Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival prepares for 24th season
The Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival, the largest Jewish film festival in Florida, announced the line-up for its 24th season, which will run Jan. 16-26.
The festival, which celebrates Jewish culture, history, religion and sociopolitical issues, will feature 58 screenings of 39 films, documentaries and shorts in four venues across Palm Beach County. Venues include the Cobb Theater at Downtown at the Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens; Frank Theatres at the Delray Marketplace in Delray Beach; TheNorton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach; and The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach.
Recently renamed for the festival’s longtime supporter, the festival will be chaired by Sandra and Bernie Meyer and directed by newly appointed veteran producer Ellen Wedner who takes the lead with more than 35 years of experience. This season, audiences will be treated to an impressive list of award-winning films making their Florida and South Florida premiers, including Israeli Academy Award winner “The Ballad of the Weeping Spring,” the official Tribeca Film Festival selection “Dancing in Jaffa” and the United States premier of “Kidon,” an Israeli spy thriller based on a true story.
Kidon, co-starring Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, explores the January 2010 death of Mahmoud al Mabhouh, found dead in his hotel room in Dubai. The local police accused the Mossad and released security camera footage showing supposed Israeli agents caught on tape in the preparation and execution of the murder. This made world headlines but no one was as shocked as the Mossad itself, who knew that three men and one woman on the hotel security tapes did not work for Mossad.
On Jan. 16, the festival will open at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts with a special tribute to Don Ephraim, who created a legacy for the festival. The featured documentary is “When ComedyWent to School,” a nostalgic look at the birth of stand-up comedy from the golden era of the Borscht Belt, upstate New York’s Catskills Mountain. Narrated by comedian Robert Klein, the film features interviews and clips from comics including Jerry Lewis, Sid Caesar, Jackie Mason, Mort Sahl and Jerry Stiller. Film guests include comedian Dick Capri.
In a career that has spanned two continents, Capri has played every major entertainment medium including nightclubs, resorts, arenas and theaters. Capri made his Broadway debut in 1991 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater, co-starring in the critically acclaimed “Catskills On Broadway.” Joining him will be Arnold Graham, a talent agent and producer credited for shows on and off Broadway such as “TheWorld According to Me,” “My Mother’s Italian My Father’s Jewish,” “I’m in Therapy” and the comedy “A La Carte.”
General admission to opening night is $20.
For more information, call 561-740-9000, ext. 227 or visit www.pbjff.org.
Sol Hitzig, left, and Joyce Saltman
Ellen L. Wedner, left, and DonaldM. Ephraim
Bernie Meyer, front, and Carol Reinoso