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Get on the bus

TITLE: get on the bus
YEAR: 2001
DIR/PROD: Spike Lee / columbia Tristar
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90
SOURCE: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000051YMP/sefersafarianonl
TEXT: Spike Lee offers the fictionalized account of a pilgrimage of a variety of black men made to the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., and the process showcases a fine ensemble cast of eclectic actors. Shot in a fast-paced low-budget style, the film chronicles a bus trip beginning in Los Angeles and the passengers, all from vastly divergent ages, backgrounds, and beliefs, getting to know one another and discussing their respective reasons for making the trip. The group, including a gay couple, a father and his son, a cop, and an actor, each confront the hostilities and prejudices they have faced as well as the ones they hold within themselves. Along the way get Richard Belzer, a white Jew as their bus driver, which leads to an exchange of words on the Jews and the civil rights movement; and later whether a Jew can feel happy about driving people to a Farrakhan rally (would you drive someone to a Klan rally?). Starring: Andre Braugher, Ossie Davis, Richard Belzer ...De'aundre Bonds ... Bernie Mac ... Wendell Pierce ... Isaiah Washington ... Charles Dutton ... Joie Lee ... Randy Quaid. Columbia Tri-Star

falafel

TITLE: Falafel
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Avner Levona
COUNTRY: Canada
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 10 minutes in miniDV
SOURCE: www.falafel.ca
TEXT: the film visits several falafel restaurants and vendors and interviews customers on the art of the falafel sandwich, the height of culinary science and spirit. "Falafel " - close to your stomach close to your heart . Can a short documentary film be philosophical, practical, tasty, spicy, poetic, nostalgic, all in ten minutes? The answer, apparently, is yes, when FALAFEL is the subject, and Avner Levona (Toronto, Canada) is the filmmaker. In his cinematographic debut, Avner Levona brings the soul, spirit, and culinary magic of falafel to the eyes and taste buds of the viewers. "Why falafel made in Canada does not taste as good as the one made in Israel?" asks the house painter. "A well made falafel is as good as Viagra", opines an elderly falafel stand owner, while a rabbi claims that a well prepared falafel carries "on a higher level, an artistic signature, the soul" of its maker. As the film develops, it becomes clear that falafel is much more than just food. It is the reminder, the connection of each immigrant Israeli to the life left behind: the friends, the sounds, the colours, the feelings of that place we call "home". And therein lies the universal appeal of this short film, which visually is very direct, yet the way it deals with its subject matter is subtle, thoughtful, and entertaining. Interspersed with images of Israel, Middle Eastern music, falafel cooking, and many strong opinions, the film "Falafel" gives a taste of the authentic Israeli experience to the viewers. After watching this movie, one just wants to run to the nearest falafel stand and try one.

AMART SHE'TARI | Denen zeig ich's

TITLE: AMART SHE'TARI | Denen zeig ich's
YEAR: 1996
DIR/PROD: Ms. Sivan Arbel with Orli Barack
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 6 minutes
SOURCE: Worldsales: Lapsus or Email TSL@jsfs.CO.il
TEXT: The little girl's dress is much too short and, to make matters worse, she has to lift her arms to hold up the washing line. Three boys enjoy watching her struggles from behind the fence, but in the end the little girl gets her own back. TSL@jsfs.CO.il at the Sam Spiegel Film School

Avanim

TITLE: Avanim
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Raphael Nadjari
COUNTRY: France-Israel
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 110
SOURCE: n/a check Berlin Film Fest website
TEXT: with Asi Levi, Uri Gabriel, Florence Bloch, Shaul Mizrahi. Thirty-year-old Michale lives in Tel Aviv and has a lot on her plate. She works during the day in her father's accountancy firm which handles bookkeeping for a number of important religious institutions. But that's not all: Michale has been cheating on her husband for months. Her affair requires a great deal of clever time management. Sometimes Michale just doesn't know if she's coming or going - what with her child, her husband, her job and her lover. Everything just has to work like clockwork, otherwise even the slightest delay can set off a chain reaction, the consequences of which Michale doesn't even dare picture. But then, one day, it happens. On the way to another clandestine rendezvous, the hotel where she had agreed to meet her lover is hit by a mob and destroyed.

A Lost Embrace

TITLE: A Lost Embrace El Abrazo Partido
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Daniel Burman
COUNTRY: Argentina
LANGUAGE: Spanish w/ English ST
TIME:
SOURCE: Berlin Film Fest
TEXT: The story of a Jewish family working at a tiny commercial gallery in Buenos Aires. Burman, 30, is an emerging director of what is known as the New Argentine Cinema. Burman's film tells the story of Elias Makaroff, who leaves for Israel to fight in the Yom Kippur War right after attending the brit mila of his second son, Ariel. The father never returns from the war. The film then finds Ariel as an adult, still waiting for the embrace of his father. Ariel works at his mother's struggling underwear shop in a highly Jewish neighborhood of Buenos Aires known as Once. "The film shows a dilemma: There is a man that gives his life for an ideal but is unable to sustain his own family," said Burman, who is married and has a 15-month-old boy, Eloy. "I am not talking in economic terms, but in what involves affection. The family is a strangely difficult enterprise," As for his own life, Burman is the son of two lawyers, and his brother is a lawyer as well. "I'm the poet of the family," he said with a laugh. "But I'm not some airy dreamer. I own a company." To find appropriate actors, Burman held auditions among Jews not involved with theater. The cast includes a dentist and vendors from real shops in Once, the neighborhood where Burman was born and raised.
Tony Scott in the NYT wrote, "Perhaps the surprise of the [Berlinale] festival so far is "El Abrazo Partido" ("Lost Embrace") by the young Argentine director Daniel Burman. Made for under $1 million, it follows Ariel (Daniel Hendler), the grandson of Jews from Poland, as he tries to obtain a Polish passport to escape the narrow world of Jewish shopkeepers in the Barrio del Once in Buenos Aires. What holds him is the mystery of why his father left one day for Israel and never returned. In its portrayal of the daily lives and loves of the struggling shopkeepers in a run-down mall, the movie provided the first humor of the festival's competition program, a humor that is both Jewish and Argentine. The movie also explores the absent father-son relationship that consumes Ariel. "I think it is interesting to show that father-son relationships are fictitious," the director said. "They have to be built, compared to the mother-son relationship, which is a given. So the film is also about how someone goes about constructing the image of his father."

A Different War

TITLE: A Different War
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Nadav Gal
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ ST
TIME: 14
SOURCE: Children intnl film fest, march 2004 nyc
TEXT: Jerusalem during the Intifada. Noni has been chosen to play the militaristic King David in the end-of-year school play, to be attended by the Israeli Prime Minister. But Noni has a different battle to fight: against the prevailing notions of masculinity and bravery and what it means to take a stand for your beliefs. In Hebrew with English subtitles

Walk on Water

TITLE: Walk on Water
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Eytan Fox
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME:
SOURCE: lama productions at www.WalkonWatermovie.com
TEXT: Starring Lior Ashkenazi, Knut Berger, Caroline Peters, Hanns Zischler, Carola Regnier. Two years after "Yossi and Jagger", American born, Israeli director Eytan Fox returns with "Walk on Water", a colorful and very contemporary road movie that takes its characters around Israel and later to Berlin. This unique movie, is a non traditional attempt to understand the role that is still played by the past in the lives of Israeli and German young people. Israel's top film star Lior Ashkenzai ("Late Marriage") is the center of an international cast that includes German acclaimed actors Carola Ranier and Hans Tischler, Israeli Gideon Shemer and Palestinian Yousuf (Jo) Swaid, complete the international cast. Israeli Pop star Ivri Lider wrote the vibrant soundtrack that also contains a variety of songs by artists such as Esther Ofarim, Bruce Springsteen, Telepopmusic and Gigliola Cinquetti
A hit man for Mossad is given the mission to track down the very old Alfred Himmelman, an ex Nazi officer, who might be still alive. Pretending to be a tourist guide he befriends his grandson Axel, in Israel to visit his sister. He wants to convince her to come back to Germany for their Fathers birthday party. The two men set out on an extended tour of the country during which, Axel's frank and open attitude challenges Eyal's rigid, clichéd values. Their friendship grows until he learns of Axel's homosexuality. With this final straw he leaves. To finish his mission Eyal has to go to Germany. He meets Axel once more and succeeds in being invited to the family party where secrets will be revealed. Seen at Berline 2004

Suzi Gold

TITLE: Suzi Gold
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Lisa Ratner and Rebecca Green
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English
TIME:
SOURCE:
TEXT: The two women behind Suzie Gold say that family pressures they grew up with in north London inspired their first film. The romantic comedy, based around the pressures of growing up in a north London Jewish household, is produced by Rebecca Green (Guy Ritchies former girlfriend), daughter of Michael Green, the ousted chairman-designate of ITV. Lisa Ratner is the daighter of Gerald Ratner. As teenagers in successful Jewish families, Lisa and Rebecca would share frustrations about the pressure - often implied, rather than employed - to do the decent thing and, as Rebecca says, marry a "nice Jewish boy of whom the whole family could be proud". "The question was, why? Why should there be that pressure? It's not as if our parents regularly attended the synagogue," says Rebecca. "They might go twice a year. And yet, it posed a real dilemma for us and for many of our friends. It's more cultural and traditional than religious - and it was never explained. It was just there. Later, I realized it would make a perfect subject for a movie." Suzie Gold, which stars Summer Phoenix (sister of River and Joaquin) in the lead role, tells the story of a middle-class girl from north London whose younger sister, Sophie, gets engaged to a "nice Jewish boy". This intensifies the pressure on Suzie to do likewise and, then, along comes Anthony (Iddo Goldberg), who fits the bill perfectly - for everyone except Suzie. It's after Suzie gets a job as a runner at a television station that she meets Darren (Leo Gregory). He's charming and attractive, but he's not Jewish. The film reaches its climax during Sophie's wedding, when Suzie has to decide between conforming to her family's expectations and following her heart. Like Suzie, both Rebecca and Lisa have powerful, energetic fathers. Both have sisters who have married Jews. Both have memories of Friday night dinners, when cousins, aunts and uncles would feast on roast chicken and stereotypical Jewish conversational tit-bits. "We are not saying that Jews should marry out or not marry out, but they should be free to make that choice. It's time for Jewish people in this country to stop being embarrassed about their Jewishness. There is no need to whisper that you're Jewish. The older generation regard all of this as too sensitive and for a lot of them the film will be too real, too close to home. But we're not bothered by Jewish send-ups. Jews in America find it much easier to laugh at themselves than Jews in Britain." They also have Jewish comedians such as Jackie Mason and Woody Allen, who thrive on poking fun at their Jewishness. We have Sacha Baron Cohen and David Baddiel, neither of whom are known to extract laughs at the expense of their backgrounds. Rebecca and Lisa hope that their film will do for Jews what My Big Fat Greek Wedding did for members of the Greek Orthodox church. But advance reviews have not been especially kind, so it is possible that it could receive the same sort of criticism that greeted Sex Lives of the Potato Men, which, like Suzie Gold, received financial backing from the lottery-funded UK Film Council. That's when Miss Green and Miss Ratner must hope that they have inherited some of the thick skin of their respective fathers.

