Jewish film fest features Oscar nominees
EVERY film festival has a mix of ingredients, which means every film festival has a distinctive flavour. Hence, the 2012 edition of the Winnipeg Jewish Film Festival tastes like... prestige.
The 10th edition of the annual festival features no less than three Oscarnominated 2011 films — In Darkness and Footnote were nominated in the best foreign language feature category and the short film Strangers No More won in the best documentary short subject category. The latter film is about a public school in Tel Aviv where children from 48 different countries come together to learn.
It’s an example of how, cumulatively, all 14 festival films represent “not only the Jewish experience, but the human experience,” says festival director Tamar Barr. “The films are about intergenerational conflict, coming of age and love lost and found.”
Two of the festival’s feature films — In Darkness (May 5 at 8 p.m.) and In Heaven Underground (Monday, at 7:30 p.m.) have already shown in Winnipeg theatres, but Barr says that the festival has become so popular — attendance numbers came in at 1,700 last year — cinema lovers often wait for the festival to see films that may show up in mainstream release.
“Some of the films are already sold out and we haven’t even started,” Barr says, referring to tonight’s opening-night film Restoration, the story of the tumultuous relationship between a master carpenter, his son and an eccentric new apprentice, and Sunday night’s screening of Footnote (7:30 p.m.), another father-son tale of the epic rivalry between two Talmudic scholars.
Of course, sometimes the less prestigious movies might be the ones most enjoyed. Asked to choose a film with sleeper potential, Barr picks My Australia (Tuesday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m.), a Polish drama about a 10-year-old anti-semitic boy who learns his mother was a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto.
The festival offers single ticket, packages of five movies ($35 for JCC members and $45 for non-members) and festival passes for all films ($80 for members and $100 for non-members).
For festival information, visit online at www. radyjcc.com or call 477-7510. April 28-May 10 Berney Theatre, Rady Jewish Community Centre
The Flat (top photo) is a documentary about personal and political secrets contained in a Tel Aviv building. The film screens Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Above, a scene from Eichmann’s End, which screens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.