This is a guest post by Kaira Hogel, director of the Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival.
This year the Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary of bringing some of the best, award-winning films highlighting Jewish culture, history and artistry to the Twin Cities. With 16 of 19 MN premieres, three visiting speakers, two book-signing events, and one international gallery exhibition, this year promises to be the best yet!
Here are the top 10 reasons to attend the 2013 Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival:
1. Plunge into the life of one of rock-n-roll’s most prolific songwriters in A.K.A. Doc Pomus! Paralyzed with polio as a child, Brooklyn-born Jerome Felder reinvented himself as Doc Pomus, becoming one of the most brilliant songwriters of the early rock and roll era, writing hits like, “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “A Teenager in Love,” and “Viva Las Vegas.”
2. Witness a thrilling interrogation session in Room 514. Six months of intensive rehearsal led to the incredible achievement of shooting this award-winning film in only five days! The film’s gritty, minimalist, almost claustrophobic style provides a raw look at the psyche of a generation of young Israelis shaped by the effects of the ongoing conflict.
3. Meet a world-renowned caver who accidentally stumbled upon an amazing discovery in No Place On Earth. In a Ukrainian cave called The Priest’s Grotto, caver Chris Nicola found evidence of a group of Jewish families’ survival from the Holocaust for over a year! Chris will be at the screening to share his story.
4. Come enjoy a fun evening down on the Mississippi River at St. Anthony Main Theatre and top it off over at Vic’s with other 20s and 30s groups! This three-time sold out Tribeca Festival film, Supporting Characters, features Alex Karpovsky (Girls), Arielle Kebbel (90210) and Kevin Corrigan (Pineapple Express) in a story of the big city, dealing with stressful jobs and struggling to maintain relationships. Watch this film with all your Jewish community 20s and 30s friends, then head over to Vic’s Restaurant after the film to continue the fun.
5. Hang out with TC Jewfolk and Sayed Kashua, the brilliant creator of Arab Labor, sort of like an Israeli Modern Family. Israeli author, journalist, and TV producer Sayed Kashua will be at the film festival, screening two episodes of his insanely funny TV show, Arab Labor, part of the MJF Israel Center’s Culture BLVD series and moderated by TC Jewfolk’s editor, Bradley Machov! Part Curb Your Enthusiasm, part Modern Family, this screening of “Israel’s best TV show” should not be missed.
6. So. You THOUGHT you knew Roman Polanski? Many Americans are somewhat familiar with Polanski’s life story, the murder of his wife by the Charles Manson “family” and his 1977 arrest for an ‘encounter’ with a 13 year-old girl. What this revealing documentary honestly presents is the man and the incredible artist behind all the media headlines.
7. Have a date with your Bubbe! Meet the opinionated, spirited and very funny, 96 year-old Miriam in Life in Stills, as she teams up with her grandson Ben to save her late husband’s photo shop, documenting 50 years of Israeli history. The event will include guest speaker Ben Peter and a gallery of the photos featured in the film.
8. Meet a lady who talks to a poster of Woody Allen, and the poster talks back! The gorgeous, smart, “still single” Alice, believes that life’s problems and dilemmas can be solved by the wise musings of Woody Allen. She even prescribes his films to her patients and regularly engages in long conversations with his gigantic face on her wall. Paris-Manhattan highlights some of Allen’s most famous lines, not to mention a guest appearance from the man himself!
9. See what a body looks like via X-ray in the heart-warming comic-drama, The Day I Saw Your Heart. As we all know: family is complicated, sometimes REALLY complicated, especially when your father tries to be friends with all your exes and is expecting a new baby at 60! Don’t miss this stylish, quirky film, with an awesome soundtrack to boot!
10. Because the world really IS funny…Cap it all off by attending the MN premiere of the record-breaking film, The World Is Funny, at the Walker Art Center. And enjoy some yummy D’Amico nosh afterwards! This delightful film masterfully weaves the stories of some 20 colorful and off-beat characters, into a comic-dramatic tale of love, loss and all that life has to offer.
This year’s festival runs Thursday, February 28 through Sunday, March 17. For more information and tickets go to: www.mplsjff.org . Grab some friends and join us!
PLUS! Win Free Tickets to Opening Night!
Paralyzed with polio as a child, Brooklyn-born Jerome Felder reinvented himself first as a blues singer, renaming himself Doc Pomus, then emerged as a one of the most brilliant songwriters of the early rock and roll era, writing “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “This Magic Moment,” “A Teenager in Love,” “Viva Las Vegas,” and dozens of other hits. For most of his life Doc was confined to crutches and a wheelchair, but he lived more during his sixty-five years than others could experience in several lifetimes.
What’s your favorite early Rock and Roll song? Tell us in the comments, or on our Facebook page for your chance to win. The winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday, February 26th!