Another Road Home

TITLE: Another Road Home
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Danae Elon
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 77
SOURCE: Danae Elon QI FILM 114 East 7th Street, #16 New York, NY 10009 Phone: (212) 677-0139 Fax: (212) 677 5806 Email: danae@qifilm.com Web Site: www.qifilm.com // seen at Hotdocs.ca, Spring 2004 and Tribeca Film Festival
TEXT: Danae Elon grew up in Jerusalem, the daughter of an American mother and an Israeli father. Although her parents raised her, a Palestinian caretaker named Musa Obeidallah was a constant presence in her house during her childhood and teenage years. Another Road Home chronicles the adult Elon's search for Musa, and her quest to understand the role he played in her life. She finds his sons, one of whom was like a brother to her in her youth, living in Paterson, NJ, the largest Arab-American community in the U.S. Musa originally sent them there to keep them far way from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He himself will not leave his homeland, no matter how much his sons plead with him to join them in the United States. When Musa does come for a visit, Elon reconnects with him, and the two discuss their shared history. Ultimately, the pair travel back to Palestine together. In a reversal of their previous roles, Elon now inhabits Musa's world, learns more about his background and beliefs, and is able with the benefit of maturity to understand their differences and see their relationship in a new light. Another Road Home is a personal story about the emotional and geographical bonds between Palestinians and Israelis, an exploration of shared pasts, and an object lesson in the way individual relationships can help bridge the chasms of misunderstanding between peoples.
Danae Elon was born in Jerusalem in 1970 and graduated from NYU in 1995. Her first documentary, Never, Again, Forever, about the Jewish Defense League, explored the lives and characters of Jewish fundamentalists in Brooklyn and the occupied West Bank. Her second film, Wild Mint, told the story of a group of childhood friends in Israel and how they grew up dealing with strong ideological and Intifada-related issues. She next wrote, produced, and photographed Cut, an Israeli-Palestinian production about the lives of a community from Kurdistan that settled in Israel on the grounds of a former Palestinian village. Elon's award-winning films have been screened at more than 20 international festivals.
Director's Statement: I saw him in the dining room, alone, patiently ironing the army uniform, and then he went and gently placed it on my bed. Musa was not thinking what it meant, he loved me and wanted me to look neat for service, and so we never spoke about what I was doing, as though it were not really being part of brutality, and yet it was, it was profoundly. All my life I have struggled with what it means to bear a particular identity, a mark with which you are born and must continue to carry, justify, and act upon. Jerusalem is the city in which I grew up. It is a city constructed of borders, differences, and a continuous feeling of hate and discomfort. I believed in telling a truthful story by using my own experience to portray some of the most painful issues and complexities that existed within my own family as well as others. For many years Musa was the only Palestinian I knew. He cared for me as a father and yet the relationship was one that at its base was not equal. He worked for my family. The money he made as a consequence allowed his sons to leave the country. For many years, he was our personal connection to the conflict. I believed a story could be told about the beauty and tragedy of this economic and social relationship. It reveals a struggle between classes, and the contradictions that exist within the most "liberal" of Israeli families, those that struggled for peace and at the same time sent their sons to serve in elite army units of the Israeli army. This conflict is transported to the United States, where the longings towards home never ceased. The three places come together in a larger context, with danger that knocks on everyone's door. An incredibly moving and insightful documentary.

Arna's Children

TITLE: Arna's Children
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Juliano Mer Khamis , Danniel Danniel / Osnat Trabelsi, Pieter van Huystee
COUNTRY: Israel / Palestine Authority / The Netherlands
LANGUAGE: Arabic and some Hebrew with English ST
TIME: 84 minutes
SOURCE: www.arna.info
Osnat Trabelsi, OSNAT TRABELSI PRODUCTIONS, P.O. Box 20662, Tel Aviv, 61203 Phone: 972 54 208 444 Fax: 972 3 560 0286 Email: basetrus@netvision.net.il
TEXT: Tribeca film festival writes: Arna's Children is a riveting documentary that spans 15 years in the lives of a theater troupe established in a West Bank refugee camp by Arna Mer Khamis, a former Zionist who married a Palestinian Arab in the 1950s. With money from an alternative Nobel Prize, this magnetic elderly woman created a theater space to help children express their frustrations and anger as their homes and lives were destroyed by Israeli occupation. Arna's son, Juliano, co-director of this film and also one of the directors of Arna's theater, filmed the children during rehearsal periods from 1989 until his mother died of cancer in 1996. Five years later, Juliano goes back to find out what happened to Arna's children. To his dismay, he discovers that some have sacrificed themselves as suicide bombers, and that others will die shortly after his return, fighting against the Israeli invasion of Jenin. What makes this film a unique and unforgettable experience is Juliano's access to so many years of footage. Cutting back and forth in time, the film shows us the same forlorn boy, once sitting in the rubble of his demolished home, now a young man fighting in skirmishes against Israeli tanks. The late Edward Said alleged that "Culture is a sort of theater where various political and ideological causes engage one another." Tragically, Arna's "theatrical battlefield" was forced to become the bloody reality of Jenin under the horror of Israeli occupation. Arna's Children is obligatory viewing for anyone who cannot understand the intifada.

BASIC SYNOPSIS: Arna Mer Khamis was a tough Israeli Jew who married Saliba Khamis, a Palestinian from Nazareth. In the last years of her life, she ran a small theatre group for Palestinian children in the West Bank town of Jenin. Mer hoped to engage the youth and help them express their frustrations with life in a refugee camp. With original footage shot by her son Juliano (the film's co-director) between 1989 and 1996, we see 'Arna's children' Yussef, Ashraf and A'lla laughing, play-acting and behaving like typical young boys. In 2002, Juliano returned to Jenin with co-director Danniel Danniel to see what became of the kids. Shifting back and forth in time, the film reveals the horrors of life on the battleground of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the filmmakers try to absorb and understand the children's choices: Yussef becomes a suicide gunman; Ashraf is killed in the battle of Jenin; and A'lla leads a resistance group. Seen at Hotdocs.ca in Spring 2004, and at the Tribeca Film Festival in Mary 2004. Wildly popular in Israel in 2003/2004. When I saw it at the Tribeca Fest, the Q&A portion became very animated, so ... film fest programmers, be prepared.

Now some background with SPOILERS, for film fest programmers. Arna was from Rosh Pina (an Israeli village built on a former Palestinian village) and she was a member of the Palmach. She was a wild pioneer in pre-State Israel, and was a jeep driver for "Ghandi", who would become one of Israel's most right wing legislators. She became disenchanted with her group, and she became active in Hashomer Hatzair which sought a two state solution of Arabs and Jews together. Her father was a famous Zionist Socialist leader in Palestine and Israel; he was famous for treating poor Arabs and Jews for free. Through her activism, she met Saliba Khamis, and married him. He became a famous Israeli Arab communist party leader in Israel. When Arna married Saliba, Arna's father cut her off from the family. She moved into Saliba's family's home in his Israeli Arab village.
A decade ago, Arna set up a theater group and acting space in Jenin. As a committed communist, she was not only teaching the children to act and emote, but building a thinking cadre. The film opens with footage of one of the children sitting on the ruins of the home that the Israelis had just destroyed. Arna coaxes him, in the theater exercises, to use his suppressed anger in art and acting. Interspersed in the film are scenes that cut back and forth between the present and past, the children acting and the children as adults today. I think of the film as a 7up/14up/21up for Palestinian kids in Jenin. The film is devastating, and will affect many viewers for weeks afterwards. The squalor of the kids is evident. Years later as the later intifada raged, Arna becomes ill, and the film follows her as she nears death, makes a last trip to Jenin, and as her corpse is graphically retrieved from an Israeli hospital by her son, the film's director and interviewer. Arna was buried on a kibbutz so that she would have to deal with the rabbinate, and on her head stone, the Arabic town names of Jenin and Rosh Pina's Arabic name are printed.
The director returns to Jenin after Arna's death to find out what happened to the students, and what does he find. SPOILER SPOILER.. of approximately ten main students.. eight will die in battles with Israeli soldiers. One became a suicide bomber (or homicide bomber). The director travels with some of the former students as the rigs booby traps around Jenin. In one scene, the mother of one the leaders of Jenin says that she hopes her son will die as a martyr rather than be taken prisoner. She gets her wish before the film ends. The film ends with kindergarten children singing Palestinian songs of freedom and resistance to the Israeli occupation. Some will leave the theater hopeless. The director says that the scene with the children actually offer him hope. You can debate that with him.
Most amazing about the film is that you will get an intimate profile of the kids who grew up to become suicide bombers and fighters.
Juliano Mer Khamis is an Israeli actor and theater director living in Haifa. His acting credits include Kedma (2002), Wedding in Galilee (1988), and The Little Drummer Girl (1984).

