in partnership with the Jazz Arts Group
Byron Stripling, Columbus Jazz Orchestra Artistic Director, attending for a post-film discussion

Byron Stripling was born in Atlanta, the son of a classical singer. He grew up with music in his house; he played the trumpet and sang, his brother played the clarinet, and his father loved jazz. With plans to become a classical trumpeter, Byron enrolled in the Eastman School of Music. While at Eastman, he toured with Clark Terryand his big band for 12 weeks. Three weeks before graduation, Byron called Clark Terry and landed a job with Lionel Hampton, but it meant not getting a degree. During this time, he played with the Woody Herman Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie and Billy Eckstine. In 1989, Byron played with the Boston Pops Orchestra for the first time. In 2002, Byron became the artistic director and conductor of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. Since taking this position, he has presented such artists as Branford Marsalis, Chuck Mangione, and Patti Austin.

Reception following program
Tickets: $35

Bus transport available/purchase with film ticket / departs JCC @5:15 p.m. / returns 9:30 p.m.
Limited seats & minimum number of riders needed
Purchase by 10/28


The Other Story

Tuesday, November 5 • 7 p.m. • The JCC

Directed by Avi Nesher, Narrative, 2018, 118 minutes, Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles.

Strong female protagonists have been the mainstay of many Avi Nesher films. In The Other Story, two rebellious young women cross paths unexpectedly in Jerusalem to startling consequences. Renouncing the hedonism of her youth, Anat devotes herself to the study of Torah. Her upcoming marriage to a raunchy pop star turned devoted Hasid is the final straw, as her divorced, secular parents scheme to foil the nuptials. Meanwhile, her grandfather, Shlomo, a marriage counselor, has a client who has taken the opposite path of Anat — rejecting Orthodoxy for spiritual freedom. Amid rising tensions, no one has a monopoly on virtue, as multi-layered plots converge with unexpected consequences.

Post-screening discussion with the film’s screenwriter, Dr. Noam Shpancer

Noam Shpancer was born and raised on a kibbutz, near Jerusalem. He served three years in the IDF before moving to the US in 1985. He received his BA from the University of Houston, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Purdue University. Dr. Shpancer is also a writer. His work has appeared in Israel, the US and elsewhere, including Ha’aretz, The Guardian of London and The New Yorker. He is the author of three Hebrew novels, including the best seller, The Good Psychologist. Dr. Shpancer is also an official blogger for the online magazine Psychology Today. He co-authored, with the Israeli director Avi Nesher, “The Other Story,” which was the most successful Israeli film of 2018. He currently lives in Columbus, Ohio, is a Professor of Psychology at Otterbein University, and has been a JCC member since 1999.

Tickets: $10/JCC members, senior; $12/non-member
All tickets are $12 at the door.


Tel Aviv on Fire

Wednesday, November 6 • 7 p.m. • The Drexel Theatre

Directed by Sameh Zoabi, Narrative, 2018, 100 minutes, Luxembourg/Belgium/Israel/ France, Arabic & Hebrew with English subtitles

Brimming with humor, satire and multiple plot lines, Tel Aviv on Fire follows the comic exploits of Salam, a hapless intern who gets his big break as a writer on a popular Palestinian soap opera. His daily commute from the Ramallah set through the Israeli checkpoints leads to regular encounters with Assi, the IDF officer in charge and an aspiring writer. In order to gain favor with the officer, Salam allows him to suggest plot changes that would see a sultry Arab spy fall in love with an IDF general. Torn between the demands of the officer and the show’s Arab financial backers on how the show will end, Salaam devises a final masterstroke.

Preceded by AES Short Film Competition finalist, Mark.

Tickets: $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-member
All tickets are $12 at the door


The Unorthodox

Thursday, November 7 • 7:30 p.m. • The Drexel Theatre

Directed by Eliran Malka, Narrative, 2018, 92 minutes, Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles.

Inspired by the improbable beginnings of Shas, the first political party in Israel to represent the disenfranchised Sephardic community, The Unorthodox is the quintessential underdog story. It is 1983, and the religious party is led by the Ashkenazi elite. Yakov Cohen, a Mizrahi printer in Jerusalem, doesn’t have money, connections or political experience, but after his daughter is expelled from an Ashkenazi yeshiva, he decides that things need to change. With will and passion, and the belief that other Sephardic Jews should be able to hold their heads up high, Yakov decides it’s time to take action. Yakov recruits two friends, and together they start the first ethnic political group in Jerusalem. Their grassroots campaign to start a party dedicated to Mizrahi Jews would re-shape Israeli society in ways that still resonate today.

Film selected and presented by the Young Professional Film Screening Group of the CJFF

Preceded by AES Short Film Competition finalist, The Pirate Captain Toledano

Tickets: $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-member
All tickets are $12 at the door.


YP Event/The Unorthodox
6 p.m. – Reception
7:30 p.m. – Film
$10
* Reception open to Young Professionals age 21-45.


