Enzian Presents the 23rd Annual Central Florida Jewish Film Festival

Article graphics courtesy by Enzian Theater

Press Release by Enzian Theater

Orlando, FL – The 23rd Annual Central Florida Jewish Film Festival, taking place November 13th – 16th, is a cinematic celebration of Jewish life, culture, and history. Using the power of film to inform, educate, and most of all entertain, the festival challenges conventional perspectives on issues facing all of us. This program is part of Enzian’s cultural festival circuit and is co-presented with The Roth Family Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando.

Matthew Curtis, Programming Director of Enzian said, “We are absolutely thrilled to be returning to in-person screenings-only at Enzian and the Orlando Science Center Digital Adventure Theater for this year’s event. Our 23rd annual program is as diverse and exciting as it’s ever been, with four narratives and four documentaries making up the six features and two shorts. Award-winning films from five countries will be screened in English, Hebrew, Italian, German and Inuktitut, and two of them will be making their Florida Premiere at the festival. This lineup truly has something for everyone, and we hope audiences come back to the theater to experience the magic of the cinema with the rest of the local film-loving community.”

Mensch Passes are available in limited quantity. Individual tickets to all six programs are also available.


A special menu will also be offered throughout the festival at Enzian, including: Matzo Ball Soup (from TooJay’s), Potato Latkes, Holishkes, Bagels and Lox, and Hebrew National Hot Dogs.

WHAT:                 AMERICAN BIRTHRIGHT
Saturday, November 13th at 7:30PM at the Orlando Science Center Digital Adventure Theater

Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Seattle Jewish Film Festival, this directorial debut follows a young Israeli-American woman grappling with religion, love, and identity after her younger sister marries outside the faith. Becky Tahel’s intimate, deep and joyous investigation starts by asking “why marry Jewish?” and ends up exploring the subtler inquiry “why be Jewish?”. Through a series of conversations and trips, from Grenada—where her sister Gal has attended med school—to Israel–where she engages in conversations with locals and studies Torah–Becky’s 6-year journey shifts the very course of her life and gives an authentic voice to those struggling to fit in, find their purpose and identity, and own their individuality in a world that begs for assimilation.
USA, 2020, 66 MIN, Directed by Becky Tahel

Preceded by:
A JEW WALKS INTO A BAR
Florida Premiere!

Ultra-Orthodox Jew David Finkelstein struggles to balance his love of stand-up with his strict religious lifestyle until he’s forced to make a choice between his passion and his community. Winner of the Best Doc Short award at the River Run International Film Festival.

USA, 2018, 24 MIN, Directed by Jonathan Miller

A STARRY SKY ABOVE THE ROMAN GHETTO
Sunday, November 11th at 11AM at Enzian Theater

In this Italian teen drama, interlacing past and present, the discovery of a puzzling photograph sparks a student to probe the history of Rome’s Jewish ghetto and the fate of a little girl. When Sofia finds an old snapshot in a neglected suitcase, she’s mesmerized by the child’s picture. As details emerge—the child’s name, separation from her parents during a Gestapo raid, and rescue by a nun—Sofia commits to honoring the girl’s memory by staging an original play with classmates and friends from a nearby Jewish high school. But first she must overcome objections of concerned parents. A talented ensemble injects youthful energy into this inspiring interfaith story about the importance of memory, coexistence and reconciling generational frictions. Audience Award Winner – Best Director, Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival.

Italy, 2020, 100 MIN, Directed by Giulio Base, In Italian with English Subtitles

HONEYMOOD
Sunday, November 14th at 2PM at Enzian Theater

Following her breakout hit Zero Motivation, Israeli writer-director Talya Lavie’s latest delivers another outlandish comedy, as bickering newlyweds stagger through a surreal odyssey across Jerusalem that’s reminiscent of Martin Scorsese’s After Hours. Wedded bliss is short-lived for the screwy couple, who clash within minutes of arriving at their lavish honeymoon suite, as jealousy erupts over an ex-girlfriend’s wedding gift. Determined not to jinx their marriage, the feisty bride drags her sheepish groom on a dizzying mission to set things right, confronting past lovers, smothering in-laws, unresolved emotions, and life choices. Nominated for 7 Israeli Academy Awards including Best Actress, HONEYMOOD’s wry, rapid-fire dialogue and spry central performances crackle with sharp wit, while Jerusalem’s vibrant cityscape is a perfect foil for the characters’ romantic foibles.
Israel, 2020, 90 MIN, Directed by Talya Lavie, In Hebrew with English Subtitles