Baghdad or Bust

TITLE: Baghdad or Bust
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Matt Frame
COUNTRY: Canada
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 70
SOURCE:
TEXT: With a $10,000 budget, a million dollars worth of determination and a great sense of humour, three Yellowknife filmmakers set off on an incredible journey. Just weeks before the US invasion of Iraq, they escape the frozen landscape of their home and travel to Turkey, Israel, West Bank, Jordan, Kurdistan and finally Washington, D.C. in search of 'regular' people's opinions on the impending war. Armed with a microphone, director Matt Frame's self-effacing and sardonic wit wins the day with his parody of Michael Moore's filmmaking style. According to producer and videographer Paul Gordon, "The film is 80 per cent comedy." This may be so, but like all great Canadian humour there's thought-provoking content that raises the experience to another level. Baghdad or Bust won best documentary at the Whistler Film Festival in 2003 see at www.hotdocs.ca

Control Room

TITLE: Control Room
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: JEHANE NOUJAIM
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 84 minutes
SOURCE: http://www.noujaimfilms.com/
TEXT: As you might recall, Jehane Noujaim, the director of this film, directed the award winning, Startup.com.
In her new film, she looks at the most popular Arabic news channel. Ours is an era where we can sit back in the comfort of our living rooms and watch wars being waged in distant lands. The Vietnam War saw brave journalists and cameramen on the front lines recording events in an attempt to bring US citizens as much information on the conflict as possible. Twenty years later, images of the Gulf War, including shots of scud missile attacks, were broadcast by major media outlets around the clock. On March 19, 2003, the US government officially declared war on Iraq. The international media came in droves to a location just outside of Baghdad where the US government set up what they call 'Cent Com' - Central Communications. This is where the US military conducted press conferences, controlled international media access to battle areas, and cautiously doled out war-related news items. With their own publicists and spin doctors worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster, they turned Baghdad into Spin City. Governments have learned how to use the media to control how events are depicted and perceived by their people. Their savvy is reason for concern. Jehane Noujaim, traveled to Iraq to investigate differing versions of world events. How is the media from different countries disseminating information about the war? Noujaim begins by introducing us to the dedicated journalists at Al Jazeera, the Arab world's most popular free network news source. Roundly criticized by US cabinet members and Pentagon officials for reporting with a pro-Iraqi basis, and strongly condemned for frequently airing civilian casualties as well as footage of American POWs, the station showed the world everything the Bush administration did not want you to see. In this incredibly fascinating and courageous film, Noujaim finds a way to offer an alternative take on the war in Iraq and how it is presented to us. Seen at Sundance 2004.. Theatrical release in May 2004.

Death in Gaza

TITLE: Death in Gaza
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: James Miller (deceased), Misha Manson-Smith (Directed the Edit)
COUNTRY: UK
LANGUAGE: English ST
TIME: 79
SOURCE: Nancy Abraham HBO Enterprises 1100 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10036 USA Phone: +1 212 512 1266 Fax: +1 212 512 5055 nancy.abraham@hbo.com www.hbo.com
TEXT: Death in Gaza is the shocking story that award-winning filmmaker James Miller gave his life to tell, the story of Palestinian youngsters maturing in a world where the greatest glory is to die a martyr. In May 2003, Miller traveled with reporter Saira Shah to track the lives of kids living in the area's most desperate borough. Ahmed is a football-loving 12-year-old who, after witnessing the death of his good friend, falls in with a group of paramilitaries. Mohammed is timid but devoted, and helps him fashion bombs to throw at Israeli tanks. Sixteen-year-old Najla has seen eight family members killed, and lives in constant fear that either her house will be destroyed or another loved one will be murdered. In the midst of documenting these heartbreaking stories, Miller was shot dead by an Israeli soldier. His last effort on earth and his untimely death fully demonstrate the incomprehensibility of this conflict and the importance of presenting this story to the world.
Explosive, gripping, and beyond controversial, DEATH IN GAZA changed tragically during its production, when director / cameraman James Miller was shot and killed during an Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip. Miller and producer Saira Shah had planned two films, about how Palestinian and Israeli children are affected by their peoples' ongoing war. They began with the Palestinians; Miller's death prevented them from continuing. Yet after Miller's death, Shah finished the first film, which became in part an elegy for her lost friend. DEATH IN GAZA focuses on three Palestinian young people in Gaza: Ahmed, Mohammed, and Najla. They talk of family, nationhood, the destruction of houses - and the cult of martyrs. To die in attacks on Israelis, or in Israelis' attacks on them: this is the highest honor. Mothers weep. Terrorist leaders speak. The boys play wargames with plastic and wooden weapons. In "Jews and Arabs," the highest honor is martyrdom. Through it all, the creeping fear of Miller's death looms. The Israelis, including Bedouin Muslims, invade Gaza to hunt a recent suicide bomber. Tension builds, and time runs down. Waving a white flag, wearing helmets marked "TV," and calling out their identity, Miller and Shah attempt to leave. Shots ring out. Miller is canonized as a martyr, though he for one had not sought this honor. DEATH IN GAZA is difficult to classify as either pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli. Certainly partisans of both causes will be offended and also find ammunition here. The film also raises probing questions in journalistic ethics, relating to the propriety of Miller and Shah's presence. Yet ultimately DEATH IN GAZA offers no easy partisan position, and no journalistic rationalization. Instead, there are the lives of children and a filmmaker scheduled to die within this war's terrible prison.
The youngsters in this disturbing film have been radicalized by the continuing violence. They hate Jews and display contempt toward Israelis, play with toy guns, deem peace to be impossible and value "martyrdom" above all else. The adults in their lives perpetuate the idea of armed struggle, pump up their rejectionist values and brainwash them with the nonsense that a "ticket to paradise" awaits them. Worst of all, the menacing masked fighters who confront the Israeli army in Gaza recklessly regard these kids as cannon fodder. It's depressingly clear that a nihilistic culture of death has enveloped Gaza, and its implications can only make one shudder.

My Family's Pizza

TITLE: My Family's Pizza Pizza Mishpahtit
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Ronen Amar
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 52
SOURCE: www.jmtfilms.com, www.hotdocs.ca, www.viscult.net or JMT Films - Michael Treves 20 Bialik st. 63324 Tel Aviv tel/fax: +972-3-525 4782 email: jmtreves@012.net.il
TEXT: Ronen Amar's quirky, off-beat My Family's Pizza is set in Netivot, a ragged Israeli development town in the Negev largely populated by Moroccan Jews. Maxim, a temperamental young man addicted to Coca Cola and sleep, has returned to Netivot after working in a relative's pizzeria in New York City. Eager to capitalize on his experience, Maxim decides to open his own pizzeria, even though Netivot has no shortage of such outlets. Maxim's short-term goal is to open just before Passover, the busiest season, when observant Jews throw out all their chametz. Complications ruin his plan to go into partnership with a friend. In desperation, Maxim recruits his parents, Rachel and Yishai, as partners. Yishai, a diamond polisher, invests in the pizzeria. He also delivers pizzas. Rachel's role is to keep Maxim's unpredictable emotions in check, especially when glitches surface. My Family's Pizza, directed with skill by Maxim's brother, is an unusual and appealing film. When an Israeli mom and pop agree to back their nogoodnik son Maksim's pizza enterprise, they get more than they bargained for in this whimsical look at a contemporary family shot and directed by younger brother Ronen Amar. Maksim is an experienced pizza maker who wants to succeed, but he's also a hopelessly selfish sleep addict. Perennially in a bad mood, he is constantly locking horns with his partner at the small pizza joint they co-own. Up to his eyeballs in debt, Maksim pressures his hard-working parents to take out a bank loan so he can buy out his partner and take sole ownership of the business. At first things seems to be going well with renovations in progress and business prospects rising, but before long Maksim starts to lose interest and his parents have to pick up the slack. With dad moonlighting as delivery boy and mom as oven cleaner, Maksim spends more and more time dozing in his parents' coach house, emerging only to fling insults at his exasperated family members. Ronen keeps the camera rolling throughout, with unvarnished and frequently hilarious results. Cleverly shot with a snappy aesthetic and a tongue-in-cheek script, My Family's Pizza delivers.
Festivals and Awards: 2004: HotDocs Toronto Canada; Cinemed Montpellier France; MediMed Sitges Spain ; Newport Beach California USA; DokumentART Neubrandenburg Germany; Visual Culture Joensuu Finland ; Honorable Mention: Dignity and Work International Film Festival Gdansk - Poland; 2003: Best Film: Doc Aviv Documentary & at the Southern Film Festival - Israel
Distribution: J.M.T. Films - Michael Treves, Tel Aviv, jmtreves@012.net.il, www.jmtfilms.com
http://www.viscult.net/movies/my_familys_pizza.htm

Remembrance

TITLE: Remembrance
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Marcela Arteaga
COUNTRY: Mexico
LANGUAGE: Spanish with English ST
TIME:
SOURCE: hotdocs.ca
TEXT: Witness to many of the milestones of the 20th century, documentary filmmaker and educator Luis Frank's life was marked by ruptures. Born into a Jewish Lithuanian family in the late 1890s, Frank emigrated to New York in the early years of the new century, served as an American spy in Paris during the First World War, fought alongside the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, survived a Nazi concentration camp and finally ended up in Mexico. While in Spain, Frank shot two documentary films on the anti-fascist struggle, one of which he was remaking at the time of his death at 90. Frank's extraordinary life and cinematic legacy are at the core of Mexican filmmaker Marcela Arteaga's haunting cinematic investigation into the complex notions of home, belonging and exile. Winner of the FIPRESCI Award at the 2003 Guadalajara International Film Festival and five years in the making, Remembrance (Recuerdos) reconstructs Frank's life through interviews shot in Mexico, Lithuania, Spain, France and Great Britain with fellow survivors of war, fascism and displacement. Part biography, part cinematic essay, the film is a visual tour de force, melding stunning photography, luscious art direction and masterful editing to create a potent testament to human resilience and survival.

EVERYDAY PEOPLE

TITLE: EVERYDAY PEOPLE
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Jim McKay
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 91
SOURCE: HBO Films release
TEXT: Raskin's is the kind of neighborhood Brooklyn restaurant where young and old, black and white, artists and professionals have mingled for generations. But now everything is about to change. Faced with a business slump, Ira, the stressed-out Jewish owner (Jordan Gelber) decides to shut down--or rather, sell out to a corporate gentrification plan implemented by Ron (Ron Butler), an ambitious young black real estate developer. Smack in the middle of the controversy is Arthur (Stephen Henderson), the loyal maitre'd and the restaurant's oldest employee. The story follows these three, as well as waiters and kitchen staff, over the course of a single tense day as all face an uncertain future with very mixed emotions and from diverse ethnic and cultural perspectives. Writer/director Jim McKay (Our Song) is our populist poet of film and he weaves together these ordinary lives that, in their complexity, make up the fabric of beautiful, multi-cultural New York. At Sundance 2004 and New Directors/New Films NYC 2004.

The Ritchie Boys

TITLE: The Ritchie Boys
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Christian Bauer
COUNTRY: Germany, Canada
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90 minutes
SOURCE: check hotdocs.ca
TEXT: It's the winter of 1942-43 and the Allies are feverishly preparing for D-Day. Stateside, the army is forming an elite intelligence unit at Camp Ritchie, Maryland. The members are primarily German Jewish intellectuals who fled to the US to avoid Nazi persecution and have now volunteered to return to Europe to provide a window into the mind of the enemy. Their mission: to break the German army's morale. In his latest feature-length documentary, veteran filmmaker Christian Bauer brings to light the extraordinary and little known story of the Ritchie Boys, the inventors of modern psychological warfare. For the first time, the surviving 'boys' speak on camera about their rigourous intelligence training, their experiences on the frontlines and their unit's special assignments, including the creation of propaganda intended to persuade German soldiers to surrender. The film's rich visual style melds archival footage, newsreels and training films from the era with photographs, artwork and mementos from the boys' personal collections. A work of incredible research, maturity and finesse, The Ritchie Boys is, above all, an incredible story of espionage and courage, revealing the hidden history of a band of unlikely soldiers brought together by their dazzling minds and passionate commitment to fighting Nazism.

