The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee Presents The 2016 Milman-Kover Jewish Film Festival March 6-13; The seventh annual festival features nine extraordinary films. Featured guests include “Beneath the Helmut” director Oren Rosenfeld with two IDF soldiers from the film; screenwriter and director Dani Menkin; and Israeli musician and TV personality Idan Haviv

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The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

Presents The

2016 Milman-Kover Jewish Film Festival

March 6-13

The seventh annual festival features nine extraordinary films. Featured guests include “Beneath the Helmut” director Oren Rosenfeld with two IDF soldiers from the film; screenwriter and director Dani Menkin; and Israeli musician and TV personality Idan Haviv.

 

(Sarasota, FL) The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee has selected nine award-winning films for its 2016 Milman-Kover Jewish Film Festival. The festival is March 6-13 at various venues in Sarasota County. (A list of films, dates and times is below.) Tickets are $10 per film, except the opening night film and dessert reception, which is $25. A nine-film festival pass is $100 and offers one non-reserved seat at one screening of each of the eight regular films, one seat at the opening night film, the opening night dessert reception on March 6, and the closing night dessert reception on March 13. Tickets can be purchased online at http://jfedsrq.org/events/2016jff or by calling 866-465-3995. For more information about The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, call 941-371-4546 or visit www.jfedsrq.org.

The 2016 films were selected by Roz Goldberg and Rosann Argenti Black, co-chairs the Milman-Kover Jewish Film Festival, and their committee members, Karen Bernstein, Roberta Berson, Fran Braverman, Jack Braverman, Marsha Eisenberg, Barbara Horowitz, Barbara Jacob, Helene Morgenstern, Susan Newmark, Ronnie Riceberg, Nadia Ritter, Lois Stulberg, Evans Tilles, Janet Tolbert, and Frank Tucciarone. Hospitality co-chairs are Gloria Feibus, Marsha Frank.

Special guests and events include the opening night Opening Night Celebration, Sunday, March 6, at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. The event begins with a 45-minute concert by Israeli musician and TV personality, Idan Haviv, followed by a screening of “Beneath the Helmet,” an inspiring documentary about five young IDF draftees. Featured guests at the event include the film’s director, Oren Rosenfeld, and two young soldiers featured in the film: Coral Amarani (Coral is a drill sergeant at Michvei Alon, a pre-basic training program that helps soldiers successfully integrate into the IDF. She is responsible for the basic military training, education and welfare of twelve soldiers, many of whom come from foreign countries);  and Mekonen Abeba. (At age 12, Mekonen emigrated from Ethiopia. Hours before boarding the plane for Israel, his father passed away, hurling the family into a tumultuous period of grief and coping with the unknown in a new land. He is now in basic training with the 101st Paratrooper Brigade.) The screening will be followed by a Q & A with the director and soldiers and a dessert reception. Tickets for the movie and a dessert reception are $25. (March 6, 5:45 p.m., at Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota.)

The Closing Night Celebration, March 13, will feature a work-in-progress screening of “On the Map,” a thrilling documentary about the 1977 victory by the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team over the heavily favored European Champion, the Russian Army Team. The film’s director, Dani Menkin, and two players from that team, Captain Tal Brody and Sarasota resident, Eric Minkin, will be at the event to participate in a Q&A, followed by a dessert reception. (Sunday, March 13, 6:30 p.m., at the Beatrice Friedman Theater on the JFSM campus, 580 McIntosh Road, Sarasota.)

Goldberg says that audiences, “can expect to experience nine outstanding films that explore, record, and celebrate Jewish life and experience—past and present. Each film was carefully chosen for its quality and diversity, and for its ability to excite, delight, enlighten, provoke, and/or move its viewers to tears or to laughter.” She adds that they added more screenings this year, and have scheduled most of the matinees at Hollywood 20.

Film Days and Times:

Beneath the Helmet” is an inspiring documentary that follows the journey of five Israeli high-school graduates who are drafted into the IDF. These young men and women are defending not only their homes and their families, but also the values of peace, equality, opportunity, democracy, religious tolerance, and women’s rights. March 6, 5:45 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota. Q & A with the film’s director and featured soldiers and dessert reception to follow. Also: Tuesday, March 8, 1:45 p.m., at Hollywood 20, 1993 Main Street, Sarasota; and Wednesday, March 9, 3:45 p.m., at Hollywood 20.

 

“Magic Men” is a touching feature about a jaded Holocaust survivor who returns to his native Greece to find the man who protected him and taught him magic during WWII. Traveling with his Hassidic rapper son as his guardian, his journey becomes a search for absolution and reconciliation, punctuated by enchanting moments of humor and affection. Monday, March 7, 7 p.m. at Beatrice Friedman Theater on the campus of The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, 582 McIntosh Road, Sarasota​; Tuesday, March 8, 11:30 a.m., at Hollywood 20; Thursday, March 10, 3:45 p.m., at Hollywood 20.