Golda’s Balcony, The Film

Friday, November 8 • 1 p.m. • The JCC

Directed by Scott Schwartz, 2019, 86 minutes USA, English

Tovah Feldshuh recreates her award-winning performance as Golda Meir. In Golda’s Balcony, The Film, Golda’s life has been transformed into a cinematic event of overwhelming power and inspirational triumph. The rise of Golda Meir from Russian schoolgirl to Prime Minister of Israel is one of the most thrilling and amazing stories of the 20th century.

Winner to date of 11-out-of-11 Audience Favorite Awards, including the 2019 Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Honolulu, Palm Beach and many other Jewish Film Festivals.

Free to the public — no ticket is required and no reservation is needed. All are welcome to enjoy this inspirational film!


King Bibi: The Life and Performances of Benjamin Netanyahu

Saturday, November 9 • 7 p.m. • The Drexel Theatre

Directed by Dan Shadur, Documentary, 2018, 90 minutes, Israel, Hebrew and English

Brilliantly assembled entirely of footage from countless TV appearances, King Bibi: The Life and Performances of Benjamin Netanyahu charts the ascent of Israel’s media-savvy prime minster. As his political fortunes rose, Bibi quickly perfected his skills as a master of public speaking and media manipulation. Through four decades of news conferences, interviews and speeches, Israel’s second-longest-serving prime minister exhibits an obsessive, near-faultless execution of public image. Netanyahu’s quintessentially American style of politicking is paralleled with that of Donald Trump and their similar love-hate relationship with the press. Deconstructing the man who singlehandedly ushered Israeli politics into the 21st century, this potent portrayal reveals a controversial politician’s instinct for seizing power through the art of communication.

Presented in partnership with the Leventhal Artist Fund of the Columbus Jewish Foundation

Tickets: $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-member
All tickets are $12 at the door.


What Will Become of Us

Sunday, November 10 • 1 p.m. • The JCC

Directed by Steve Cantor, documentary, 2019, 72 minutes, USA, English/Hebrew

Frank Lowy, founder of shopping mall giant Westfield, started with one Australian store and built it into a global, billion dollar enterprise. Now in his late 80’s and facing the prospect of a merger that will lead to his retirement, he reflects on his past and events that have molded him into a fighter, philanthropist and survivor he is today. Born Jewish in what was then Czechoslovakia in 1930, Lowy survived the Holocaust, moved to Australia and built a close family and business empire. What Will Become of Us takes us on an intimate journey of Lowy’s extraordinary life – from the ghettos of Budapest to living as a refugee in Palestine. His story is a testament to the value and impact of a single life in the lives of others.

Presented in partnership with Congregation Agudas Achim

Tickets: $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-member
All tickets are $12 at the door.


Working Woman

Sunday, November 10 • 3:30 p.m. • The JCC

Directed by Michal Aviad, Narrative, 2018, 93 minutes, Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles

An Israeli take on sexual harassment in the #MeToo era, Working Woman tells the story of an ambitious young mother trapped between escalating office misogyny and financial strain at home. Orna is the mother of three young children with a husband struggling to start his own restaurant.

To help support her family, she returns to the workplace, landing a job with a former army superior, Benny, who is now a successful real estate developer. While she tries to balance her new position and the demands at home, she begins to experience escalating sexual harassment from her boss; ultimately bringing her career and marital relationship to the brink. This timely story is expertly told by longtime feminist filmmaker Michal Aviad.

Presented in partnership with National Council of Jewish Woman, Columbus section

Tickets: $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-member
All tickets are $12 at the door.


An evening with the Director of the HBO limited series, “Our Boys”
and Academy Award-Nominated director, Joseph Cedar

Footnote

Tuesday, November 12 • 7 p.m. • The Wexner Center for the Arts

Directed by Joseph Cedar, narrative, 2012, 110 minutes, Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles

Academy Award Nomination for Best International Feature Film
Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay

Talmud scholar Eliezer Shkolnik has worked in obscurity at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. In contrast, Eliezer’s son, Uriel, also an academic, has published many books and received numerous accolades. Eliezer looks down on his son’s achievements and pursuit of fame, and so the pair have a rocky relationship. Their rivalry comes to a head when Eliezer receives word that, at long last, he is the recipient of the prestigious Israeli Prize.

Presented in partnership with JewishColumbus as part of the ‘70 Faces of Israel’ speaker series.

This program is made possible by the Diamond Family Foundation and The Wexner Center for the Arts

Director Joseph Cedar attending

Joseph Cedar most recently wrote and directed the HBO limited series, “Our Boys.” His previous films include “Norman, The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer” (2016), starring Richard Gere and “Footnote” (2011), which won the Best Screenplay Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film in 2012. He was also nominated for an Oscar for his 2007 film, “Beaufort” (2007). Born in New York City, Cedar moved to Israel at age six and grew up in Jerusalem. He studied at a yeshiva high school and served as a paratrooper in the Israeli army. He studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and graduated from NYU Film School.

