Nothing But the Best for 5th Boulder Jewish Film Festival

Why did I select “On the Map” to open the 5th annual Boulder Jewish Film Festival, and why did I invite both Dani Menkin – two-time Israeli Oscar nominee – and Israeli superstar and hero Tal Brody to come from Israel to be here for the gala?

For the first opening held at the new JCC, I knew I needed to think big. I needed an important film. I needed a film that matched the jubilant  mood of the Boulder community, blessed with a beautiful facility.

I wanted audiences to feel good. I wanted men and women to enjoy the evening equally. I wanted us to be proud of what we’ve accomplished. I wanted a film to celebrate our victory.

Finally, I wanted to show off our building.


I found exactly what I was looking for when Nancy Spielberg (“Above and Beyond”) sent me an email about the film, then in production, which she had agreed to co-produce. How could I resist the incredible true story? Israelis beat the Soviets in basketball and the world nearly comes to an end.

I booked it immediately. What could be more fun, I thought, than getting out onto the J’s new basketball court with a real sports star and national hero?

We will find out Thursday night. That is, YOU will find out if you buy your $36 ticket HERE NOW!


The “Hoops and Hot Dogs” reception begins at 5:30 in the JCC Lobby and in the JCC Gym. Our sports themed pre-show food includes a gourmet kosher hot dog station and a soft pretzel station. Beer and wine are available for purchase. Bring sneakers or be prepared to take your shoes off for the on-court fun with Tal – the hoops part of Hoops and Hot Dogs.

On the Map,” which screens at 7:00 pm, focuses tightly on its key player, “a fluid 6-foot-1 point guard from Trenton, N.J., who had the skills to be drafted 12th by the then-Baltimore Bullets (now the Washington Wizards) in 1965,” according to the LA Times.

“But before the NBA season began, Brody went to Israel to compete in the Maccabiah Games, and that experience turned him in a completely different direction. Encouraged by the owners of the Maccabi Tel Aviv team and the celebrated General Moshe Dayan, he decided he wanted to be part of something bigger than the NBA, he wanted to take basketball in Israel to another level.”

During the on-stage interview after the screening, Tal Brody will discuss his life and answer questions from the audience. Dani Menkin will also talk about the film, and the moment in history it immortalizes. Menkin will also introduce and discuss two films on Friday, March 10 at the Boe. Click here for all Dairy Arts Center tickets

Both Tal and Dani have been busy traveling the globe since the film debuted to acclaim several months ago. A smash success on the festival circuit, much like the Spielberg-Roberta Grossman collaboration “Above and Beyond,” it combines sports, politics, sociology, and history extremely well.

“There’s no surer ingredient for a feel-good documentary than an inspirational sports story, and filmmaker Dani Menkin (“39 Pounds of Love,” “Is That You?“) delivers one in spades with his recounting of the 1977 European Cup victory by the national Israeli basketball team, Maccabi Tel Aviv. Compelling enough to anticipate the inevitable Hollywood dramatization of the story, On the Map will prove fascinating even to non-sports buffs.” – The Hollywood Reporter

“Everything you want an underdog story to be: suspenseful, inspirational, heartfelt and, ultimately, uplifting. It will make you stand up and cheer! A slam dunk!” – NYC Movie Guru


About Kathryn Bernheimer

Kathryn has spent her professional life writing about, teaching, and presenting the arts. Founding Director of the Boulder Jewish Film Festival, Kathryn was Director of Menorah and ACE at the Boulder JCC from 2003 through August, 2019. 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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