The Zone

TITLE: The Zone
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Esaias Baitel
COUNTRY: Sweden
LANGUAGE: English ST
TIME: 10 minutes
SOURCE: hotdocs.ca
TEXT: The son of Holocaust survivors, prolific Swedish photographer Esaias Baitel spent four years in the late '70s and early '80s shooting racist and neo-Nazi street gangs in suburban Paris. With his Jewish identity under wraps, Baitel managed to gain the trust of the gang members, who gave him unrestricted access to their daily lives. His portraits of young people immersed in music, drugs, Harley Davidsons, sex and violence form the basis of this artful meditation on growing up learning to hate. Originally published in book form in 1982, The Zone anticipated the re-emergence of far right politics and hate groups that have since flourished in many parts of Europe. Melding his bold and expressive photographs with personal commentary, Baitel's film reveals his conflicted relationship to his subjects, who inspire a mix of sympathy and revulsion. The defining image of a young mother tenderly kissing a baby under a swastika banner is shocking and unforgettable.

The Kite

TITLE: The Kite
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: France/Lebanon
COUNTRY: Randa Chahal-Sabbag
LANGUAGE: Arabic with English subtitles
TIME: 80m. 35mm. drama
SOURCE: distribution@pyramidefilms.com
TEXT: From acclaimed filmmaker Randa Chahal Sabbag (Civilized People/Civilisees) comes this beautifully rendered drama set in her native Lebanon. Lebanon's official selection for this year's foreign Oscar(r) nomination, The Kite tells the story of 16-year-old Lamia, who, on her wedding day must cross over the barbed wire barrier that separates her Lebanese village from that of her cousin and fiancé Samy, whose village has been annexed by Israel. Between the villages, the border is heavily patrolled. The checkpoint, controlled by both sides, permits newlyweds and corpses to return to their home villages. Lamia reaches the family of her fiancé, abandoning her younger brother, her school, her kite, her mother, her past. But she refuses to consummate her marriage; instead she gradually falls in love with a soldier who has been watching her since the day she crossed the border for the first time. Www.Hrwiff.org June 2004. Distributed by Pyramide Films

PARADISE LOST

TITLE: PARADISE LOST
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Ebtisam Mra'ana
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: In Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles
TIME: 56
SOURCE: wmm.org women make movies, nyc ny
TEXT: Video. Documentary. Paradise, a picturesque fishermen's village overlooking the Mediterranean, is one of the few Palestinian villages remaining on Israel's coastline after the war in 1948. When the director sets out to investigate the secrets of her village, she is warned to be careful, lest her fate is that of Suaad - the mythical "bad girl" who broke the village's political norms, became a PLO activist, served a long prison sentence, and after her release, left the country. The film follows the director to the UK, where she finds Mrs. Suaad George, a Doctor of Law, who despite her self-fulfillment is still haunted by her village and her past. This is a story about recreating a lost history and about defining modern womanhood within a traditional Arab village. Distributed by Women Make Movies. Seen at hrwiff.org in June 2004

LIKE TWENTY IMPOSSIBLES

TITLE: LIKE TWENTY IMPOSSIBLES
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Annemarie Jacir
COUNTRY: Palestine Authority
LANGUAGE: In Hebrew, Arabic and English with English subtitles
TIME: 17 minutes 35mm drama
SOURCE: Distributed by Philistine Films. Contact philistinefilms@hotmail.com
TEXT: In a landscape now interrupted by military checkpoints, a group of Palestinian filmmakers attempt to reach Jerusalem. When they decide to avoid a closed checkpoint by taking an unused side road, the landscape unravels, and the passengers' certainties are slowly taken apart by the mundane brutality of military occupation. Official selection, Cannes Film Festival 2003. Human Rights Watch IFF, June 2004.

GOODBYE HUNGARIA

TITLE: GOODBYE HUNGARIA
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Jon Nealon
COUNTRY: USA/Hungary
LANGUAGE: English and Arabic with English ST
TIME: 56m video
SOURCE: Distributed by Jon Nealon. Contact nealon@pipeline.com.
TEXT:, Video. Documentary. Both political tale and love story, Goodbye Hungaria begins in a refugee camp in Hungary, home to hundreds of men, women and children fleeing war and oppression from every corner of the globe. To the refugees, Eastern Hungary is a cold and unwelcoming place; Asylum is rarely granted, and there are few opportunities for work. For most, the only way out of this legal limbo is through a thriving underground smuggling ring. Jon Nealon's cinema verité documentary chronicles the lives of Abed Al-Sahli a Palestinian refugee who acts as advocate and de facto translator for the camp's Arab population, and Charu Newhouse, an American volunteer. As both Abed and Charu struggle to make life better for the refugees caught in red tape and subject to the vagaries of international politics, their fates become connected. The film traces their unlikely love story from the hopelessness of the camp, to a dramatic arrival in New York City (complete with a startling final scene set in a location that will thrill and move every New Yorker!) where they come to start a new life, together. Seen at HRWiff.org June 2004

ONE SHOT

TITLE: ONE SHOT
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Nurit Kedar
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 60m video
SOURCE: catleclef@doc-co.com or Ruth Diskin Films in Israel
TEXT: Video. Documentary. Nurit Kedar read about how a Palestinian sniper killed six Israeli soldiers one day. She decided to make a film about Israeli snipers. Your audiences will be divided. Are they killers? Are they saviors? Are the necessary evils? Should they be hugged? Is there empathy for their psychological plights and god-complexes? Is it sad that 18 year olds have this psychological burden that may explode five years after discharge when they realize the killings they performed? Are the shooting and maiming terrorists or just rock throwers? Filmmaker Nurit Kedar (Borders; Lebanon Dream) spent 9 months convincing the military authorities in Israel to allow her to interview Israel Defense Force snipers. After five weeks of training an Israeli soldier can become a sniper if he chooses to. Snipers are part of every combat unit, and are distributed through the platoons. Since the last Intifada Israeli snipers have been used for targeted killings. The sniper is the only soldier who sees the "whites of his victim's eyes." This is what separates these soldiers from the other fighters. The image is of the gun, and the man behind it who waits patiently, silently, (sheket) and calmly in the quiet darkness in order to fulfill the command and shoot one single shot. To some, this image makes the sniper appear as a heroic fighter, to others a cold-blooded murderer. What is cold blooded murder asks one of the snipers. One Shot focuses on snipers still serving in the Israeli Army. For the first time ever they speak about their killings, their feelings, and their morality. Also shown at Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2004. Also shown at Jerusalem Film Fest July 2004. Distributed by Catherine Le Clef, Doc and Co catleclef@doc-co.com Was supposed to be show in 2004 on tv in Israel, but tv channel told the director that the director's cut is not salacious, violent, or sexy enough to hold viewers.

DETAIL

TITLE: DETAIL
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Avi Mograbi
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: In Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles
TIME: 9 minutes in video
SOURCE: Distributed by Avi Mograbi. Contact mograbi@netvision.net.il
TEXT: From one of my favorite Israeli doc filmmakers... this Video Documentary.. An armored vehicle, a cloud of dust, a bleeding woman, a megaphone, an ambulance, a woman with two children, another ambulance, a weeping girl, a man with white hair, a burst of wind, a reporter, a detail of a bigger picture. This is just a detail from his upcoming film.. He wants you to feel uncomfortable. It was filmed East of Nablus at the Azmout Junction. Mograbi's camera record the communication between an invisible soldier in an armoured vahicle and a Palestinian family wanting to cross the junction to go to a hospital. At first the armoured vehccile shows off for the camera.. preening like a dancing bird. Next the family, including a 12 and a 3 year old, approach the vehicle to get to the hospital. The woman is said to be bleeding. She is scared. The soldiers say go away. In the final portion, an ambulance is called. The ambulance is told to go away.. the IDF vehicle moves towards it. It leaves. Then the face of a soldier is finally seen and.....

DISCORDIA

TITLE: DISCORDIA
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal
COUNTRY: Canada
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 71 minutes
SOURCE: Distributed by National Film Board of Canada, 250 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY www.onf.ca
TEXT: Video. Documentary. On the campus of Montreal's Concordia University, an announcement is made that Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister of Israel, will speak, and it has sparked heated debate among the students, some of whom are Pro-Palestine, others Pro-Israel, and still others non-aligned free speech advocates. By the end of the day, the debate has exploded into violent confrontation - and the riot has made international news, from CNN to Al-Jazeera. Charting the turbulent progress of three young campus activists - Samer, the son of Palestinians who lost their ancestral lands in 1967; Noah, the co-president of Hillel, the Jewish students' association co-sponsoring Netanyahu's visit; and Aaron, VP of the student council who identifies strongly as a Jew and has inherited his father's sympathies with the Palestinian cause - this rousing documentary asks what role international politics, religion and culture can and should play in the lives of our college students.

BUT IF I WERE PROGRAMMING A FEST.. I WOULD SHOW DISCORDIA WITH THE FILM BELOW... TWO VIEWS ON THE SAME THING.

CONFRONTATION AT CONCORDIA

TITLE: CONFRONTATION AT CONCORDIA
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Martin Himel
COUNTRY: Canada
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 47
SOURCE: http://www.7thart.com/current/concordia/
TEXT: On September 9th, 2002, at Montreal's Concordia University, student union activists staged a violent protest to stop former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from addressing the Jewish student movement, Hillel, resulting in a riot and cancellation of the event. Hillel is a major international Jewish student organization with branches in almost every North American university. Throughout the months that followed, the student union demonstrated strong post-9/11 anti-American sentiment and, further, banned Hillel on campus, provoking angry outcries of anti-Semitism. "Confrontation at Concordia" examines intolerance and violent activism in a microcosm of North American society - a university campus. Fueling this confrontation is the contentious issue of the long-standing conflict in the Middle East between Israelis and Palestinians. 45 minutes. Filmmaker contact: Martin Himel martin@elsash-tv.com Tel.(011)972-54-546-204 Link to website: www.elsash-tv.com

A KISS IS A KISS IS A KISS

TITLE: A KISS IS A KISS IS A KISS
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Uri Bar-on
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 6 minute video
SOURCE: http://www.alma-films.com/
TEXT: From the director of last year's short 72 Virgins (I met him in a theater lobby at Sundance in 2003). Four couples - an older woman and a young man; two straight men; a young right wing male settler and a left wing young woman from Tel-Aviv, an Israeli woman soldier and a Palestinian man - all try to conquer their kissing fears and their differences. Distributed by Alma films.

AVANIM

TITLE: AVANIM
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Raphael Nadjari
COUNTRY: Frankreich, Israel
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 110 minutes
SOURCE: Berlinale 2004. Transfax Films, Tel Aviv
TEXT: with Asi Levi, Uri Gabriel, Florence Bloch, Shaul Mizrahi. Thirty-year-old Michale lives in Tel Aviv and has a lot on her plate. She works during the day in her father's accountancy firm which handles bookkeeping for a number of important religious institutions. But that's not all: Michale has been cheating on her husband for months. Her affair requires a great deal of clever time management. Sometimes Michale just doesn't know if she's coming or going - what with her child, her husband, her job and her lover. Everything just has to work like clockwork, otherwise even the slightest delay can set off a chain reaction, the consequences of which Michale doesn't even dare picture. But then, one day, it happens. On the way to another clandestine rendezvous, the hotel where she had agreed to meet her lover is hit by a mob and destroyed

CAMPFIRE / Medurat hashevet

TITLE: CAMPFIRE Medurat hashevet
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Joseph Cedar
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 95
SOURCE: Cinema Production in Tel Aviv 18 ben avgdor street POB 57297 TA Isreal 61572 or Cfactory@zahav.net.IL
TEXT: with Michaela Eshet, Assi Dayan, Moshe Ivgy, Hani Furstenberg, Maya Maron, Yehoram Gaon. seen at Berlinale 2004. Takes place in 1981. Rachel is a 42 year old woman. She is a widow with 2 children. She wants to belong badly. She wants to be a founding member of a settlers group. But the group says she must remarry to show that she is committed to their religious values. What will she do to belopng? Will she ruin her integrity? One daughter tries to ruin her mother's reputation. The younger daughter sympathizes with her mother's loneliness. But at a bonfire for her youth movement, the younger daughter is raped and then accused of being a slut. What will Rachel do? Hush up the story to be a part of the community? Or fight for her daughter's honor?

OUT OF THE FOREST

TITLE: OUT OF THE FOREST / Stimmen aus dem Wald
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Limor Pinhasov Ben Yosef, Yaron Kaftori Ben Yosef
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: English ST
TIME: 93
SOURCE: Cicero Films in Tel Aviv 972-3 647 5674 www.outoftheforest.NET
TEXT: For over 3 years, in Ponar a Lithuanian village 10 km west of Vilnius, over 100,000 Jews were murdered during WWII. The townpeople heard the guns firing in the forest. One Polish man, Kazimierz Sakowicz, kept a diary. This film is based on 835 days of his daily diary. In here are stoires of the girl who herded her cows past the dead bodies, the woman who had to cook for the killers, the man who sold the clothes of the dead, the woman who would not hide the man who just escaped through the forest from the execution squad. The documentary is a testament to how to this day, Jews, Poles, and Lithuanians see the events in the forest differently. seen at berlinale 2004

Strangers

TITLE: Strangers
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Erez Tadmor / Guy Nattiv
COUNTRY: USA/Israel
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 7 minutes 35mm
SOURCE: Fox Searchlight
TEXT: Two strangers meet on an underground train. One is a Jew, the other a Moslem. The only thing that draws them together is their mutual fear. with Sami Samir, Guy Loel. Audience Award Winner-Short Subject, Sundance Film Festival, 2004

THIS YEAR IN CZERNOWITZ

TITLE: THIS YEAR IN CZERNOWITZ / DIESES JAHR IN CZERNOWITZ
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Volker Koepp
COUNTRY: germany
LANGUAGE: English ST
TIME: 134
SOURCE: info@salzGeber.DE www.SalzGeber.DE
TEXT: Czernowitz, an out-of-the-way city in the middle of Europe. It was once part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy as the capital of the crown province of Bukowina. People of many different nationalities, languages and cultures lived here together: Ukrainians, Romanians, Germans, Poles, Huzulians. Almost half of the population of Czernowitz, once amounting to 150,000 inhabitants, were Jews. The southern part of Bukowina is now part of Romania, the north, with Czernowitz/Chernivtsi, belongs to the Ukraine. Six years ago Volker Koepp made the film HERR ZWILLING AND FRAU ZUCKERMANN there. Rosa Roth-Zuckermann and Mathias Zwilling were two of the last Jews who were born in the old Czernowitz and had survived the war and the camps in Transnistria and remained in their city. Jews who fled from Bukowina in the previous century found a place of exile in many parts of the world. Their families keep the memory of people, living quarters and landscapes alive. The film THIS YEAR IN CZERNOWITZ returns there with emigrants and their descendants. The cellist Eduard Weissmann makes his way there from Berlin, the sisters Evelyne Mayer and Katja Rainer come from Vienna, while the actor Harvey Keitel and the writer Norman Manea fly over from New York. The journey to the mythical places of their origins takes them not only back into the past, but also into the present, to people who live in Czernowitz today, to the Ukrainian student Tanja and the nearly 90-year-old German Johann Schlamp.
http://www.berlinale.de/en/meta/archiv/archiv/f_main.html

The School

TITLE: The School
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Ezra Krybus and Matthew Miller
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 12
SOURCE:
TEXT: Based on the short story by award winning author Donald Barthelme, The School is a darkly comedic fable that pushes the boundaries of absurdity and convention. Catering to the wealthy and elite, Sunnybrook Preparatory School is your typical upper class educational institution. Here students are taught the elementary life skills and moral philosophies that will shape the course of their lives. Edgar Gibson's (A.J. Pittis) second grade class is no exception. That is, of course, until everything starts to die. When all the beans die, faulty soil is blamed. When all the fish die, overfeeding is surely the cause. As the death toll mounts Edgar and his students are thrown into a tailspin of angst and confusion. Anything and everything is passing away in record numbers and nobody can figure out why. The students approach Edgar for answers. Together they are forced to reevaluate their notions of mortality. Seen at New York Jewish Student Film Festival. http://www.nyu.edu/bronfman/film/ For more information please contact: Nicole Opper, Film Festival Coordinator 212-998-4124. bronfmanarts@yahoo.com

The Runaway

TITLE: The Runaway
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Benjamin Gross
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 8
SOURCE:
TEXT: A police officer comes in for his usual, uneventful meal at a diner in Westchester, NY. But when he begins to talk to the young boy sitting next to him, it brings back memories from the distant past in a story about friendship, loyalty, and bonds that can never be broken. Seen at New York Jewish Student Film Festival. http://www.nyu.edu/bronfman/film/ For more information please contact: Nicole Opper, Film Festival Coordinator 212-998-4124. bronfmanarts@yahoo.com

Hello Pickles

TITLE: HELLO PICKLES
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Dara Bratt
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 20
SOURCE:
TEXT: a story of commercial survival. Aspect .. 20 minute film edited down from 38 hours of footage. This documentary profiles three employees of Guss' Pickles: Tim who was raised in pickles; Cathy, the only woman working in pickles; and Mike, a veteran. Guss' Pickles, a New York establishment on the Lower East Side, is the first pickles barrel stand to open in the United States. Through their personal struggles, we see a fragile New York community trying to find its place in an increasingly gentrified neighborhood. We also see the pickle store forced to move due to gentrification, the succession of the business to a new generation, a breakaway upstart pickle business to complete with the original store, animosity, and an appearance by the gentrifying force, MOBY. Seen at New York Jewish Student Film Festival. http://www.nyu.edu/bronfman/film/ For more information please contact: Nicole Opper, Film Festival Coordinator 212-998-4124. bronfmanarts@yahoo.com

Steady Hands: A Brooklyn Mohel

TITLE: Steady Hands: A Brooklyn Mohel
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Yoni Brook
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 6
SOURCE: http://www.ybpix.com/
TEXT: Rabbi Mordecai Zimmerman, one of the oldest and most humble and respected mohels in New York City, shares his insights into the oldest of Jewish rituals - circumcision. Seen at New York Jewish Student Film Festival. http://www.nyu.edu/bronfman/film/ For more information please contact: Nicole Opper, Film Festival Coordinator 212-998-4124. bronfmanarts@yahoo.com
See also L.A. Mohels

Contact Rabbi Andrew N. Bachman, Executive Director of Bronfman Ctr at NYU for more info on sources

Heavy Twenty

TITLE: Heavy Twenty
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Lior Geller
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 40 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: Three weeks in a tank with four Israeli Reserves soldiers serving in the Palestinian Territories. A real-life story set against the routine of night-long tank patrols across the Israeli-Palestinian borders. Following the four Reserve soldiers, uncovering their stories, conversations and dilemmas of service in the territories, in an attempt to show what the media does not, the true human issues behind the conflict from within. Thus the film is completely centered within the four steel walls of the tank. The film is the director's true encounter of Reserve duty, as he too is documented in the film as the tank commander himself. The film won "Jury MentionAward" at the Israeli International Documentary Film Festival 2004 - "DocAviv"
seen at http://www.shevetvoice.com/filmFestival/ Shevet Voice Israeli Film Festival in NYC at NYU, May 1-2, 2004

Routine

TITLE: Routine
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Yuval Shafferman
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 13 minutes
SOURCE: The Tel-Aviv University, Department of Film & Television
TEXT: A glimpse into the life of two parents, bearing the Israeli routine in the shadow of fear minutes after another terror attack. Will their daughter come back home from school today ? Winner of Best Film at the Manhattan Short Film Festival 2003
seen at http://www.shevetvoice.com/filmFestival/ Shevet Voice Israeli Film Festival in NYC at NYU, May 1-2, 2004
see also http://www.msfilmfest.com/routine.htm

