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Party’s On at the Boulder Jewish Film Festival

havaThere’s a lot more to the Boulder Jewish Film Festival Sponsored by the Millstone Evans Group of Raymond James than 16 fabulous premieres of movies from around the world. The festival is bursting with music, dance and fun – and not just the musicals being celebrated on the screen.

The films being presented during the whirlwind week of March 10-17 may be off-Hollywood, but the festival is not lacking in festive glamour.

musical31tvf-1-webThe opening night gala, Sunday, March 10 at 6:30 pm, features a post-screening party in the lobby of the Dairy Center for the Arts with live music by a Denver band that specializes in hot Latin dance music. There will be finger-licking food from Cuba Cuba, all the Cuba Libres, Mojitos and Pina Coladas you can drink, and Tres Leches cake.

Directors Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider will appear in person with a special sneak preview of their new film, “Got Balz?”  A work in progress, the documentary follows the filmmakers’ son as he prepares for his bar mitzvah, collects baseball gear for Cuban kids, and gives thanks to the island that sheltered his grandfather during World War II.

Marcia Jarmel, who grew up in Boulder and attended CU, has been producing and directing documentaries for 18 years along with her husband, a producer, editor and sound recordist. Together they explore contemporary social issues through intimate character stories.

hava-nagila-the-movieThe festival’s closing night party will be an even livelier affair, given the boisterous nature of the closing night film, “Hava Nagila (The Movie),” which screens Sunday, March 17 at 6:30 pm in the Dairy’s 250-seat Performance Hall.

The party includes live music by Sheldon Sands’ Boulder Klezmer Consort and an Old-Style Bar Mitzvah Buffet catered by Jessica Hersh’s SweetPea Cuisine.

Directed by Roberta Grossman, “Hava Nagila (The Movie)” is a toe-tapping investigation into the history, mystery and meaning of a song that has become a Jewish imperative to dance, symbolizing the importance of joy, the power of music and the resilient spirit of a people.

As soon as the first bars of this song are heard, Jews everywhere leap to their feet and begin one of the most powerful communal rituals in Jewish life: the Hora.

Join the ubiquitous party song on its fascinating journey from the shtetls of Eastern Europe to the kibbutzim of Palestine to the cul-de-sacs of America, then out into the Dairy’s lobby where the celebration  – and the dancing – continues.

About Kathryn Bernheimer

Director of Menorah: Arts, Culture and Education at the Boulder JCC. The former film and theater critic for the Boulder Daily Camera, Kathryn is the author of "The Fifty Greatest Jewish Movies" and "The Fifty Funniest Films of All Time."

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