THE RUTGERS JEWISH Film Festival will feature more films than ever before as well as three new venues during its 17th annual run. The Oct. 30-Nov. 13 festival will present award-winning international films, including a United States premiere and four New Jersey premieres as well as discussions with filmmakers and scholars.
The new venues are Rutgers Business School on the Livingston campus in Piscataway, AMC Loews New Brunswick 18, and Princeton Garden Theatre in Princeton. The festival is sponsored by Rutgers University’s Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life.
The festival’s 18 dramatic and documentary films explore a broad range of topics, including Israeli society, history, and culture: the diverse landscape of Israeli cuisine; business partnerships and relationships between Israelis and Arabs; and the struggle of an HIV-positive gay man who must deal with the fears and prejudices of his family.
The documentary On the Map spotlights the multi-layered significance of the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team’s 1977 victory in the European Basketball Championship.
The NJ premiere of the Israeli film One Week and a Day will open the festival (and will also been screened Nov. 9). The film, which won numerous awards at this year’s Jerusalem Film Festival, including Best Israeli Feature Film, injects humor into a moving story of love and loss. Opening night also includes a buffet dinner and dessert reception for festival sponsors.
The festival features two thrillers: One the story of the Sabena flight hijacking in 1972; the other on the German perspective in bringing Adolf Eichmann to justice. Two Jewish artists in America will be highlighted in separate documentaries: Norman Lear, the TV icon, and Eva Hesse, who is posthumously celebrated as one of the most important artists of the second half of the 20th century.
Dramatic and documentary films relate in different ways to the Holocaust, including the NJ premiere of the Greek drama Cloudy Sunday, which tells the story of forbidden love against the backdrop of German-occupied Thessaloniki; the NJ premiere of the American documentary Germans and Jews, which looks at postwar Germany’s Jewish population and explores the difficult issues of memory, guilt, identity, and redemption.
Closing night will feature the U.S. premiere of The Women’s Balcony, a new Israeli drama that explores gender roles in a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem.
Tickets are priced from $6 to $13. For the schedule and to purchase tickets, visit BildnerCenter.Rutgers.edu.