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Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival

WMass Jewish Ledger | 3-18-11

The sixth annual Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival, to be held March 23 – April 7 will feature 20 films – dramas, documentaries and comedies – in seven Valley towns. PVJFF is co-presented by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Springfield JCC with support from the following major sponsors: Massachusetts Cultural Council, Totsy Foundation, Sapirstein & Sapirstein, The Anna P. Housen Israel Desk of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, and Davis Financial Group.

Wed, March 23

"A Film Unfinished"

“A Film Unfinished”
4 p.m & 7:30 p.m.; 6 p.m.: Reception
UMass Amherst, Institute for Holocaust, Genocide & Memory, Studies, Amherst, FREE
In 1942, one of the only known films about the Warsaw ghetto was shot. For decades, this footage was presented as truth… until 40 years later when a missing reel was discovered. FilmTalk with Catherine Portuges, Comp. Lit./Film Studies, James Young, Institute for Holocaust, Genocide & Memory Studies & Olga Gershenson, Judaic & Near Eastern Studies, UMass Amherst.  Special Guest: Yael Hersonski, Director

Thurs, March 24

"Eli and Ben"

“Eli and Ben”
7 p.m.
Bay Path College, Mills Theatre, Longmeadow, FREE
An Israeli boy wrestles with real life ethical dilemmas and his love for his father in this bittersweet coming-of-age drama.


"For My Father"

“For My Father”
7:30 p.m.
Amherst Cinema, Amherst
Tarek, a Palestinian forced on a suicide mission to redeem his father’s honor, is given a second chance when the fuse on his explosive vest fails to detonate. Stranded in Tel Aviv awaiting its repair, Tarek lives among the people he was sent to kill. Tarek begins to discover the spark of life returning to his soul, but when the weekend ends, he must make the decision of his life.  Tickets for this show available in advance at the JCC or at the door.

"Anita"

Sat, March 26

“Anita” – Sneak Preview!
8:15 p.m.
Garden Cinemas, Greenfield
Anita, a young Jewish woman with Down syndrome, lives with her mother above the shop her late father started. Into their sweet domestic life, the outside world abruptly intrudes with unexpected fury. Tickets for this show available only at the Garden Cinema box office or at www.gardencinemas.net
“For My Father”
8:15 p.m.
Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield
*See March 24

Sun, March 27

"A Hebrew Lesson"

“A Hebrew Lesson” – part of the Smith College Israeli Film Festival
11 a.m.
Smith College, Stoddard Hall, Northampton
With intimacy, humor and charm, this film tells the stories of several students in a multicultural Hebrew language class in Tel Aviv.  Named Best Series Documentary by the Israeli Film Academy. FilmTalk with Ilona Ben-Moshe, Smith Professor. Tickets available in advance at the  JCC or at the door.

"My So-Called Enemy"

“My So-Called Enemy” – part of the Smith College Israeli Film Festival
2:30 p.m.
Smith College, Stoddard Hall, Northampton
In 2002, 22 Palestinian and Israeli teenage girls came to the US for the Building Bridges for Peace leadership program. Focusing on the stories of 6 young women, the film shows how knowing their “enemies” as human beings meets the realities of the girls’ lives back home over the next 7 years. FilmTalk w/ Melodye Feldman, MSW, Building Bridges for Peace facilitator. Tickets available in advance at the JCC or at the door.

“My So-Called Enemy”
5:30 p.m. Teen-only Reception with Melodye Feldman
6:30 p.m. Film
Springfield JCC (Neal Webber Building), Springfield

"Srugim"

“Srugim” (Season One episodes 1-3) – part of the Smith College Israeli Film Festival
7 p.m.
Smith College, Stoddard Hall, Northampton
Described as a “Modern Orthodox Friends,” Srugim is the hit Israeli TV series. FilmTalk with Ilona Ben-Moshe, Lecturer in Jewish Studies, Smith College. Tickets available in advance at the JCC or at the door.


Mon, March 28

"The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground"

“Klezmatics:  On Holy Ground”
7 p.m.
Yiddish Book Center, Amherst
This film provides an upbeat look at the colorful personalities in and creative process behind the Grammy Award-winning band, The Klezmatics. Tickets available in advance at the JCC or at the door.

Tues, March 29

"The Yankles"

“The Yankles”
1 p.m.
Springfield JCC (Neal Webber Building), Springfield
A washed-up former pro player, Charlie, is sentenced to community service for a drunk driving conviction. He soon discovers that the only people willing to give him a second chance are equally desperate yeshiva students on a quest to start their own team. Tickets for this show available in advance at the JCC or at the door.