Reach For the Sky

TITLE: Reach For the Sky
YEAR: 2001
DIR/PROD: Ronit Weiss Berkowitz / Lizka Assa - Assa Productions
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 52 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: Documentary. On an exposed hilltop, somewhere in the south, the story of "Reach for the Sky" unfolds. Over the course of a crazy week, we follow a diverse group of Urban and Rural, Males and Females, Secular and Yeshiva Students youth: those who succeed and those who are forced to relinquish their dream. Everyone has come together to begin a new journey. The army creates a Human Laboratory of sorts, wherein the youngsters are obliged to function in unknown surroundings: They have no watches, no telephones, they are far from their families and friends, they eat tasteless food, sleep little, and are not given a moment to consider how they might actually be feeling. How far are they prepared to go to achieve their ultimate dream? These youths yearn to be Pilots in the Israeli Air Force, but the issue of the Pilot is marginal to the film, existing only in the background. The film deals with the heroes in difficult conditions, as they make the concerted efforts required of each and every one of them to cope with the life changes necessary in order to achieve their final goal. These teenagers are battling for a place in both the army and Society, and, they are dealing, as we all must, with choosing a direction in an age where ideology is no longer a main influencing factor; where almost all choices can be granted legitimacy.
seen at http://www.shevetvoice.com/filmFestival/ Shevet Voice Israeli Film Festival in NYC at NYU, May 1-2, 2004

Beyond Mountains of Darkness

TITLE: Beyond Mountains of Darkness
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: TZACH NISSENBOIM / SYLVAIN BIGELEISEN, ZEN PRODUCIONS
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: Documentary 50 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: The peace process collapsed in the summer of 2000, and the Intifada erupted. For two years a film crew documented the daily routine of the Alons, a family of settlers from Ofra near Ramallah. The violent incidents and the political developments were reflected from their point of view, as they were perceived in their family living room. Against the mundane backdrop of familial quarrels and pleasures, the family's sense of dread from an ever-imminent danger mounted like a ring, which slowly was closing in tighter and tighter. On June 19, 2002 the coverage of the Alon family's lives took a terrible turn. Noa Alon and her granddaughter, Gal, were murdered in a terror attack at Jerusalem. Original Music by ORI AMIR. Partners: NOGA COMMUNICATION: CHANNEL 8 and THE NEW FOUNDATION FOR TELEVISION AND CINEMA.
seen at http://www.shevetvoice.com/filmFestival/ Shevet Voice Israeli Film Festival in NYC at NYU, May 1-2, 2004

Channels of Rage

TITLE: Channels of Rage
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Anat Halachmi
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: Documentary 72 minutes
SOURCE: www.channelsofrage.com
TEXT: Winner of the Best Documentary award at the Jerusalem International Film Festival, 2003. This film follows rap artists Subliminal (a patriotic Zionist) and Tamer (an Arab nationalist) who have became cultural icons to Jewish and Arab Israeli youth. Both use rap to state what politicians can't seem to put into words. Will the increasing national gap prevent the two from being able to communicate with each other through their international language of rap music?
I have the Subliminal CD.. and I did not know the film was about him and the Shadow when I went to the screening.. so I was literally shocked when I realized the translations of his great raps that I had been listening to for months were actually very rightist, nationalistic raps.
My fave part, slyly, is when Aviv Gefen takes Tamer into the recording studio to do a video and song, and tells Tamer to change the word soldier into person. Why?? So that the rap can then play on Army Radio and not get censored. This scene exposes Gefen as more a businessman and "user" of others, than a true artist. It shows Gefen using Tamer for his own ends. Althogh Tamer may think Subliminal is patronizing towards him, I think Subliminal is more of an honest friend to Tamer than fake leftist superstar Aviv Gefen
seen at http://www.shevetvoice.com/filmFestival/ Shevet Voice Israeli Film Festival in NYC at NYU, May 1-2, 2004

So Far So Near

TITLE: So Far So Near
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Ayelet Bargur / Provid - Udi Kalinski
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: Documentary 50 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: In 1996, the government of Israel approved the founding of a plant of the World Wide Giant Hi Tech Company - INTEL, in the development town of Kiryat -Gat in the southern part of Israel. The founding of the enterprise was accompanied by many promises to the local citizens, by the Israeli government as well as by the Chairman of Intel, Mr. Dov Fruman, who stated, "Within ten years the center of the country will be transferred to here. We will change, by our technology, the setting of the south; this is the Industry that will transform Kiryat Gat into a flourishing and prosperous Town." The encounter between Intel and the local residents is the focus of this Documentary. During the six years that Intel has operated in Kiryat Gat, ambivalent relationships have been created between Intel and the local population. On the one hand, it is the place everyone dreams of- which symbolizes socio-economic status; the "Promised Land," the Land of Milk and Honey which serves as the summit of everyone's aspiration. On the other hand, it is the place where social gaps are created and nurtured; a place, which crowns heroes and disregards the victims.
seen at http://www.shevetvoice.com/filmFestival/ Shevet Voice Israeli Film Festival in NYC at NYU, May 1-2, 2004

TOKYO NIGHTS

TITLE: TOKYO NIGHTS
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Chava Schein
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: Documentary 61 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: To Tokyo there is an endless stream of Israelis who come to work as hostesses. This is the true story of 3 of them. Ronni, is 20 years old and has just finished her army training, she is pretty, blonde, and intelligent. In Tokyo, Ronni finds out that the hostesses job isn't as easy as she thought... Ronni needs to find her own path in Tokyo. Will she make it in Japan? Note: The phenomena of western bar-hostesses in Japan, including Israelis has been common for many years. They join a long tradition of hostessing that had begun with the traditional Geishas.
seen at http://www.shevetvoice.com/filmFestival/ Shevet Voice Israeli Film Festival in NYC at NYU, May 1-2, 2004

Behind Enemy Lines

TITLE: Behind Enemy Lines
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Dov Gil - Har
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, Arabic with English subtitles
TIME: Documentary 65 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: Can friendship between Israelis and Palestinians surmount the barriers of mistrust afflicting both sides in the current Middle East conflict? Palestinian journalist Adnan Joulani and Israeli policeman Benny Herness meet face to face for the first time since the Intifada broke out. Each of them is asked to take the other to specific places in "his" world, in a valiant effort to try to get the "enemy" to understand his point of view. Can their warm personal relationship actually make a difference? By daring to ask that pertinent question, the masterful Behind Enemy Lines stands out from the pack. Was the Opening film at the 12th Annual Toronto Jewish Film Festival 2004.
seen at http://www.shevetvoice.com/filmFestival/ Shevet Voice Israeli Film Festival in NYC at NYU, May 1-2, 2004

Someone To Love

TITLE: Someone To Love
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Zipi Brand
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with NO subtitles
TIME: Documentary 30 minutes in each episode
SOURCE:
TEXT: The most popular 2003 Israeli documentary about young Israeli singles in Tel Aviv and their search for love, relationships and temporary companionship. Follow the true story of Hagar Yanai, who falls in love in the first date, Vered who is the Israeli version of Samantha Jones from Sex & the City & one gay guy. "A juicy hard to give up TV doc episodes..this is the REAL thing. The desperate, as it really is, sensitive, needy, heart touching, meaningless and detailed documented" [TV critic Ranan Shaked]
seen at http://www.shevetvoice.com/filmFestival/ Shevet Voice Israeli Film Festival in NYC at NYU, May 1-2, 2004

The Silent Exodus

TITLE: The Silent Exodus
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Pierre REHOV
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: French with English subtitles
TIME: Documentary 60 minutes
SOURCE:
TEXT: The Silent Exodus tells a story that had never been told before: that of the million Jews who were forced to flee the countries their forefathers had lived in for centuries and even thousands of years. Having to leave all their belongings and assets behind, most were lucky to escape with their lives as many were kept as hostages or even jailed, tortured, raped or murdered. The Silent Exodus has been shown in the Paris Human Rights Film Festival last March. It will be shown at the United Nations in Geneva on April 21st to the Human Rights Commission -the first time ever there will be any mention of that million Jewish refugees at the U.N. It has also been shown by various groups in countries like the United Kingdom or Switzerland.
seen at http://www.shevetvoice.com/filmFestival/ Shevet Voice Israeli Film Festival in NYC at NYU, May 1-2, 2004

Abjad (the First Letter)

TITLE: Abjad (The first Letter)
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Abolfazl Jalili
COUNTRY: France / Iran
LANGUAGE: Farsi with English subtitles
TIME: 108 minutes in 35 mm
SOURCE: check toronto jewish film fest 2004
TEXT: Stars Mehdi Morady, Mina Molania, Sharare Roohy. On the eve of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, Emkan, a 16-year-old Muslim boy with an artistic bent and a rebellious nature, falls in love with Maassoum, a teenage Jewish girl. As he grows closer to her, and the country's fundamentalists begin to make their impact felt, matters between the couple intensify. Beautifully shot and photographed, Abjad very subtly deals with its Jewish content and characters. The result is a ravishing film that's a tender love story and an incisive political commentary.

ALMOST PEACEFUL (UN MONDE PRESQUE PAISIBLE)

TITLE: ALMOST PEACEFUL (UN MONDE PRESQUE PAISIBLE)
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Michel Deville
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: French with English ST
TIME: 90 minutes in 35mm
SOURCE: check toronto jewish film fest 2004
TEXT: Writers: Michel Deville, Rosalinde Deville. Cast: Simon Abkarian, Zabou Breitman, Denis Podalydes. Set immediately following World War II, when Jewish survivors of the Holocaust struggled to pick up the pieces of their lives, Almost Peaceful is a sweet, leisurely snapshot of a particular time and place. As Albert re-establishes his Paris tailor shop, his dissatisfied wife Lea finnds herself attracted to Charles, who is still vainly hoping that his family survived the camps. Other employees and customers of the shop indulge in their own affairs of the heart. In the humane spirit of French directors such as François Truffaut (The Last Metro) and Louis Malle (Au revoir les enfants), Almost Peaceful is a gentle and evocative film.

1000 CALORIES

TITLE: 1000 CALORIES
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Dalia Mevorah
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English subtitles
TIME: 50 minutes video
SOURCE:
TEXT: Writer: Nava Semel. Cast: Esthie Zakheim, Dalit Kahan, Smadar Klachinksi. When two friends accompany their unhappy, overweight friend to a fat farm, secrets are revealed, trusts are broken, and love is discovered. A bittersweet drama from Israel, starring the luminous Dalit Kahan (Song of the Siren, TJFF 1996). From the Reflections of Women TV series.

ALMOST PEACEFUL (UN MONDE PRESQUE PAISIBLE)

TITLE: ALMOST PEACEFUL (UN MONDE PRESQUE PAISIBLE)
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Michael Deville
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: French w/ English ST
TIME: 90 min 35mm
SOURCE:
TEXT: Writers: Michel Deville, Rosalinde Deville. Cast: Simon Abkarian, Zabou Breitman, Denis Podalydes. Set immediately following World War II, when Jewish survivors of the Holocaust struggled to pick up the pieces of their lives, Almost Peaceful is a sweet, leisurely snapshot of a particular time and place. As Albert re-establishes his Paris tailor shop, his dissatisfied wife Lea finnds herself attracted to Charles, who is still vainly hoping that his family survived the camps. Other employees and customers of the shop indulge in their own affairs of the heart. In the humane spirit of French directors such as François Truffaut (The Last Metro) and Louis Malle (Au revoir les enfants), Almost Peaceful is a gentle and evocative film.

