The second annual Boulder Jewish Film Festival Sponsored by the Millstone Evans Group of Raymond James kicked off in fine style Thursday night at the Dairy Center for the Arts with Jason Hutt’s documentary film “Sukkah City“. Festival Artistic Director Kathryn Bernheimer made a point of emphasizing the “second annual” in her welcome and introductory remarks, as she is deservedly proud and kvelling that she has been able to take last year’s successful inaugural event and bring it to life in Boulder once again, overcoming some considerable challenges in order to do so.
After Bernheimer’s introduction, Rabbi Marc Soloway and Amy Atkins took the stage representing the evening’s sponsors, Hazon. The pair talked about what attracted the organization to sponsor this particular film and to talk about what Hazon in Colorado is all about — the intersection of food, sustainability and Judaism.
The film itself was fascinating — you can read more about it here — and went by very quickly. Following the screening, Kathryn introduced Jason Hutt, the film maker responsible for “Sukkah City” as well as another documentary screening during the festival, “Orthodox Stance“. Jason talked about how he came to make the movie and answered questions from the audience. There were several questions that he characterized as “interesting, I haven’t had that question before.” He also mentioned in the film and in his comments that Sukkahs are actually put up by only about 5% of Jews in this country, and then asked how many in the audience put up sukkahs. Hutt was shocked when an easy majority of the audience raised their hands. He said that usually when he asks that question at screenings, the response follows the general demography — only 5% to 10% of the audience responds to the question affirmatively. More evidence that Boulder is an unusually unique Jewish community.
The talkback was followed by a dessert reception in the Dairy’s lobby, and the film definitely provoked much thoughtful discussion. The Festival continues through Sunday March 9th, and tickets are still available for some of the screenings.
More photos from the event: