2012 12th ANNUAL NoVA International Jewish Film Festival
March 18–27, 2012
The 12th Annual NoVA International Jewish Film Festival will present an exciting variety of films from all over the world including the United States, Israel, Europe and South America. The festival returns to two state-of-the-art screening venues: Rave Fairfax Corner 14 in Fairfax, and the Artisphere in Arlington.
You’ll find below a list of films* selected by the film festival committee to be screened during this year’s festival. For more information, visit www.jccnv.org, or contact Roz Engels, Film Festival Director at RozE@jccnv.org.
To view details about the 2012 film festival calendar, film descriptions, tickets prices and more, click here to download the brochure.
Films are not rated, viewer discretion advised.
Ahead of Time
Director: Robert Richman
Documentary. Awards: Miami, Denver and Palm Beach Film Festivals, Official selection: Toronto International Film festival
This fascinating film archives the amazing story of Ruth Gruber, American journalist, activist, explorer and humanitarian. She was the youngest PHD in history at age 20 and went on to author many books, have an outstanding career in journalism, explore the arctic and rescue over 1,000 Holocaust survivors from Naples, Italy. She did it all and even married and had children.
Click here to view the trailor for this movie
United States/2011/ English
Director: Tiffany Shain
Thanks to social networking in the 21st century, Jews with diverse backgrounds try to connect – sometimes happily, sometimes poignantly. In this technological age are we reaching out and communicating better than preceding generations? This film offers a thoughtful and provocative response. It also deals on a very personal level with the filmmaker’s relationship with her aging and ill father.
Director: Joel Fendelman
Drama, suitable for teens and adults
Awards: Ecumenical Prize, Montreal World Film Festival, 2011
Audience Award, Brooklyn Film Festival, 2011
As the son of the Imam of a Brooklyn mosque, Daud has to juggle the high expectations of his father with his feelings of isolation and difference—even from his peers in the Muslim community. Through an innocent act of good faith, Daud inadvertently befriends a group of Jewish boys who mistake him for a fellow classmate from their Orthodox school. A close friendship develops between Daud and Yaov, one of the Jewish boys, and his family. Daud becomes David and is drawn into a complicated dilemma, as he tries to maintain both Muslim and Jewish identities.
Israel/2011/Arabic/ French/ Hebrew with English subtitles
Director: Dani Menkin and Yonatan Nir
Morad, a teenage boy from an Arab village in the north of Israel, disconnects himself from reality following a violent attack that he experienced. As a last result before hospitalization in a mental institution, he is taken by his devoted father to be treated with dolphins in Eilat. Morad begins speaking again after months of silence, but he erases his past and refuses to go home to his family. This moving documentary was filmed over a period of four years and shows the healing power of nature and love, even after terrible violence.
The Debt (Ha Hov)
Israel/2007/Hebrew with English subtitles
Director: Assaf Bernstein
Thriller/ Mature themes/ some violence
The year is 1965, and three young Mossad agents return to Israel after successfully capturing the infamous “Surgeon of Treblinka.” He commits suicide rather than face trial in Israel. Today, 35 years after the well-publicized suicide, it is discovered that the “Surgeon” is still alive and willing to admit his crimes against the Jews. The three Mossad agents credited with his capture in 1965, now much older, decide to take the law into their own hands before their big lie comes out.
The American film, The Debt, is based on this suspenseful Israeli film. Whether you’ve seen The Debt or not, Ha Hov is an “edge of your seat” must-see thriller!
Israel/2011/Hebrew with English subtitles
Director: Doron Eran
Drama/ Mature theme
Awards: Israel Film Festival, 2011, International LGBT Film Festival, 2011, Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Canada, 2011
Shlomo discovers women’s clothing in his son Assaf’s room. With his wife’s consent, Shlomo locks Assaf out. Four years later, Gallia hires an agency to find her son and bring him to see Shlomo, who is dying of cancer. He is found performing as a transgender singer. A private nurse visits Shlomo in the hospital. It is really Assaf, who develops a relationship with his dying father as Anna, the nurse.