The Barber

TITLE: The Barber
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Jon J. Carnoy
COUNTRY:
LANGUAGE: French w/ English ST
TIME: 10 minutes 16mm
SOURCE:
TEXT: Will a small-town barber strike a blow for the Resistance by cutting the throat of the German officer he is shaving?

AMSALEM'S TEARS

TITLE: AMSALEM'S TEARS
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Oren Stern
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English subtitles
TIME: 54 minutes in video
SOURCE:
TEXT: Writer: Reshef Levi, Regel Levi. Cast: Moshe Ivgi, Reuven Dayan, Karen Koved. When he reluctantly commits his father to an old age home, local gangster Eli (Moshe Ivgi) is forced to come to terms with his dad's mortality and confronts his own inner emotional life in the process. As an Israeli version of Tony Soprano, Moshe Ivgi shines in this funny, offbeat and surprisingly tender drama.

THE POSTWOMAN

TITLE: THE POSTWOMAN
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Dina Zvi Riklis
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English subtitles
TIME: 50 minutes video
SOURCE:
TEXT: Writer: Aya Shva. Cast: Orly Silberschatz Banai, Moshe Ivgi, Jermaine Unikowski. A lonely mail carrier falls for a man (Moshe Ivgi) who has moved into the neighbourhood on her route. Intercepting a letter for him from a potential blind date, she decides to begin corresponding with him, under an alias. But how will she reveal herself to him and what will he do when he finds out who she is? A tender love story, from the Reflections of Women TV series. Best Drama Award, Jerusalem International Film Festival, 2002; Best Production Award, for anthology - Reflections of Women, Jerusalem International Film Festival, 2002

BLOOD FROM A STONE

TITLE: BLOOD FROM A STONE
YEAR: 2003 (not completed yet)
DIR/PROD: Phil Tuckett
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 83 minutes video
SOURCE: contact TJff.Com
TEXT: When Sam Nyer, an American - Jewish veteran of World War II , encounters Israeli terrorism expert Yaron Svoray, the stage is set for a real life adventure that will take up the next fifteen years of Svoray's life. Leading the search for 40 uncut diamonds, hidden by Nyer, is a quest that changes Svoray, a real - life Indiana Jones, profoundly. Exciting, gripping and, finally, very moving, Blood from a Stone will keep you riveted in your seat. At the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, May 2004, Rick Kojfman, Yaron Svoray's financial associate, who was involved in the quest for the diamonds, attended the screening of this uncut version.

THE CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM & SOPHIE

TITLE: THE CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM & SOPHIE
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Benny Brunner
COUNTRY: ISRAEL / NETHERLANDS
LANGUAGE: Hebrew, German with English subtitles
TIME: 95 video
SOURCE:
TEXT: The three children of Abraham Braun and Sophie Schopf, including writer and former Knesset member Mordechai Bar-On, are just part of the family tree in Benny Brunner's complex and subtle examination of the ties that bind. In this family, the roots begin with Abraham and Sophie, a Jewish man and a Catholic woman who came to Palestine in 1924. They also extend backwards to her German relatives in Breslau (now Wroclaw) and forward to an Arab son-in-law who gently spars with Mordechai, his staunchly Zionist father-in-law. Gradually, and leavened by Harry de Wit's haunting, melancholy score, a fascinating picture of modern Israel and Jewish life today emerges. Benny Brunner's other films are The Wall; and It Is No Dream. North American premiere was at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, May 2004

The Chosen People

TITLE: The Chosen People
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Igal Hecht / Ron Furman
COUNTRY: CANADA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 65 minutes in video
SOURCE: chutzpaproductions@hotmail.com
TEXT: World premiere was at TJFF.com in May 2004 and then at the Vancouver Jewish Film Festival. This is a controversial documentary revolving around a so - called "Messianic" Jewish congregation in Toronto, which believes Jesus is the Messiah, and the Jews for Judaism organization, which seeks to prevent Jews from being converted to Christianity. Young 'believers' who have come to Christ speak out about why they believe in 'Yeshua'. Other Jews explain why, according to scripture, Jesus could not possibly be the Messiah. The Chosen People deftly portrays issues that are of concern to many in the Jewish community today. From the director of Y.I.D.: Yehudeem in the Diaspora.
For almost a year Hecht filmed the services, leaders and members of City of David Messianic Synagogue in the Jewish neighborhood of Thornhill, immediately north of Toronto. Messianic Rabbi Jeff Forman leads the congregation. The sympathetic portraits of Messianic believers, particularly two sisters, Nikki and Roanne Socchet, break some of the most strongly held misconceptions about Messianic Jews. Messianic Jews are shown to be intelligent, well-educated Jewish adults and include those who have had orthodox Jewish schooling. Their devotion to the Jewish Scriptures and the genuine quality of their faith cannot be easily dismissed. Israeli Messianic Jews are also presented showing that the Messianic movement is becoming more strongly rooted. Sensitive depictions of Messianic Jews are balanced by opening and closing comments from a Toronto rabbi who emphasizes that there is no room in Judaism for Jesus or a faith that accepts him as Messiah. Extensive arguments come from anti-missionary representatives of Jews for Judaism, who emphasize that Messianic Jews represent a "spiritual holocaust" against the Jewish people. A candid episode shows the street corner witness of a Jews for Jesus missionary worker who is dismissed by an elderly Jewish woman. "You're not Jewish," the elderly woman taunts the missionary. Before she walks away, the woman demands, "Why do you have to convert Jews? Why don't you convert the Muslims?" This segment got loud approval from the premiere audience. Nevertheless, Hecht has faced criticism in the Jewish media from Jews for Judaism, whose Canadian leader, Rabbi Michael Skobac, told the Canadian Jewish News that the film did not equally present the issues. "We get 13 minutes, they get 47," he told a reporter. "If the movie is exploring both sides, it doesn't do it in a balanced way." Hecht, 26, was born in Israel, moved to Canada at age 11 and grew up in the Toronto neighborhood where City of David is located. He founded the film's production company, Chutzpa Productions, in 1999. He is an instructor in video editing and film history at the Seneca College School of Communication Arts in Toronto. Hecht is candid about the ease with which he might have demonized Messianic Jews to the Jewish community. However, he stresses that his goals were to retain objectivity. "I understand the fear of the community," says Hecht. "There are 12.9 million Jews in the world and the Jewish community is the only one that is decreasing. "I'm not saying whether or not it's legitimate," he says. "Let the community decide once they see a more human face of Messianic Judaism."

Before and After

TITLE: Before and After
YEAR: 2005
DIR/PROD: Igal Hecht and Elad Winkler / Ron Furman and Ryan Silverman
COUNTRY: Canada
LANGUAGE: English
TIME:
SOURCE: Ryan Silverman, producer tel. 416.226.8697 fax. 416.226.8698 ryan@q-silver.com
TEXT: BEFORE and AFTER is a feature-length documentary. It examines the lives of seven jewish comedians in Israel and the United States during times of terror and violence. The project is currently in pre-production. Production is slated for the summer and fall of 2003. To be directed by Elad Winkler & Igal Hecht, produced by Ron Furman & Ryan Silverman. A joint venture between Chutzpa Productions and quickSILVER PRODUCTIONS

Crown Heights

TITLE: Crown Heights
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Jeremy Kagan
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90 minutes video
SOURCE:
TEXT: Writer: Toni Ann Johnson. Cast: Howie Mandel, Mario Van Peebles, Jeremy Blackman. Howie Mandel stars as a Hasidic Rabbi trying to broker peace between his people and the African - American community in Crown Heights, New York, after a Hasidic man accidentally runs down and kills a young black boy. Based on the1991 incident, Crown Heights emphasizes reconciliation and hope as the Rabbi and a black youth leader, played by Mario Van Peebles, work together to bridge their differences.

INCREASING THE PEACE

TITLE: INCREASING THE PEACE
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Jeremy Kagan
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 15
SOURCE:
TEXT: The Jews and African - Americans depicted in Crown Heights are profiled ten years after the fact.

DZIGA AND HIS BROTHERS

TITLE: DZIGA AND HIS BROTHERS
YEAR: 2002
DIR/PROD: Yevgeni Tsymbal
COUNTRY: Russia
LANGUAGE: Russian with English subtitles
TIME: 52 minute video
SOURCE:
TEXT: David Kaufman, known as Dziga Vertov, directed the landmark 1929 Russian documentary film Man with a Movie Camera. Moisey (Mikhail) Kaufman starred in Dziga's film and was a renowned Soviet cameraman too. Boris Kaufman collaborated with the legendary French filmmaker Jean Vigo (L'Atalante) and then went to Hollywood, winning fame and fortune as a cinematographer (On the Waterfront, The Pawnbroker). The tumultuous lives of the three Kaufman brothers exemplified the history of the cinema and of the major political events that made up the twentieth century. Revolutionary artists all, the Russian-Jewish brothers are brought to vivid life, through their correspondence, remembrances from their loved ones and, most of all, their timeless, pioneering cinematic works. Using rare footage from Russian State film archives and private collections, Dziga and His Brothers pays homage to three genuine masters whose influences are with us still.

AVANT-GARDE JEWISH WEDDING

TITLE: AVANT-GARDE JEWISH WEDDING
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: melissa Shiff
COUNTRY: CANADA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 7 minute video
SOURCE:
TEXT: Premiered at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, May 2004. When they married, filmmaker Melissa Shiff and her new husband Louis Kaplan, decided to incorporate experimental film and video techniques to pay homage to their ancestors and create new Jewish rituals, traditions and hopes for the future. Something old, something borrowed, something new!

EMMA GOLDMAN: AN EXCEEDINGLY DANGEROUS WOMAN

TITLE: EMMA GOLDMAN: AN EXCEEDINGLY DANGEROUS WOMAN
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Mel Bucklin
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 87
SOURCE:
TEXT: The remarkable Emma Goldman, anarchist, revolutionary and passionate fighter for women's rights, is profiled in Mel Bucklin's incisive and comprehensive documentary. 'Red Emma' as she was labeled by the tabloids, made her mark in early 20th Century America, even as she accumulated enemies. Emma Goldman: An Exceedingly Dangerous Woman, however, goes beyond her politics to get at the passionate, driven human being who influenced and impressed so many. It's a stirring portrait of an extraordinary person.