Tickets: $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-member; $5 students
All tickets are $12 at the door.

Bus transport available/purchase with film ticket / departs JCC @5:45 p.m. / returns 9:30 p.m.
Limited seats & minimum number of riders needed
Purchase by 11/5


Shoelaces

Wednesday, November 13 • 7 p.m. • Marcus Crosswoods

Directed by Jacob Goldwasser, Narrative, 2018, 90 minutes, Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles

With gentle humor and sensitivity, Shoelaces tells the story of a complicated relationship between Reuven, an aging father and his special-needs son, Gadi, whom he abandoned while Gadi was still a young boy. With the untimely death of his ex-wife, Reuven is suddenly thrust into the position of caring for his now-grown son, whom he first considers placing in a group home. Adjusting to their new circumstances, Gadi lends a hand in his father’s Jerusalem auto repair shop and befriends the locals at the neighborhood cafe. Reuven vows to atone for his past shortcomings, warming to Gadi’s boundless optimism, infectious laugh and infinite capacity for love. Their co-dependent bond is tested by tribulations that prompt complicated ethical and legal questions.

Statement from Director Jacob Goldwasser:
“Shoelaces” is a special project for me. As a father of a special needs son, I never felt that the depiction of special needs characters on film rang true. However, when I saw Nevo Kimchi’s work, I was dumbfounded. He created a special needs character, who was human and real, filled with humor, optimism and charm.”

Presented in partnership with Congregation Beth Tikvah

Tickets: $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-member
All tickets are $12 at the door.

Bus transport available/purchase with film ticket / departs JCC @5:30 p.m. / returns 8:45 p.m.
Limited seats & minimum number of riders needed
Purchase by 11/6


LL

Leona

Thursday, November 14 • 6 p.m. • Drexel Theatre

Directed by Isaac Cherem, Narrative, 2018, 95 minutes, Mexico, Spanish with English subtitles

In this delicate, melancholic romantic film, Ariela, a young woman from Mexico finds herself torn between her Syrian-Jewish family and a forbidden love. Ariela is an independent-minded artist living with her family in a cloistered Jewish neighborhood. Pressured to find an appropriate suitor, she begins a passionate courtship with a non-Jewish writer. As their feelings deepen, Ariela must weigh their relationship against rejection by her family, whose religious values and traditions run deep. Contains adult content

Preceded by AES Short Film Competition finalist, Boxes

Tickets: $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-member
All tickets are $12 at the door.


Box dinner (meat/veggie options) are available for $10.
Please purchase by November 7.


Fig Tree

Thursday, November 14 • 8:15 p.m. • The Drexel Theatre

Directed by Aäläm-Wärqe Davidian, 2018, Narrative, 93 minutes, Ethiopia/Israel/Germany/France, Amharic with English subtitles

Ethiopian-Israeli writer-director, Aäläm-Wärqe Davidian makes a startlingly confident feature debut with this story of lives torn asunder by civil war. Mina is 16 years old. The Ethiopian Civil War has been underway her entire life. She lives with her brother and grandmother in a humble house. The family is Jewish and is planning to flee Ethiopia for Israel, where Mina’s mother awaits their reunion. But this plan leaves out the person Mina loves most: Eli, her Christian boyfriend, who lives in the woods to evade being drafted into Mengistu Haile Mariam’s army. In a desperate attempt to save Eli, Mina puts her family’s plans in jeopardy. Fig Tree offers us a rare opportunity to better understand the impact of civil war on the lives of ordinary people.

Presented in partnership with Congregation Tifereth Israel

Tickets: $10/JCC members, seniors; $12/non-member
All tickets are $12 at the door.


Closing Night

Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles

Sunday, November 17 • 6:30 p.m. • The Lincoln Theatre

Directed by Max Lewkowicz, Documentary, 2019, 92 minutes, USA, English

The story of Broadway sensation, Fiddler on the Roof, and its phenomenal impact around the world. Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles is the first in-depth documentary film that chronicles the play’s backstory, from its 1960’s New York roots, when “tradition” was on the wane and civil rights were evolving. Most revealing is the story of the play’s impact upon audiences all over the world. For the last half-century, viewers have claimed Tevye’s story as their own, from suburban middle schools in Nebraska to state theaters in Japan. The story has global resonance.

Featuring interviews with Sheldon Harnick, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Harold Prince, Harvey Fierstein, as well as archival footage of original director-choreographer Jerome Robbins and star Zero Mostel. The goal of the documentary is to understand why the story of Tevye the milkman is reborn again and again as beloved entertainment and cultural touchstone the world over.

Reception following the film

Preceded by AES Short Film Competition finalist, Say What!: A Geriatric Proposal

Tickets: $25

Bus transport available/purchase with film ticket / departs JCC @5:45 p.m. / returns 9:45 p.m.
Limited seats & minimum number of riders needed
Purchase by 11/10

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