The prediction that year three would be one red-hot film festival has proved true, as audiences have flocked to the Dairy in record number, emerging from each screening and event with words of appreciation and admiration for the programming.
The festival’s first tribute program was a resounding success. All five of Richard Trank’s earlier films sold out and the response to his talkbacks was tremendous. The Gala Opening premiere of his “The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers” played to an almost full house as well. The opening night, which also featured a mozzarella bar catered by Parma Trattoria, drew almost 200 people to the Dairy for food, film and conversation. See the bottom of the article for more pictures from the opening event.
TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE FOR:
“Bethlehem,” “The Dove Flyer,” “The Go-Go Boys,” “Above and Beyond,” “Sophie Tucker” (Wednesday pm only), “Welcome to Kutshers” (Friday at 2:15 only) and “Theodore Bikel” (Friday at noon only).
In the conversation following “The Long Way Home,” Trank described his close working relationship with the Shoah Foundation, which was created by Steven Spielberg with the unexpected profits from “Schindler’s List,” since the famed director did not want to personally profit from the film. The foundation’s ambitious goal was to record the story of every living Holocaust survivor.
“The Long Way Home,” which won the Oscar for best documentary in 1997, told the then little-known story of the tragic fate of the remaining Jews of Europe following the Holocaust. It focuses in particular on the three-year struggle to create a Jewish homeland – so that any future genocide might be avoided. Steven Spielberg’s younger sister, producer Nancy Spielberg, will be in Boulder with a film of her own, which picks up just after the fateful moment in history when Israel declared Independence. “Above and Beyond,” which has been universally praised, pays tribute to the unsung heroes of Israel’s War of Independence. Boulder’s sorely missed George Lichter is one of six men interviewed in the film about the ace fighter pilots who volunteered to help Israel defeat its enemies, creating the fabled Israel Air Force in the process.
Our Centerpiece Event begins with a VIP dinner with Nancy Spielberg and ends with a dessert reception generously catered by Breadworks.
THE GO-GO BOYS:
A new feature of the festival is a short trivia contest preceding each screening. The reward for the correct answer is one of the Kind Bars generously donated to the festival. Numerous questions have had the same answer. Name the directing/producing team responsible for…… (“Operation Thunderbolt,” “Hannah’s War,” “Delta Force,” etc.) Much to the surprise of the audience, the answer was Golan-Globus, the audacious Israeli cousins and Hollywood moguls responsible for an amazing string of titles. The documentary we will screen Saturday night, “The Go-Go Boys” tells their story of cinematic chutzpah. It is not only wonderfully entertaining but also essential viewing for film buffs.
ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END:
The festival came in with a bang with a retrospective of the work done by Richard Trank and the Simon Wiesethal Center’s Moriah Films, which has 14 titles, two Oscars and countless rave reviews to its credit. (To purchase titles in the Moriah Film catalogue, visit wiesenthal.org.)
The festival ends with another dramatic depiction of Jewish history – the forced expulsion of Jews from Iraq in 1950. Professor Shaul Gabbay will lead the discussion of “The Dove Flyers,” based on a popular novel set in a vibrant ancient community on the brink of destruction.
There is an optional dinner donated by Falafael King before the film, so that anyone attending the 4 pm “Sophie Tucker” won’t starve. It is also open to anyone with a reservation who wants to savor every bit – and bite — the festival has to offer. Bring us your hungry, your intellectually curious, your artistically adventurous. Bring us Jews who want to deepen their understanding of the Jewish experience. Bring us film fans who want to learn about Jewish history, values, traditions and dreams through the best in world cinema. We promise to feed your soul.
Here are photos from Opening Night: