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The 2003 Maine Jewish Film Festival brings five days of celluloid offerings to the big screen, kicking off with a reception and screening of Henry Bean’s 2001 portrait of a neo-Nazi skinhead, “The Believer,” based on a true story and winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance last year. This year’s festival’s “Crossing Cultures” focus is on Jews and the East, with screenings of Steve Calcote and Jonathan Shulman’s “Am Minyan in Kaifeng,” Simcha Jacobovici’s “Quest for the Lost Tribes” and Yale Strom’s “L’Chaim, Comrade Stalin.” Other films include Tim Blake Nelson’s “The Grey Zone,” “I Am — You Are,” “The Burial Society,” “Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House,” “Strange Fruit,” “A Moment Before the Eruption,” “Yellow Asphalt,” “The Arena” and shorts including “The Nose Job Jew” (above) and “Advice and Dissent.” Discussions with filmmakers follow several of the screenings.

The Movies, 10 Exchange St., Portland; March 8-March 13, please call for schedule and location; $7, $5 children and seniors, $65 festival pass includes all screenings except opening night, $35 for six-film pass, reservations recommended. (207-831-7495 or

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