Israel/Poland/2011/English and Polish with English subtitles
Director: Ami Drozd
Poland, mid 1960’s. A mother, separated from her husband, spends most of her time working to provide for her two sons, ages 19 and 14. The boys join a Neo Nazi gang who vandalize a Jewish neighborhood and beat up young Jews. Following this incident, the mother decides to tell her sons the truth – she is Jewish and a Holocaust survivor, not Christian. They move to Australia and then Israel. The film explores the struggles for self identity in an immigrant society, while trying to build a new life.
Director: Matej Minae
Awards: Best Documentary, Montreal World Film Festival, Special Award Jerusalem Film Festival
This is the story of Sir Nicholas Winton, an English gentleman, businessman and diplomat, who secretly rescued almost 6,000 Holocaust survivors during World War Two. Fifty years after the war ended Nicholas’ wife found old documents pertaining to his heroic missions, which he never mentioned. Director Matej Minae interviews Sir Nicholas at age 102, and shares the stories of many of the survivors, who were rescued as children.
The film, Into the Arms of Strangers, the story of the Kindertranspoort (Academy Award winner in 2001) is based on Sir Nicholas’ heroic rescues.
Germany and Poland/2011/ US/ English, German and Polish with English subtitles
Director: Anna Justice
Awards: Audience Award, San Francisco Film Festival
Inspired by actual events, Remembrance tells a remarkable love story that blossomed amidst the terror of a German concentration camp in Poland in 1944.Separated during the chaos at the end of the war, Tomasz, a Polish prisoner, and Hannah, his Jewish lover, each believe the other has died. Thirty years later in New York City they accidentally see each other again.
Reuniting the Rubins
Director: Yoav Factor
An up-tight lawyer, Lenny Rubins (Timothy Spall, The King’s Speech), puts his dream of retirement on hold when his ailing mother (Honor Blackman, Goldfinger) emotionally blackmails him into reuniting his children for Passover. They may be peas from the same pod but don’t even seem to be from the same planet—a ruthless control freak, an argumentative eco-warrior, an outer-worldly Buddhist Monk; and to cap it all, a bible bashing “born-again” rabbi! This comic family drama will have you thinking fondly of your own.
Director: Richard Cantor
Suzie Gold is a young Jewish woman living in London. Her sister is about to marry a “nice Jewish boy” and Suzie’s parents want the same for her. She meets a young man through her family but the sparks just don’t fly. Through her job, Suzie meets a very attractive man, who happens not to be Jewish. She’s afraid to introduce him to her family but can’t stop seeing him. Will Suzie ultimately choose the man her family wants for her, or the one she is drawn to? This comedy offers a light-hearted take on a 21st century dilemma.
Trembling Before God
Director: Sandi Simcha Dubowski
Documentary for mature audiences
Award: Best Documentary, Berlin Film Festival
Gay and lesbian Orthodox Jews try to reconcile their sexuality with their Orthodox Jewish faith. The film follows the lives of several gay and lesbian Orthodox Jews and includes interviews with rabbis and psychotherapists about Jewish attitudes towards homosexuality. David is an observant Jewish doctor from Los Angeles, who has spent decades trying to resolve his homosexuality with Judaism. Israel is a 58-year old New Yorker who couldn’t be gay and Jewish, and turned his back on his religion. Michelle, A Hasidic lesbian, and Rabbi Steven Greenberg, a gay Orthodox rabbi, are two more of the fascinating, complex people who share their stories in this provocative film.
German/2008/German with English subtitles
Director: Dennis Gansel
Dramatic thriller/ Suitable for teens and adults
Awards: German, Melbourne Istanbul and Seattle Film Festivals
A teacher’s class lesson about dictatorship turns into an experiment with his students. The lesson escalates out of control when he forms a social unit of students. Beginning with innocent conformity, the class becomes increasingly aggressive and, eventually, violent and out-of control. This film offers a chilling lesson in mob mentality and mob violence. It is based on a true story.
*Films are subject to change.