Film Descriptions, Screening Times & Purchase Tickets
Hava Nagila shown at the JCCNV; all other screenings at Angelika Film Center & Café.
NVJFF supports independent films. Most films are not rated; viewer discretion advised.
Purchase a Film Festival Pass (all screenings except opening and closing night events) for just $60.
A Bottle in the Gaza Sea
Monday, April 22, 7:15pm
Friday, April 26, 11am
Director: Thierry Binisti (99 minutes, France/Canada/Israel, 2011)/ Hebrew, Arabic, French with English subtitles/ Drama
A secret online friendship between Tal, an Israeli-French teenage girl and Naim, a 20 year old Palestinian boy develops after he discovers her letter of peace — written after she experiences a terror attack — in a bottle washed up on a Gaza beach. This optimistic feature, based on the young adult novel by Valérie Zenatti, avoids sentimentality and easy answers as the teens exchange emails while political and family tensions mount.
Program following the April 22 showing with Yael Ingel, JCCNV Community Shlicha and Jewish Agency Israel Fellow to Hillel at George Mason.
Screening sponsors for the April 22 screening: Dara & Joshua Greene.
An American Tail
Sunday, April 28, 3:15pm
Director: Don Bluth (80 minutes, USA, 1986)/ English/ Family
This critically acclaimed full-length animated triumph chronicles the wide-eyed adventures of a courageous little mouse named Fievel Mousekewitz. Journeying by ship from Russia to turn-of-the-century America, Fievel is lost at sea during a ferocious storm. Washing ashore in New York Harbor, Fievel braves the perils and wonders of a strange new world in a thrilling quest to find his family. The film includes the iconic song “Somewhere Out There.”
Screening sponsor: Roland Vaughan.
Dorfman in Love
Saturday, April 20, 9:15pm
Sunday, April 28, 7:30pm
Director: Brad Leong; Writer: Wendy Kout (97 minutes, USA, 2011)/ English/ Romantic Comedy
Deb Dorfman is a 27-year-old accountant — offbeat, charming, single and perhaps a tad too comfortable in her suburban life in the San Fernando Valley. When she follows a crush to the urban adventure of downtown LA, her cozy existence is blown apart. As she quickly learns to embrace the big city, can love be far behind? Elliott Gould co-stars in this quirky romantic comedy.
Purchase Closing Night Tickets
Screening sponsors for closing night: Janet & Murray Horwitz
Hava Nagila (The Movie)
Thursday, April 18, 6:30pm, JCCNV
Director: Roberta Grossman (73 minutes, USA, 2012)/ English/ Documentary
This documentary romps through the history, mystery and meaning of the great Jewish standard. Funny, deep and unexpected, the film celebrates 150 years of Jewish history, culture and spirituality, revealing the power of music and dance to bridge cultural divides and bring people together. Nostalgic interviews with Harry Belafonte, Leonard Nimoy, Connie Francis, Glen Campbell and Regina Spektor, among others, are blended with campy clips from Bob Dylan, Chubby Checker, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, Elvis and Lena Horne.
Purchase Opening Night Tickets
Program with Dr. James Loeffler, an associate professor of history and Jewish studies at the University of Virginia.
Opening Night Individual Sponsors: Lorraine Fischer & Marc Kremer and BJ & Allon Shiff.
Opening Night Business Sponsors: Richard Oppenheim, Atlantic Settlement Group, LLC and The Virginian, A Continuing Care Retirement Community.
Wednesday, April 24, 7:15pm
Friday, April 26, 1:15pm
Director: Chanoch Ze’evi (80 minutes, Israel/Germany, 2012)/ German, English and Hebrew with English subtitles/ Documentary
Linked by bloodlines to the perpetrators of the worst crimes in history, heirs to the Nazi High Command come to grips with the genocidal legacy of their fathers, uncles and grandfathers. Through a series of emotionally raw interviews, close family members of Nazi masterminds Adolf Eichmann, Hermann Göring, Heinrich Himmler and others struggle to reconcile their monstrous ancestry with the unconditional love of children toward their parents.
The director facilitates the intimate, cathartic dialogue with the Nazi progeny, some of whom meet face-to-face with Holocaust descendants in powerful moments of reconciliation.
Intro to the April 24 screening by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Kaddish for a Friend
Sunday, April 21, 11am
Tuesday, April 23, 7:15pm
Director: Leo Khasin (94 minutes, Germany, 2011)/ German and Arabic with English subtitles/ Drama
Fourteen-year-old Ali grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp where he learned to hate Jews at an early age. After escaping Lebanon, he and his family end up in Berlin’s Kreuzberg area. Wanting to fit in and be accepted by the local gang, he helps them vandalize the apartment of a Russian Jewish neighbor. To avoid deportation, he is forced to help the neighbor repair the damage. Inspired by two real people, the film is a tragicomic story about friendship, trust and the art of forgiveness.
Screening Sponsors for the April 23 screening: Bernice & Sam Eisen.
Sunday, April 21, 1:15pm
Wednesday, April 24, 4:45pm
Director: Rob Cohen (90 minutes, USA, 2012)/ English, German, Hebrew, French and Czech with English subtitles/ Documentary
In the last bloody months of World War II, the Nazis targeted Jewish children who arrived at Buchenwald in death marches from the east. This is the story of four young boys — now aging men — who were imprisoned in Buchenwald. They are among the nearly 1,000 Jewish orphan boys hidden in plain sight and saved from certain death by the camp’s Communist prisoner underground. In April 2010, sixty-five years after liberation, Alex Moscovic, Naftali-Duro Furst, Pavel Kohn and Israel Laszlo Lazar return to honor the memory of friends and their guardian angel, Antonin Kalina, the Czech resistance member who oversaw Block 66. Mature themes.