FROM DACHAU WITH LOVE

TITLE: FROM DACHAU WITH LOVE
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Bernd Fischer
COUNTRY: GERMANY
LANGUAGE: English, German, Polish with English subtitles
TIME: 77
SOURCE:
TEXT: The picturesque German town of Dachau has many attractions but it's best known for one thing, the concentration camp which bore its name. The townspeople have mixed feelings about that fact, with many wanting to downplay that reality and market the town to tourists. Others are determined to keep the truth alive. Gradually, a multi-layered portrait of Dachau, drawn by a filmmaker who grew up there, emerges. It's not a pretty picture.

IMPACT OF TERROR

TITLE: IMPACT OF TERROR
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Tim Wolochatiuk / Ric Bienstock and Simcha Jacobovici
COUNTRY: CANADA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 52
SOURCE:
TEXT: World premiered at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. In August 2001, a bomb destroyed a Sbarro pizza restaurant in downtown Jerusalem. Fifteen people died in the explosion; another 130 were injured, many seriously. Evocatively, Impact of Terror revisits that tragic event, interviewing the survivors and the families of the dead. Playing out almost as a thriller, slowly revealing the fate of those in the restaurant at the time, the deeply moving Impact of Terror brings home the danger - and the long-term repercussions - of the terrorism Israelis face virtually every day. At the Toronto festival, the festival had a person who was at Sbarro's that day speak after the screening.

MY BROTHER'S WEDDING

TITLE: MY BROTHER'S WEDDING
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Daniel Akiba
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 36
SOURCE:
TEXT: Growing up, Dan Akiba had a uniquely close relationship with his brother Jonah, much of it documented on film by their photographer father. Now Jonah has become ultra-Orthodox and is getting married in a Hasidic ceremony in Israel. The invitation to Jonah's wedding brings Dan's conflicted feelings about his brother's new lifestyle to the surface in this revealing portrait.

IMAGINARY WITNESS: HOLLYWOOD AND THE HOLOCAUST

TITLE: IMAGINARY WITNESS: HOLLYWOOD AND THE HOLOCAUST
YEAR: 2004
DIR/PROD: Daniel Anker / Daniel Anker, Ellin Baumel, Susan Kim, Nate Smith, Jan Rofekamp, Diana Holtzberg, For AMC- Jessica Falcone Shreve
COUNTRY: USA
LANGUAGE: English
TIME: 90
SOURCE: Daniel Anker ANKER PRODUCTIONS, INC. 220 West 19th Street, Suite 6R New York, NY 10011 Phone: (212) 645-2205 Fax: (212) 741-3002 Email: APIFILMS@aol.com also: AMC - American Movie Classics.
TEXT: Composer: Andrew Barrett. Principle people interviewed: Gene Hackman (Narrator), Steven Spielberg, Sidney Lumet, Rod Steiger, George Stevens, Jr., Branko Lustig, Thane Rosenbaum, Robert Clary, Starger, Neal Gabler, Berenbaum, and Annette Insdorf.
At first, when AMC approached Daniel Anker (Scottsboro), they thought it would be a six month projects. It took 2 and a half years.
How do we depict on screen what is outside the realm of most human experience? Imaginary Witness integrates clips from Hollywood films made before and after World War II with an astounding array of interviews with world-class directors, academicians and Holocaust survivors, to examine the American film community's response to the Nazi genocide. There are so many fascinating perspectives and interesting bits of movie history on display here. Charlie Chaplin, working outside the studio system (and at the time the second most famous man in the world after Hitler), made The Great Dictator in 1940. Chaplin was able to do it since he didn't need the studio's money to create the film. Only B-films, by exiled refugee directors were able to make films that focused on the plight of Jews and other enemies of Hitler. As Sidney Lumet remarks, Chaplin's film was the first time he ever heard the word "Jew" used in an American film. In recent years, depicting the Holocaust on film has gone mainstream, but for decades the responses to it were muted by political and social concerns. People don';t realize that Sophie's Choice had a hard time finding a studio and funding. After the war, there was a sense that audiences wouldn't want to see the truth of what had happened, simply couldn't handle it. There was also the political reality of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), which sanitized Hollywood films and made the studios fearful of depicting anything too "political." This extraordinary documentary continues through the decades, with clips from seminal films in the evolution of the portrayal of the Holocaust, including The Producers, Sophie's Choice, Schindler's List, and The Pianist. Also an episode of This Is Your Life from 1953 in which they profiled a Holocasut survivor in a wacky obscene way. Also footage from Crossfire, and Singing in the Dark. Thought-provoking and eminently watchable, Imaginary Witness shows that film is an inherently political medium, capable of documenting the truth about an experience -- even the most abominable experience -- through the power of visual storytelling.

The director wrote: This is one of those films that started in one place and ended up in another. When my colleagues Ellin Baumel, Susan Kim, and I set out to make a film about Hollywood and the Holocaust, at the behest of AMC, we were stymied as to how to approach the subject in a way that would not seem to trivialize it. This was the fall of 2001, and in the wake of 9/11 we felt there were enough parallels that would make this a timely look at how an artistic community responds to atrocity. We were initially struck by the 1945 trip to Europe of 13 Hollywood moguls, who, at the invitation of Gen. Eisenhower, toured the liberated camps with the expressed purpose that they would then bear witness through their films and educate the world. But despite the declarations of intent from the moguls, the trip was followed by decades of silence from the studios. Could we make a documentary about why Hollywood chose not to make Holocaust films? Should there be an expectation that Hollywood make films on a particular prescribed subject? Moreover, is it even appropriate to attempt such a film when the subject is atrocity? As the son of a refugee from Hitler's Germany, and the great-grandson of a victim of the Holocaust, it had been my core belief that any effort to shed light on those events, even if fictionalized, was worthwhile. But I would come to appreciate that there was another side to this question. The representation of the Holocaust in any art, let alone Hollywood movies, is at the center of an emotionally charged and polarizing debate that has persisted half a century. There were many points during our production, when we felt that the film was undo-able, that we would in essence be guilty of celebrating the very thing we questioned. Through much debate, research, and the invaluable aid of scholars Michael Berenbaum, Annette Insdorf, Neal Gabler, and Thane Rosenbaum, we settled on a narrative that has as its focus the singular relationship of American culture to the Holocaust and the evolution of that relationship, as seen through film, from a period of denial to the present day, when a National Holocaust Museum graces our nation's capital. The contradictions and ironies are fascinating. The story begins well before World War II, and is one that is intertwined with Hollywood money, Hollywood moguls, and the movies themselves. Ultimately, it was this broader view of the place of the Holocaust in our society that allowed us the distance to explore a little-known chapter in pre-World War II American history, and to consider the issues of filmmaker responsibility that are central to any discussion of the Holocaust on film.
To be broadcast on AMC in 2005.

INSIGHT

TITLE: INSIGHT
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Eyal Halfon
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English subtitles
TIME: 77 min video
SOURCE:
TEXT: Cast: Alon Aboutboul, Dan Shapira, Moshe Folkenfich. After the chaos of the just ended Yom Kippur War, a religious Israeli soldier tries to find his childhood friend, who is feared dead in a tank battle. Eyal Halfon, whose film The Italians are Coming opened TJFF 1997, has created a powerful, deeply moving drama about war, camaraderie and responsibility. Based on Haim Sabato's acclaimed novel, Adjusting Sights, it's also made unique inroads in Israel's religious community. Best TV Drama, Jerusalem International Film Festival, 2003

A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT

TITLE: A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Rachell Scheinfeld-Gadot
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English subtitles
TIME: 26 min video
SOURCE: Ma'ale School of Television and Film
TEXT: Cast: Elian Duval, Oren Zeltzer. Independent, prickly Chava rejects Moshe, the date her Orthodox parents have arranged for her, simply because of his physical disabilities. Could it be, however, that she has a lot more in common with him than she can admit? A tender love story from the Ma'ale School of Television and Film.

ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER "...ABOUT A HIDDEN GOD..."

TITLE: ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER "...ABOUT A HIDDEN GOD..."
YEAR: 1998
DIR/PROD: Isy Morgensztern
COUNTRY: France
LANGUAGE: English ST
TIME: 50 min video
SOURCE:
TEXT: An affectionate tribute to the late, great Yiddish writer. He speaks about his fame, his Nobel Prize for Literature, why he writes in Yiddish, and his philosophy of love, sex, women and Judaism. With arresting historical footage of the young Singer and narrated excerpts from his books and stories.

IT IS NO DREAM

TITLE: IT IS NO DREAM
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Benny Brunner, Joseph Rochlit
COUNTRY: ISRAEL
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English subtitles
TIME: 53 min video
SOURCE:
TEXT: Figures from Israel's left - writers, journalists, and human rights workers - voice their concerns and criticisms about the occupation, the Intifada, and Israeli-Palestinian relations. They speak out with remarkable candour and passion about the mistakes they feel their country is making. Theirs is not an Israeli view we're used to hearing but it's part of the thriving, lively democratic debate currently going on in Israel. It is No Dream is an important, relevant film that must be seen.

A LIFE'S WORK

TITLE: A LIFE'S WORK
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Gadi Nemet
COUNTRY: Israel
LANGUAGE: Hebrew with English subtitles
TIME: 61 min video
SOURCE:
TEXT: Cast: Shmulik Kalderon, Irit Gidron, Yonatan Cherchi. Successful businessman Jacob returns to the kibbutz he left many years ago, in order to acquire its fading cosmetics factory. His return pits him against his ex-girlfriend Dorit, as well as her husband Hilik, who vows to fight the factory takeover at all costs. Filmed partially on location at Kibbutz Gal - On, A Life's Work is a quiet elegy to a fast disappearing way of life.

THE ORTHODOX WAY

TITLE: THE ORTHODOX WAY
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD: Ilan Eshkoli
COUNTRY:
LANGUAGE: Hebrew w/ English ST
TIME: 25 min video
SOURCE:
TEXT: Cast: Ronen Yifrac, Shelly Feldman. When Eli accidentally picks up Michal, thinking she's his blind date, the contrary duo are thrown together in an amusing adventure, involving mistaken identity, three thugs, and a religious argument or two. A screwball comedy from the Ma'ale School of Television and Film.

TITLE:
YEAR: 2003
DIR/PROD:
COUNTRY:
LANGUAGE: English
TIME:
SOURCE:
TEXT:

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