 

“Apples from the Desert” is a timeless and moving story of tradition versus modernity. The rebellious teenage daughter of ultra-Orthodox Jewish parents journeys into the secular world in an adaptation of the award-wining Israeli play that poignantly explores themes of love and reconciliation. Ultimately, this conflict culminates in a moment of truth, forcing all parties to confront their beliefs and their feelings for one another. Tuesday, March 8, 7 p.m., at Beatrice Friedman Theater; Wednesday, March 9, 11:30 a.m., at Hollywood 20; Friday, March 11, 1:45 p.m., at Hollywood 20.

 

“24 Days” is a troubling view into the 2006 kidnapping of a young French Jew. Based on a shocking true story, this film is described as “one of the most wrenching and politically astute” films to come out of France. Although this film is difficult to watch at moments, it is an acclaimed, award-winning film that tells a timely and cautionary story—a story that forcefully reminds us of the critical challenge we face as a Jewish community—both at home and around the world. Wednesday, March 9, 7 p.m., at Beatrice Friedman Theater; Thursday, March 10, 3:45 p.m., at Beatrice Friedman Theater; Friday, March 11, 11:30 a.m., at Hollywood 20.

 

“To Life” is a touching human drama about the relationship between an aging Jewish cabaret singer and Holocaust survivor, and a young non-Jewish man on the run. Adapted from the original story, “If Stones Could Cry,” this film focuses on the unexpected connection that develops between Ruth and Jonas when he fortuitously saves her life. From that rather unusual beginning, a deep bond is formed between these very unlikely companions. Wednesday, March 9, 7 p.m. at Temple Beth Israel on Longboat Key; Thursday, March 10, 1:45 p.m. at Hollywood 20.

 

“Besa–The Promise” is a powerful documentary about Albanian Muslims who rescued Jews during the Holocaust, and one man’s search for the descendants of the Jews he saved, in order to fulfill a promise. This human drama bridges generations and religions, uniting fathers and sons, Muslims and Jews. Through the accounts of Jewish survivors, we hear stories of gratitude to Muslim rescuers—stories that have not been heard for almost 70 years. Monday, March 7, 1:45 p.m. at Beatrice Friedman Theatre; Wednesday, March 9, 11:30 a.m., at Beatrice Friedman Theater; Thursday, March 10, 7 p.m., at Beatrice Friedman Theater.

 

“Once in a Lifetime” is an uplifting, fact-based story of a dedicated history teacher at a Paris high school who decides to challenge her apathetic, ethnically-diverse students with a unique assignment: A national competition on the theme of the child victims of the Nazi concentration camps. As they move forward with their project, these once-rebellious teenagers begin to see one another—and themselves—in a new light. A potent antidote to the devaluation of education in an age of ignorance, bigotry, and rising anti-Semitism, this moving feature film demonstrates the enduring impact of the Holocaust in transforming future generations. Monday, March 7, 11:30 a.m., at Hollywood 20; Wednesday, March 9, 1:45 p.m., at Hollywood 20.

 

“A Borrowed Identity” is a compelling, moving feature about a young man going through a set of personal transitions against a background of ongoing cultural flux in Israel. Set in the 1980s and 1990s, this film explores the complex interrelated identities of Jewish Israelis and Arab Israelis. A gifted Arab Israeli boy is given the chance to go to a prestigious Jewish boarding school in Jerusalem, where he desperately tries to fit in with his Jewish schoolmates and with Israeli society. Ultimately, he must decide who and what he is—a decision that will change his life forever. The film was directed by Jewish-Israeli filmmaker, Eran Riklis, and was scripted by acclaimed Arab-Israeli writer, Seyad Kashua. Monday, March 7, 3:45 p.m., at Hollywood 20; Thursday, March 10, 11:30 a.m., at Hollywood 20.

 

“On the Map” is a fast-moving documentary about the astounding Maccabi Tel Aviv pro-basketball team that toppled the four-time defending European Champion, the Russian Army Team—and put Israel firmly on the map. In 1977, Maccabi Tel Aviv assembled a talented roster of American and Israeli athletes, but no one thought they would get very far, not even in Israel. This film combines the pulse-pounding action of a high-stakes game with an incendiary political situation at the height of the Cold War. The film honors Israeli heroes, fascinates basketball fans, and captures the spirit of a nation triumphant against all odds. This is a work-in-progress” screening. Sunday, March 13, 3 p.m., at Beatrice Friedman Theater; Sunday, March 13, 6:30 p.m.: Q&A dessert reception with director Dani Menkin and team members at Beatrice Friedman Theater.

 

About The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen Jewish life and identity in our community, provide for Jewish people in need, and promote support for Israel. For more information, call 941-371-4546 or visit www.jfedsrq.org.

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