JCC Rockland Announces Line Up of 13th Annual Jewish International Film Festival

Welcome to the “Bar Mitzvah Year”
The wildly popular JCC Rockland’s International Jewish Film Festival enters its 13th season, affectionately nicknamed the “Bar Mitzvah Year” with a new array of critically acclaimed films with Jewish themes and/or created by Jewish talent.
Organizers say the primary goal of the Festival is to build bridges between the Jewish community, other ethnic and religious communities, and all Rocklanders and their neighbors. It has grown over the years to be one of the largest, most –anticipated, and well respected Cultural Arts events in the tri-state area.
This year’s Film Festival features 15 films, in 18 days, from 10 countries in four venues. First- run films featuring Tony- winning actor Jonathan Pryce, Yitzak Rabin, Philadelphia’s Zahav Restaurant Chef Michael Solomonov, Golden Globe winner, Son of Saul, David Broza the Israeli Springsteen, three generations of Morgenthaus, Julius Rosenwald, the philanthropist who built 5,300 schools for the black communities from Florida to Chicago, and the Streit’s Family, the last family-owned Matzah factory in the US who will open their new facility in Orangeburg in April!
The festival brings the entire Rockland community together to view first –run, internationally recognized, Oscar Winning and Ophir nominated films and Golden Globe winners and creates a unique opportunity to address challenging issues through a Jewish lens and to foster greater understanding and vision of the world around us.  The list of this year’s films includes foodie flicks, fun-filled comedies, heart-tugging dramas and films about famous Jews in music, politics, art, and philanthropy,
The Festival also brings international filmmakers, critics, writers, and experts in the fields of law, politics, culture together for Q & A sessions following the movies. The festival presents international cinematic exploration and celebration of Jewish and Israeli life, culture, identity, diversity, complexity and history that is unique in Rockland County.


Hudson Valley Premiere, Lafayette Theatre, Suffern, Sunday, March 27, 7 p.m.
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Year of Release: 2016
Running Time:  94 minutes
Directed by John Goldschmidt
Genre: Dramedy
Speaker: David Schwartz, Chief Curator Museum of The Moving Image

Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean, Game of Thrones) stars in this hilarious new dramedy that shows you don’t have to be baked to make some Dough! Curmudgeonly widower Nat Dayan clings to his way of life as a Kosher bakery shop owner in London’s East End. Understaffed, Nat reluctantly enlists the help of teenager Ayyash who has a secret side gig selling marijuana to help his immigrant mother make ends meet. When Ayyash accidentally drops his stash into the mixing dough, the challah starts flying off the shelves and an unlikely friendship forms between the old Jewish baker and his young Muslim apprentice. Dough is a warmhearted and humorous story about overcoming prejudice and finding redemption in unexpected places. SPONSORED BY LEADER & BERKON, LLP, THE LEADER FAMILY SIMONA & JEROME CHAZEN THE CHALLAH FAIRY

All advanced ticket holders and sponsors will receive a free mini challah from The Challah Fairy at the opening night screening. Tickets must be purchased by March 21, 2016.


Rockland County Premiere, Regal Cinemas, Nanuet, Tuesday, March 29, 7:30 p.m.
Country: France
Language: French, English
Year of Release: 2015
Running Time: 95 minutes
Directed by François Margolin
Genre: Thriller/Holocaust
Speaker: Stephen Schaefer, Film Critic, Boston Herald

This new drama from renowned French director François Margolin (The Flight of the Red Balloon) follows a Jewish woman who embarks on a journey to recover family paintings stolen by the Nazis. During her investigation, she discovers some family secrets are best kept hidden. Anna Sigalevitch, best known for her work in The Piano Teacher, Flight of the Red Balloon and Belle Epíne, gives another captivating performance as a desperate woman searching for the truth in a past shrouded in mystery. Completing this stellar French cast are François Berléand (The Transporter series), Louis-Do de Lencquesaing (Father of My Children, 2009) and Michel Bouquet (Renoir, 2012).SPONSORED BY CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL, SUFFERN-MAHWAH LILA & JULES STERN


Hudson Valley Premiere, Regal Cinemas, Nanuet, Wednesday, March 30, 7:30 p.m.
Country: USA
Language: English
Year of Release: 2016
Running Time: 97 minutes
Directed by Roger Sherman
Genre: Documentary
Speaker: Roger Sherman, Producer/Director

In a gastronomical expedition, celebrity chef-restauranteur Michael Solomonov zigzags Israel to savor a food revolution rooted in centuries-old tradition. Israel’s food scene is among the most dynamic in the world, extending beyond falafel and hummus to include tasty ethnic and regional specialties. Having won the James Beard award for embracing these authentic flavors, Israeli-American Solomonov returns to his homeland to discover his culinary heritage anew. From Tel Aviv’s most exclusive eateries, to street bazaars, to simmering pots in family kitchens, IN SEARCH OF ISRAELI CUISINE excites the taste buds with multi-cultural recipes passed on and elevated. But even food is not immune to sectarian conflict, as Palestinian cooks chafe when their savory secrets are adapted by Jewish chefs.

Equally eye-opening is the story behind the ingredients that Israel produces using both ancient farming techniques and high-tech innovations. Combining a procession of mouthwatering dishes and interviews with chefs, home cooks and farmers of all backgrounds, Oscar-nominated documentarian Roger Sherman presents a diverse portrait of the Israeli people told through the very personal language of food.


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