"Brothers"

“Brothers” – part of the Smith College Israeli Film Festival
7 p.m.
Smith College, Stoddard Hall, Northampton
Two Jewish brothers, whose choices and values have driven them apart, meet again in Israel after many years. The conflict between them reflects a society torn between its religious and political principles.
FilmTalk at Smith screening only w/ Justin Cammy, Asst. Professor of Jewish Studies, Smith College

Wed, March 30

“Anita”
Mid-Fest Celebration!
Reception: 6:30 p.m.  Film: 7:30 p.m.
Rave Motion Pictures, West Springfield
* See March 26
Sat, April 2

"Off and Running"

“Off and Running” – Co-presented with Out! For Reel LGBT Film Series
showing with “Second Guessing Grandma”
8:15 p.m.
Wright Hall, Weinstein Auditorium
Smith College, Northampton
With white Jewish lesbian parents and two adopted brothers, Avery grew up in a unique and loving household. When her curiosity about her African-American roots grows and she decides to contact her birth mother, she is propelled into an exploration of race, identity, and family. Tickets available at www.OutForReel.org only and at the door, as space allows.

“Second Guessing Grandma” – Co-presented with Out! For Reel LGBT Film Series
showing with “Off and Running”
A charming story of a twenty-something Jewish gay man who finally comes out to his beloved grandmother.


"Avalon"

“Avalon”
8:15 p.m.
Memorial Hall, Shelburne Falls
Barry Levinson’s Avalon covers 40 years in the lives of one immigrant Jewish family in Baltimore. Introduction by Ira Bryck, Director, UMass Family Business Center. Tickets available at the door, $6 adults; $4 kids under 12; pre-purchased Pothole Pictures season tickets will be honored.


Sun, April 3

"Sesame Street: It's Passover, Grover"

“Shalom Sesame: It’s Passover, Grover!”
10 a.m.
Springfield JCC (Neal Webber Building), Springfield
Shalom Sesame combines the best in educational entertainment from the pioneers of Sesame Workshop® and the brightest stars of television, music and film. This event includes bagels, a PJ Library story, and art project.

“The Yankles”
2:30 p.m.
Pleasant Street Theatre, Northampton
*See March 29

Mon, April 4

"Everest: A Climb For Peace"

“Everest: A Climb For Peace”
7 p.m.
Amherst College, Stirn Auditorium (part of Mead Art Museum) Amherst, FREE
Filmed in Nepal, Tibet, Israel, The Palestinian Territories, Jordan, U.A.E, and the U.S., this film chronicles the spectacular journey of nine “peace climbers” from different faiths and cultures as they scale Mt. Everest.


“The Yankles”
7:30 p.m.
Pleasant Street Theatre, Northampton
*See March 29

"Circumcise Me"

Tues, April 5

“Circumcise Me” with “Matzo and Mistletoe
Reception: 6:30 PM Film: 7:00 PM
Garden Cinemas, Greenfield, Come early for a pre-film nosh!
Born Chris Campbell, the son of an ex-nun and a Catholic school teacher, Yisrael
Campbell converted to Judaism  three times – Reform, Conservative and Orthodox. This is a hilarious, searching story of one man’s quest for spiritual enlightenment. Tickets available only at the Garden Cinemas box office or at www.gardencinemas.net


"Matzo and MIstletoe"

“Matzo & Mistletoe” showing with “Circumcise Me”
Filmmaker Kate Feiffer (daughter of famed cartoonist, Jules) asks and attempts to answer the question, “What does it mean to be a non–practicing Jew in America?”  Tickets available only at the Garden Cinemas box office and at www.gardencinemas.net


“No. 4 Street Of Our Lady”
7:00 PM
Springfield College, Fuller Arts Building, Springfield
Stay for the post film reception!
This is the story of Francisca Halamajowa, a Polish-Catholic woman who – at great risk – hid several Jewish families in her tiny home for them for two years. Tickets available in advance at the JCC or at the door.

Wed, April 6

“The Yankles”
10:00 AM
Pleasant Street Theatre, Northampton *See March 29 .

“Brothers”
7:00 PM
Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield  *See March 29

“Eli and Ben”
7:30 PM
Amherst Cinemas, Amherst *See March 24

Thurs, April 7

"Stars"

“Stars”
4:00 PM & 7:30 PM
Amherst College, Stirn Auditorium (part of Mead Art Museum)
Amherst, FREE
This newly re-released film challenged post-war convention by portraying Bulgarian collaboration and a love story between a German corporal and a Jewish woman. FilmTalk w/ Skyler J. Arndt-Briggs, DEFA Film Library, German & Scandinavian Studies, UMass.

“Surviving Hitler: A Love Story”
7:00 PM
Springfield College, Fuller Arts Building, Springfield
This love story provides an engaging, fresh angle on life in Germany during the rise and fall of the Third Reich. Tickets available in advance at the JCC or at the door.

For more information, visit pvjff.org

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