(Denver) – Community film festivals “illuminate the human experience” through powerful stories told in cinema. This year, the Mizel Arts and Culture Center (MACC) will host the 19th Annual Denver Jewish Film Festival at the Elaine Wolf Theatre at the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center (JCC) from Feb. 4 to Feb. 15, 2015. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 303.316.6360 or by visiting http://www.maccjcc.org/film.
This year’s festival features a variety of films that any movie lover will enjoy,” said Steve Wilson, Executive Artistic Director for the MACC. “Many of the films have won prestigious awards and critics’ praise, and eleven out of 28 are directed by women. I am really proud of the selection our film festival chairs put together, and we are excited to have the opportunity to introduce the Denver community to these extraordinary and resonating films.”
The film festival chairs, Sharon Haber, Julie Schwarz and Erica Singer, worked with their film committee on securing a fascinating combination of films ranging from poignant documentaries to hilarious true-to-life comedies. As they were choosing the films, a theme emerged: COEXISTENCE.
Living together in peace despite our differences is the underlying theme of the 2015 Denver Jewish Film Festival,” Haber said. “Whether it be Israelis and Palestinians, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters or friends, our lineup this year exemplifies that idea of coexistence and finding peace within ourselves and others.”
The 2015 Denver Jewish Film Festival, which is sponsored by Wagner Wealth Management, will kick off on Wednesday, Feb. 4 with a party celebrating this year’s festival honoree Kathy Neustadt and a screening of the Jewish family comedy “It Happened in Saint- Tropez.” Neustadt is a former president of the JCC and member of the influential Neustadt family, founders of The Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature.
The Denver Jewish Film Festival continues to introduce its audiences to a collection of educational and significant movies,” Neustadt said. “My family and I remain steadfast in supporting organizations and events that celebrate the arts and literature, and we hope the community joins us in attending the 19th year of this wonderful event.”
The two-week festival will feature 28 films, many of which have been nominated for and won Ophir Awards, the Israeli equivalent of the Academy Awards (Oscars). This will be the first time some of the featured films will be screened in Denver. Prior to the screening of the films, a state-of-the-art sizzle reel that was created by co-chair Erica Singer will show. Some of the screenings will include special guest speakers for audience Q&As. Producer Nancy Spielberg will speak at the screening of her much-buzzed about film “Above and Beyond” on Feb. 5. Sister of famous director Steven Spielberg, Nancy is a documentarian who produced this film about the creation of the Israeli Air Force. Also speaking during the festival will be director and writer Lacey Schwartz, who will conduct an audience Q&A at the screening of her award-winning film, “Little White Lie,” on Feb. 12, which deals with race and Jewish identity.
Of the 28 films featured, eleven were directed by women, and the films were produced all over the world – Venezuela, Argentina, France, Australia, Philippines, Germany, U.K. and Israel. Other films to be screened during the festival include: “The Last Mentsch,” being shown on Feb. 7; “Zero Motivation“on Feb. 15, which was honored at the Tribeca Film Festival and received six Ophir Awards; Executive Producer Chelsea Clinton’s documentary short “Of Many” on Feb. 11; and the black horror comedy “Big Bad Wolves,” of which renowned director Quentin Tarantino declared “the best film of the year” in 2013. The film was nominated for 11 Ophir Awards and was an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival.
The Denver Jewish Film Festival committee works to bring in movies that will resonate with all movie lovers, not just the Jewish community.
We hope to continue to expand our reach in Colorado,” Haber said. “The films we are screening are not just ‘Jewish’ films. My co-chair Julie Schwartz was relentless in curating distinctive and often times under-the-radar films from all over the world. These films are profound cinematic stories that will encourage audiences to think, empathize, laugh and hopefully, examine what we can all do to coexist.”
Topping off the lineup is a grand finale celebration on Saturday, Feb. 14 that will include a dessert buffet and screening of the film “The Outrageous Sophie Tucker.” The festival does not end on closing night, however. On Sunday, Feb. 15, the festival concludes with a special series presentation, “Israel Through the Lens.” All of the films featured during this last day of the festival will exhibit the diversity of Israel.
For more information about or to purchase tickets for the 2015 Denver Jewish Film Festival, please call 303.316.6360 or visit http://www.maccjcc.org/film.
About the MACC:
Mizel Arts and Culture Center (MACC) “Illuminates the Human Experience” through creative and cultural programs in the performing, visual, cinematic and literary arts for the Jewish community and the Denver community at large. We strive to produce, present, exhibit, preserve and advance the arts, serving as a performance and exhibition venue, as well as an educational resource for people at every stage of life.
MACC is one of the Rocky Mountain region’s premier arts organizations. Located on the campus of the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center, MACC is a separate non-profit organization guided by a mission that is focused specifically on arts and cultural programs. MACC is proud to be a Tier II member of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), along with organizations such as the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Ballet and Central City Opera. For more, please visit www.maccjcc.org.
About the Loup JCC:
Celebrating its 92nd year in the Denver community, the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center is a vibrant and inclusive family and social gathering place that provides educational, cultural and recreational programs to serve and strengthen the community, guided by timeless Jewish values. For more, please visit www.jccdenver.org.