MAINE

FILM FESTIVAL DEEPENS ROOTS

By Jacob Suskewicz

Published March 03, 2006, issue of March 03, 2006.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The eighth annual Maine Jewish Film Festival returns to Portland with screenings of 21 films that relate to the Jewish experience, including Giddi Dar’s critically acclaimed Israeli drama, “Uzhpizin” (2004), and Joe Fab and Elliot Berlin’s Holocaust-themed documentary, “Paper Clips” (2004). The event is distinctive in many ways, not the least of which is the fact that it’s held in the smallest city in the country to support an independent, professional Jewish film festival.

For the first time, the festivities will run for three extra days — nine in all — and a second weekend has been added. Executive director Bess Welden stressed the significance of the expansion: “It’s a testament to our community up here that the relatively small city of Portland cannot only support this kind of festival, but… that our festival needs to grow,” she said. “The demand is there, the people want more of these films, [and] our festival has become the centerpiece for arts and culture in this city and [in] the surrounding northern New England region.”

The film festival kicks off with the French film “Local Call” (2004), a story about a man who gives away his dead father’s overcoat to a homeless man and subsequently receives a phone call from beyond the grave, triggering a sequence of events that raise questions related to issues of grief, family relationships and the Jewish Diaspora. Writer and director Arthur Joffé, who is based in Paris, will hold a question-and-answer session after the screening.

The event has been honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its Women Filmmakers Forum, and it continues its appreciation of women filmmakers with the presentation of Israeli filmmaker Danae Elon’s “Another Road Home” (2005). The documentary follows Elon’s attempts to reconnect with the Palestinian caretaker who helped raise her, and with whom she lost touch during the years of the intifada.

Other films scheduled for screening include Dani Levy’s “Go for Zucker” (2004), Erik Greenberg Anjou’s “A Cantor’s Tale” (2004) and Jim Brown’s “Isn’t This a Time! A Tribute Concert for Harold Leventhal” (2004).

Maine Jewish Film Festival, March 18-26; most screenings will be at The Movies, 10 Exchange St., Portland; for schedules and further information, call the listed number or visit the Web site. (207-831-7495 or www.mjff.org)






Find us on Facebook!
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.