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San Diego Jewish Film Festival Kicks Off 27th Year

Twelve days of films at five venues

Viviann Yee and Adam Chernick play Meizhen and Alfred in Shayna Cohen's short...

Credit: Shayna Cohen

Above: Viviann Yee and Adam Chernick play Meizhen and Alfred in Shayna Cohen's short film "A Children's Song," which is screening as part of the Joyce Forum at this year's San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

The San Diego Jewish Film Festival kicks off its 27th year Thursday night with the San Diego Premiere of "On the Map," about the 1977 Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team that became “the team of the nation” when they brought the first European Cup to Israel by beating the four-time defending champions, the Soviet Red Army team.

Festival venues

Clairemont Reading 14

JOY F. KNAPP PRESENTATIONS

4665 Clairemont Dr.

ArcLight Cinemas

4425 La Jolla Village Dr.

Carlsbad Village Theatre

2822 State St.

David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre at the JCC

Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center

4126 Executive Dr.

Edwards San Marcos Stadium 18

1180 W. San Marcos Blvd.

The San Diego Jewish Film Festival kicks off its 27th year Thursday night with the San Diego Premiere of "On the Map." The film is about the 1977 Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team that became “the team of the nation” when it brought the first European Cup to Israel by beating the four-time defending champions, the Soviet Red Army team.

This year the San Diego Jewish Film Festival hosts 80 screenings at five venues over 12 days. The festival remains one of my favorites because of its commitment to not only showcasing films, but also encouraging discussion about the broad range of topics raised by filmmakers. There is no better place for a post-film discussion than at the San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

I have watched the festival grow over the past 27 years, and I remember checking splices on their 16mm film prints and then climbing up a ladder to project them in a gymnasium. Now, the festival has expanded to five venues including Arclight La Jolla and Clairemont Reading 14 as well as the North County venues of Carlsbad Village Theatre and Edwards San Marcos Stadium 18.

I am always thrilled and honored when asked to be a part of the festival, and this year I will be hosting the Joyce Forum Filmmaker Panel at 12:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 13 at Arclight La Jolla. It is a free event to anyone who is a festival pass holder.

The Joyce Forum is an especially exciting event because it focuses on young, new and international filmmakers. On Monday, 23 short films will screen ranging from a portrait of a holocaust survivor from the Warsaw Ghetto to a 90-year-old Jewish woman trying bacon for the first time to the animated adventures of Zion Man.

There is a whole day of shorts programming beginning at 10 a.m., with Buzz at Breakfast, and ending at 8 p.m., with Discovery After Dinner. If you want a diverse selection of styles and topics from around the world, then this is a great way to sample the festival.

The Joyce Forum Day of Shorts takes place on Feb. 13 at Arclight La Jolla. The San Diego Jewish Film Festival runs through Feb. 19.

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Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

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