PICTURE OF HIS LIFE
Monday, November 15th at 4PM at Enzian Theater

World renowned wildlife photographer Amos Nachoum has one final photographic dream remaining–to photograph a Polar Bear underwater in the Canadian Arctic, while swimming alongside it. Winner of Best Documentary at the Israel Film Festival, and Audience Awards at San Francisco, Boston and Chicago Jewish film festivals, this stunning film follows the artist’s journey as he contemplates the series of unspoken events that drove him to the end of the world to find redemption. More than 10-years in the making, PICTURE OF HIS LIFE reunites the award-winning Dolphin Boy filmmakers to create a special work that explores the powerful relationship between man and nature, father and son, violence and peace.
Israel/USA/Canada, 2019, 72 MIN, Directed by Yonatan Nir and Dani Menkin, In English, Hebrew & Inuktitut with English Subtitles

Preceded by:
SPACE TORAH 
Space travel, Jewish world values, and Yiddishkeit conjoin in this award-winning doc short that details the uniquely inspiring life and out-of-this world journey of Jewish-American astronaut Dr. Jeff Hoffman.

USA, 2020, 25 MIN, Directed by Rob Cooper

WET DOG
Monday, November 15th at 6:45PM at Enzian Theater
Florida Premiere!

Soheil is 16 when his Jewish-Iranian family moves to Wedding, one of Berlin’s multicultural, mostly Muslim, neighborhoods. While the other kids listen to hip hop music, and the Wedding Tigers gang dominates the city with their graffiti and start fights with other local crews, Soheil hides his true origins. At night he becomes the writer “King Star,” covering the city in colorful tags and mural paintings; during the day, he flirts with Selma–one of the cool girls. One day, Soheil’s gang of friends decides to rob the local “Jew-lery”–as they call it–run by none other than Soheil’s parents. It’s then that Soheil must embrace who he is and where he comes from, with regular visits to the local library to learn about Judaism. Based on a provocative autobiography written twenty years ago, this edgy drama raises questions of cultural diversity, religious identity, and how they intersect with friendship–especially during the phase of rawness and exploration that are one’s teenage years.
Germany, 2021, 103 MIN, Directed by Damir Lukacevic, In German with English Subtitles

HERE WE ARE
Tuesday, November 16th at 7PM at the Orlando Science Center Digital Adventure Theater

Nominated for 9 Israeli Oscars, with wins for Best Director, Screenplay, Actor, and Supporting Actor, this tender drama about a protective father’s road trip with his grown autistic son and the anguish of separation, is suffused with emotion and graced by deeply felt performances. Uri (Noam Imber) is too old to continue living with his father Aharon (Shai Avivi), a stubborn divorcee and Uri’s loving caregiver. But their cocooned, codependent situation is upended when Uri’s mother insists he enter a specialized facility to attain independence. Deeply reluctant to let go, Aharon escapes with Uri on an adventure-filled, often humorous trek. But with time catching up, both men must learn how to say goodbye in this wonderful and acclaimed work that has won 9 Jewish Film Festival Audience Awards to date, including Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, San Diego and Montreal.
Israel, 2020, 94 MIN, Directed by Nir Bergman, In Hebrew with English Subtitles

TICKETS:              Mensch Pass – $136(All 6 films, First Priority Seating, Doors open 30 minutes early)
Individual Tickets – $12
Table Reservations are not available for this event.

WHERE:                Enzian Theater, 1300 South Orlando Avenue, Maitland, FL 32751
Orlando Science Center, 777 E. Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803 (For AMERICAN BIRTHRIGHT and HERE WE ARE screenings)

INFO:                    Enzian is Central Florida’s only full-time, not-for-profit cinema for first-run independent and international film, classic revivals, documentary features, and select family entertainment. Enzian, a member-supported organization serving the community for more than 36 years, is home to the Florida Film Festival and Eden Bar. For additional information, visit Enzian.org or call general information at (407) 629-1088.

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