Program following the April 21 screening with Steven Moskovic, Executive Producer of the film.
Thursday, April 25, 7:15pm
Sunday, April 28, 5:15pm
Director: Neil Barskya (95 minutes, USA, 2012)/ English/ Documentary
Ed Koch is to the Big Apple as bagels are to lox. The three-time New York City mayor (1977-1989) is ferocious, funny, smart and blunt. He is also intensely private. Koch is a no-holds-barred, intimate portrayal of the world’s most famous Jewish politician as he confronts his mortality and legacy as mayor of this most wondrous city. In candid interviews with then 88-year-old Koch, news footage, and with a journalist’s eye, Neil Barsky’s sweeping cinematic portrait follows Koch from his modest beginnings as the son of a Jewish furrier in the Bronx, through the turbulent decades of his brilliant political career.
Screening Sponsors for the April 25 screening: Judie & Norm Weiss
Let My People Go!
Thursday, April 25, 4:45pm
Saturday, April 27, 9:15pm
Director: Mikael Buch (88 minutes, France, 2012)/ French with English Subtitles/ French Farce
A sweet and hilarious fusion of gay romantic comedy, Jewish family drama and French bedroom farce, this film follows the travails and daydreams of the lovelorn Reuben, a French-Jewish mailman living in fairytale Finland with his gorgeous Nordic boyfriend. Just before Passover, a lovers’ quarrel exiles Reuben back to Paris and his zany family—including Almodovar goddess Carmen Maura (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Volver) as his ditzy mom. Mature themes.
Life in Stills
Friday, April 19, 7:15pm
Tuesday, April 23, 4:45pm
Director: Tamar Tal (60 minutes, Israel, 2011)/ Hebrew and German with English subtitles/ Documentary
The winner of the 2012 Ophir (Israeli Academy Award®) for Best Documentary focuses on 96-year-old Miriam Weissenstein, the outspoken proprietor of Pri-Or PhotoHouse, a Tel Aviv institution that holds over one million photos documenting defining moments in Israel’s history. When a new development threatens the shop, Miriam teams up with her grandson, Ben Peter — a young gay man who just began working there — to save the store, and the two embark on an exploration of Israel’s past, its modernization, and their own family history.
Program following with April 19 screening with Ben Peter, grandson of Miriam Weissenstein. Ben is the successor and the manager of Pri-Or PhotoHouse.
Screening sponsors for the April 19 screening: Tanya & Steve Bodzin.
Orchestra of Exiles
Sunday, April 21, 4:15pm
Sunday, April 28, 10:45am
Director: Josh Aronson (85 minutes, USA, 2012)/ English/ Documentary
Featuring Itzhak Perlman, Zubin Mehta, Pinchas Zukerman, Joshua Bell and others, Orchestra of Exiles is the suspenseful chronicle of how one man helped save Europe’s premier Jewish musicians from obliteration by the Nazis during WWII. In the early 1930’s Hitler began firing Jewish musicians across Europe. Overcoming extraordinary obstacles, violinist Bronislaw Huberman moved these great musicians to Palestine and formed a symphony that would become the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. With courage, resourcefulness and an entourage of allies including Arturo Toscanini and Albert Einstein, Huberman saved close to 1,000 Jews — along with the musical heritage of Europe.
Program following the April 21 screening with conductor James Siranovich.
Screening sponsor for the April 21 screening: Laura E. Fox, MSN, RN; Fox Associates, LLC.
Portrait of Wally
Monday, April 22, 4:45pm
Sunday, April 28, 12:45pm
Director: Andrew Shea (90 minutes, USA, 2012)/ English/ Documentary
In 1939, Egon Schiele’s celebrated painting “Portrait of Wally” (1912), a beguiling portrait of the Austrian artist’s red-haired mistress Walburga ('Wally') Neuzil, was seized by a Nazi from Lea Bondi, a Viennese gallery owner. Nearly sixty years later, the painting surfaced on the walls of the Museum of Modern Art, triggering a historic court case that pitted the Manhattan District Attorney, the United States Government and the heirs of Lea Bondi against a major Austrian Museum and MoMA.
Program following the April 28 screening with Ori Z. Soltes and Michael Hausfeld. Mr. Soltes is Goldman Professorial Lecturer in Theology and Fine Arts at Georgetown University. In Friedman v. Union Bank of Switzerland, Mr. Hausfeld represented a class of Holocaust victims whose assets were wrongfully retained by private Swiss banks during and after World War II.
The World Is Funny
Sunday, April 21, 7:15pm
Friday, April 26, 3:15pm
Director: Shemi Zarhin (122 minutes, Israel, 2012)/ Hebrew with English subtitles/ Drama
The World Is Funny follows the wanderings of a loose network of characters. Told with meticulous precision, the connections between the characters and the profound implications of their stories grow in richness and complexity as the film progresses. A sharp, ironic sense of humor enriches a melancholy yet inspiring film that has been a gigantic hit in Israel, earning a record-setting 15 Ophir nominations (the Israeli Academy Awards®). Mature themes and sexual content.
Intro to the April 21 screening by the Embassy of Israel.