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Midday Movies: 23rd Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival

Focus On New York

Above: Shadows by Marvin Newman, a photo from the Photo League featured in the documentary "Ordinary Miracles: The Photo League's New York."

Aired 1/28/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Saundra Saperstein , Chair of the San Diego Jewish Film Festival

Beth Accomando, KPBS Arts Reporter and the author of the blog Cinema Junkie

Nina Rosenblum, Filmmaker, "Ordinary Miracles: The Photo League's New York"


New York City has the second largest Jewish population of any city in the world and is bursting with great Jewish food, brilliant Jewish artists, and some quirky Jewish politicians. So, it's fitting that one focus of this year's San Diego Jewish Film Festival should be films about New York. The festival kicks off on February 7.

Nina Rosenblum and Dan Allentuck have worked together for more than a decade. Their latest documentary "Ordinary Miracles: The Photo League's New York" tells the story of the rise and politically motivated fall of the Photo League, (1936–1951) which served as the center of the documentary movement in American photography at a time when the camera was held to be, in James Agee’s words, “the central instrument of our time.” Rosenblum's father, Walter Rosenblum, was a member of the Photo League.

"Ordinary Miracles" is just one of a group of films focusing on the Big Apple. New York has a larger than life quality and so do some of its inhabitants. The festival highlights documentaries about Joseph Papp, Ed Koch, Garth Drabinsky, and Bert Stern.

Returning to the festival is the Joyce Forum sidebar featuring short films from new, young, and just plain talented filmmakers.

Beth Accomando will be introducing a new documentary about the controversial Roman Polanski on February 9. "Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir" is an interview between Polanski and his friend Andrew Braunsberg.

The 23rd Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival runs February 7 through 17 with the home base being the Reading Cinemas Town Square 14. For a complete schedule and list of venues please visit the festival's website.

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Avatar for user 'DanG'

DanG | January 28, 2013 at 1:02 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

Really superb interview and overview. Excellent description and left me with some intriguing thoughts. Well done.

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Avatar for user 'Beth Accomando'

Beth Accomando, KPBS Staff | January 28, 2013 at 3:07 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

Thanks! I hope you attend the festival. It always offer some great experiences.

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