Katz JCC to present week long film festival

The community is invited to attend the 15th annual Cherry Hill Volvo Cars Jewish Film Festival of the Katz JCC. The weeklong film festival takes place Sunday, March 22 through Sunday, March 29 and will feature 22 award winning films along with several guest speakers including writers, directors, producers and editors. All weekday matinee films will be screened at the Katz JCC in Cherry Hill and evening and Sunday films will be held at AMC Voorhees 16 in Voorhees.

Even before Festival Week begins, join us for dinner and a movie on Thursday, March 12 for a screening of “Latter Day Jew” that tells the story of a gay, former-Mormon, cancer survivor who converts to Judaism at the age of 34 as he prepares for his bar mitzvah. Separate ticket must be purchased in advance. This will be held at Woodcrest Country Club. On March 19, “Names Not Numbers,” a social justice project completed by Kellman Brown Academy and The Lanning Square Middle School at Kipp Cooper Norcross Academy in Camden will be presented to the community at the Katz JCC.

Kicking off the festival on Sunday, March 22 at 2:30 p.m. is the narrative feature film “Douze Points,” which focuses on TJ, a proud, gay Muslim singer who is fulfilling his dream to represent France in Europe’s biggest song contest. ISIS decides to plant one of their operatives, acting as TJ’s boyfriend, into the French delegation in order to set off an explosion under the stage during the final performance of the event. “Douze Points” will be accompanied by the Israeli short, “Two of Every Kind.” Inside Noah’s Ark were two of every living thing but not many know that amongst the couples, were also two male peacocks. The crisis between G-d and man was nothing compared to the peacocks’ troubles boarding the ark.

Opening night of the Festival, Sunday March 22 and 7:30 p.m. will screen the Israeli documentary “Picture of His Life,” which follows world renowned wildlife photographer Amos Nachoum has one final photographic dream — to photograph a polar bear underwater while swimming alongside it.

Comedic genius Billy Crystal stars in the comedic drama “Standing Up, Falling Down,” which will screen at the JCC on Monday, March 23 at 1 p.m. Ben Schwartz portrays a struggling standup comedian who’s forced to move back home to eastern Long Island with his tail between his legs. He develops an unlikely friendship with a tragically flawed, charming and charismatic alcoholic dermatologist (Crystal).

Tuesday, March 24 at noon marks the festival’s special screening with lunch and will screen “Chewdaism: A Taste of Montreal” as well as the documentary short, “Gefilte.” “Chewdaism” is a funny, heimish and enlightening historical and cultural tour of Jewish metro-Montreal centered around its legendary foods, including its world-class bagels and iconic smoked meats. This screening requires a separate ticket that must be purchased in advance.

Be sure to not miss “The Peanut Butter Falcon” starring Shia LeBeouf, who plays Tyler, a small-time outlaw on the run. He meets Zak, a young man with Down Syndrome, who runs away from the nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler, and the two develop an unlikely friendship along their journey. “The Peanut Butter Falcon” will be screened on Wednesday, March 25 at 7 p.m. at AMC Voorhees 16.

Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m. will feature the incredible award-winning film based on a play, “Golda’s Balcony, The Film.” The rise of Golda Meir from Russian schoolgirl to Prime Minister of Israel is one of the most thrilling and amazing stories of the 20th Century and in “Golda’s Balcony, The Film,” her life has been transformed into a cinematic event of overwhelming power and inspirational triumph. Tovah Feldshuh recreates 100 years of Jewish history playing 45 different characters, including Ben-Gurion, Moshe Dayan, and, of course, Golda Meir herself. This film is a winner of an “Audience Favorite Award” at all of its 21 competitive festivals to date.

Sunday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m. will be closing night of the festival. It will feature the documentary “Fiddler: Miracle of Miracles.” This film tells the story behind one of Broadway’s beloved musicals, “Fiddler on The Roof,” and its creative roots in earlyts creative roots in early 1960s New York, when “tradition” was on the wane as gender roles, sexuality, race relations and religion were evolving. Intimate interviews with the show’s creators reveal how the tremendous success and worldwide impact of Fiddler and its subsequent film adaptation is most appropriately viewed through the lens of the social upheaval and change in mid-20th century America. The film will be screened with the animated short, “The Fiddle — Der Fidl.” Based on Sholem Aleichem’s short story “The Fiddle,” this is the story of Sholom, the boy that was destined to become the “fiddler on the roof”.

These are just a few of the highly acclaimed films that will make you laugh, cry and bring you back wanting for more. Patron and series ticket holder receive perks such as exclusive receptions, reserved seating and a reduced luncheon ticket. Tickets for individual screenings can be purchased starting at $10. Group discounts, available for groups of 10 or more, must be purchased in person or by phone by Wednesday, March 18.

The festival is made possible in part thanks to generous sponsors: Cherry Hill Volvo Cars, AMC Independent, Fox Rothschild LLP, Leon L. Levy & Associates, The Faktorow Family Endowment Fund for the JCF, Inc, Powerback Rehabilitation, Spivak Jewelers, UBS and Wells Fargo.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit katzjcc.org/film or call Suzanne Post at (856)424–4444 x1226 or Michele Susson at x1119.