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A SNEAK PEAK at the 21st Annual Mandell JCC Hartford Jewish Film Festival March 16-26

This year, Greater Hartford’s annual celebration of Jewish culture, history and people features eight films from 10 countries, screening at five venues: AMC Independent at Bloomfield 8, Cinepolis in Blue Back Square, The Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford and Spotlight Theaters in Hartford, and, of course, the Mandell JCC.

Tickets to most films are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Tickets for the March 16 Opening Night film — plus “lite bites” are $50 per person; tickets to the March 26 Closing Night screening and dessert reception are $25 per person. $1 discount is offered for students and Let’s Go Arts card‐holders.

Tickets for all shows are on sale at the Mandell JCC in person, via phone and by mail. Seating is limited, advance purchase is recommended. All events are under Hartford Kashrut Commission supervision.

For tickets, more information and a festival brochure, visit the Mandell JCC box office, call (860) 231-6316, or log on to hjff.org.

On the Map
5:30 – Lite bites served
7:30 p.m. – Film
Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford
English, Hebrew with Subtitles, 2016, 90 minutes, documentary,
Director: Dani Menkin

A fast‐paced documentary recounts how in 1977 the Maccabi Tel Aviv team, led by Tal Brody and fielded by a ragtag bunch of American basketball players, defeated the Soviet Union European Champion team and put Israel firmly on the map.

9 p.m.
Mandell JCC
Dutch with English subtitles, Holland, 2016,
91 minutes, Romantic Comedy,
Director: Job Gosschalk

A heart-warming comedy about Moos, a woman who lets life pass her by — until an unexpected visitor from her past inspires her to revisit her dream of attending a local theater school.

1. Supergirl_NaomiSquat_KEY IMAGESUNDAY, MARCH 19
1 p.m.
Spotlight Theaters, 39 Front St., Hartford
English, USA, 2016, 80 minutes, documentary, Director: Jessie Auritt

At only 95 pounds, 11-year-old Naomi Kutin is an Orthodox Jewish girl from New Jersey — and a competitive power-lifter who continues to smash world records and has become a social media sensation, all the while studying for her bat mitzvah. Will the pressure of being a teen in an adult sporting world be too much for Supergirl?

Reel Talk to follow, featuring: Dr. Alyssa Bennett, MD, CT Children’s Medical Center; Dr. Lisa Namerow, CT Children’s Medical Center; Steve Boyle, The National Association of Physical Literacy (NAPL) and Principal/Founder of 2‐4‐1 Sports

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1 p.m.
Spotlight Theaters
Winner of 12 Television Ophir Awards

Hebrew with English subtitles, Israel 2015, TV series, 2 episodes, approx.. 50 minutes each.

This hit Israeli series is centered around father and son Shulem and Akiva Shtisel (Dov Glickman and Michael Aloni), who share the same apartment in ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim, the same cynical humor, and the same search for love and motherly warmth in a cold world.

Fire Birds _2Fire Birds
4:30 p.m.
Spotlight Theaters

Hebrew with subtitles, Israel 2015, 105 minutes, drama, Director: Amir I.Wolf

When 80-year-old Amikam’s body is found with three stab wounds in his chest and a number tattoo on his forearm, the murder investigation lands on the deak of police detective Amnon, the son of a Holocaust survivor. Amnon struggles with this deeply personal case, but is wholly unprepared for the secrets he uncovers as he investigates Amikam’s murder.

Hill Start
4:30 p.m.
Spotlight Theaters

Hebrew with subtitles, Israel 2014, 92 minutes, romantic comedy, Director: Oren Stern

In this comic drama, Ora is in a coma as the result of a car accident. As her children and other family members try to help her regain consciousness, the viewer meets plastic surgeons, a wheelchair-bound marathon coach, a tough private investigator, a yoga instructor, a sensitive belly dancer, and a big star in the Arab cinema.

dbIMG_1142Sabena Hijacking – My Version
7:30 p.m.
Spotlight Theaters

Nominated for the Best Documentary Ophir
Hebrew, French, Arabic, English with subtitles, Israel 2015, 104 minutes, docudrama,
Director: Rani Sa’ar

A reenactment of the events of May 8, 1972, when four terrorists from the Palestinian organization “Black September” took control of Belgian Sabena Flight 571 from Brussels to Tel Aviv.

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7:30 p.m.
Spotlight Theaters

Hebrew with subtitles, Israel/UK 2015, 115 minutes
Drama, Director: Tova Ascher

Maya Goldwasser is a 40-year-old mother and the wife of an Israeli official of the Ministry of Justice. And she has a secret.

For the first 20 years of her life, she lived with her Palestinian family in Jerusalem until she secretly married Nimer — a PLO activist. What will happen when Nimer reenters her life?

Animation Jacques Jaujard 2_DRThe Man Who Saved the Louvre
6 p.m.
Mandell JCC

French dubbed in English, France 2014, 60 minutes, documentary with animation,
Directors: Jean‐Pierre Devillers & Pierre Pochard

As Paris was on the brink of the Nazi invasion during World War II, Jacques Jaujard, the director of the Louvre, devised an intricate plan to hide some of the world’s most important masterpieces and save them from Nazi destruction.

Introduction by Thomas J. Loughman, Ph.D., Director of Art and CEO of the Wadsworth Atheneum

Big Sonia
8:15 p.m.
Mandell JCC

English, USA 2016, 94 minutes, documentary,
Director: Leah Warshawski

Sonia’s larger‐than‐life personality masks the unspeakable horrors she has endured in her 90+ years. A Holocaust survivor, she survived a series of death marches and concentration camps and witnessed her mother walk into the gas chamber. When liberation day came, Sonia was accidentally shot in the chest. She is the ultimate survivor.

Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown
1 p.m.
The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford

English with some French subtitles, USA 2016, 60 minutes, documentary,
Director: Gregory Munro

Known onscreen for his visual gags and slapstick humor, behind the camera Jerry Lewis was a meticulous, groundbreaking filmmaker who was a driving force in Hollywood. With archival footage and interviews with friends and colleagues — as well as Lewis himself.

Preceded by:
The Last Blintz - Key Art FINALThe Last Blintz
English, USA 2016, 30 minutes, documentary,
Director: Dori Berinstein

The closing of The Cafe Edison (aka The Polish Tea Room), the Broadway diner immortalized in Neil Simon’s “45 Seconds from Broadway.”

My Hero Brother
7:00 p.m.
The Emanuel Synagogue

Hebrew with English subtitles, Israel 2016, 77 minutes, documentary

On the trek of a lifetime, adult siblings, one with Down Syndrome and one without, travel from Israel to India to hike through the Himalayas. As the hike intensifies, so do the family dynamics, forcing the siblings to confront unresolved feelings and complexities of their relationship.

Reel Talk featuring: Anne Broadhurst, Denis Geary, Janet Gochberg, Seth Lapuk, M.D., Janice Rothstein

Microsoft Word - US Press Kit.docxWEDNESDAY, MARCH 22
7:30 p.m.
At Cinepolois, Blue Back Square, West Hartford
The Women’s Balcony

Nominated for 5 Ophir Awards. Hebrew with English subtitles, Israel 2016, 96 minutes, dramatic comedy, Director: Emil Ben Shimon

A tight-knit Orthodox community gathers to celebrate a bar mitzvah when disaster strikes; the women’s balcony comes crashing down. Featuring some of Israel’s top women comics, this comical feminist narrative is at once rebellious and respectful in spirit.

Last Band In Lebanon still 3 - Credit - Verd Adir copyTHURSDAY, MARCH 23
The Last Band in Lebanon
7 p.m.

Hebrew, Arabic with English subtitles, Israel 2016, 102 minutes, comedy/action adventure,
Directors: Ben Bachar & Itzik Kricheli

Take one disbanded rock band, the final withdrawal of troops from Lebanon, add an ambitious IDF police officer and her quest to catch a corrupt drug‐smuggling commander red‐handed, and you have Israel’s hottest new comedy hit.

LORIGINE-DE-LA-VIOLENCE-copyright-Lorigine-Productions-11The Origin of Violence
7 p.m.

French with English subtitles, France 2016, 110 minutes, drama,
Director: Elie Chouraqui

A French Catholic teacher visits Buchenwald where he sees a picture of a prisoner who is the spitting image of his father. Haunted by the picture, he unravels decades of long‐buried, painful family secrets.

11 a.m.
An encore screening (see March 19)
11 a.m.
Mandell JCC
(see March 19)

TaliaRosin-43SATURDAY, MARCH 25
9 p.m.
Mr. Predictable
Mandell JCC

Hebrew with English subtitles, Israel 2016, 103 minutes, romantic comedy,
Director: Roee Floentin

Before Adi’s father left, he made him promise to always be a good boy. And Adi always kept his promise — until the day that Adi is told his days are numbered.


(see March 19 for details)
AKA Nadia
2 p.m.
Bloomfield 8 Theaters

Sabena Hijacking – My Version
2 p.m.
Bloomfield 8 Theaters

Hill Start
4:15 p.m.
Bloomfield 8 Theaters

Fire Birds
4:15 p.m.
Bloomfield 8 Theaters

90th_BirthdaySUNDAY, MARCH 26, 7 p.m.
Fanny’s Journey
Mandell JCC

French with English subtitles, France/Belgium 2016, 94 minutes, drama,
Director: Lola Doillon

The true story of Fanny Ben‐Ami who in 1943 is and sent with her sisters from France to an Italian foster home for Jewish children. When the Nazis arrived in Italy, a plan was devised to transport the children to Switzerland. But during their escape, 11 children find themselves on their own, desperate to reach the Swiss border and ultimately safety.

Reel Talk featuring: Margot Jeremias and Dr. Avinoam Patt

75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz
Immigration, intermarriage and education making U.S. Jewry larger and more diverse
The 79th Anniversary of Babi Yar

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