Monday, February 6, 2012
Joyce Axelrod, co-founder, San Diego Jewish Film Festival
Joel Fendelman, filmmaker, "David"
The 22nd Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival kicks off Thursday and runs through February 19 with more than 40 of the best contemporary Jewish themed films from around the world.
The festival's mission statement is to offer outstanding world cinema that promotes awareness, appreciation and pride in the diversity of the Jewish people to attendees of the community at large. For more than 2 decades SDJFF has distinguished itself as a festival that truly encourages discussion of its films and the issues, ideas, and themes they raise.
One of the returning events is The 10th Annual Joyce Forum – A Celebration of Rising Stars and Seasoned Filmmakers. The Joyce Forum presents outstanding Jewish-themed short-subject, documentary, and feature films by rising stars and seasoned filmmakers from around the world. Named in honor of San Diego Jewish Film Festival Founder Joyce Axelrod, the Joyce Forum supports emerging filmmakers by showcasing their talent and exposing their work to established filmmakers, artists, and industry peers.
This year’s Joyce Forum takes place on February13 at the Clairemont Reading 14. Films include: "Flawed," "Don’t Tell Santa You’re Jewish!," "Ladies and Gentlemen: Biddie Schitzerman," "Ingrid Pitt: Beyond the Forest," "David and Goliath," "Miracle Lady," "I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors," "Shira," and "A Reuben By Any Other Name."
This year the Joyce Forum welcomes back (SDJFF ’04) filmmaker, multimedia artist, and animator, Hanan Harchol. The featured screening is"Jewish Food for Thought," a series of animated shorts that incorporate Jewish wisdom into entertaining and thought-provoking conversations between Hanan and his Israeli nuclear physicist father.
KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando will be introducing a special program called "Jews in Toons" on Thursday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m. This will be a unique evening of comedy featuring classic Jewish episodes from three beloved animated series, "Family Guy," "South Park," and "The Simpsons." Following the three episodes, Mike Reiss, writer and producer for "The Simpsons" will share behind-the-scenes insights, anecdotes and clips from his distinguished career.
Opening the festival is "Mabul (The Flood)" and closing the festival is "My Best Enemy," which explores what action turns a friend into a fiend, a neighbor into a mortal enemy. Joel Fendelman's "David" screens February 14 and again on February 15 with the filmmaker in attendance.
The San Diego Jewish Film Festival runs February 9-19 at the Reading Cinemas Town Square 14, the UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas at Hazard Center, Carlsbad Village Theatre, Edwards San Marcos Stadium 18, and the Garfield Theatre at the JCC. In addition to the short-subject, documentary, and feature length films, the Film Festival features an international roster of visiting guest artists, including actors, filmmakers and scholars, who introduce their work, participate in panel discussions, and meet with the festival patrons.