If you live around Boca Raton, or are thinking of moving here, you’ll find the area has copious activities and events throughout the town and neighboring cities. One event that you won’t want to miss is the yearly Donald M Ephraim Palm Beach Film Festival. The festival, now in its 26th year, will embrace its talented filmmakers on January 20th running through till February 11th. The process according to Festival Director, Ellen L. Wedner takes up to a year to complete. This year they’re calling attention to 31 different documentaries, short and featured movies. One of the comic documentaries titled “Look at us now, Mother!” directed by New York's Gayle Kirschenbaum centers her story in our own backyard, in the Boca Pointe Development. Much like Kirschenbaum, advocates for the cinematic arts revel at this inspirational event where artists display their work.
What makes it a Jewish Film Festival? The festivals themes take place around tradition, history and the culture of the Jewish community. However, anyone is free to submit their entries for the festival no matter what your background is. You’ll see some post World War II through lines, but these are said to be more modern in time. You can be sure to see a variety of comedy and drama in this genre and that is what the curators strive for with their meeting this demographic.
If you or anyone you’ve ever known has made entered a film festival, you may be aware of all the expense and hard work that goes into being a part of one of these prestigious events. The Palm Beach Jewish Festival is one of great notoriety. Film and Broadway actress Lanie Kazan will be receiving the Jewish Film Arts Tribute Award on Thursday. Kazan was in several television shows like the Nanny and St Elsewhere and also stared in the movies like “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. The Festival attracts celebrities and some of Boca Raton’s elite and intellectual crowds.
This year the list of donors and festival supporters is extremely generous. Special grants were received from a large list of advocates such as the Etta and Harry Winokur Student Film Award Fund and
Consulate General of Israel to Florida and Puerto Rico in Miami.
The Etta and Harry Winokur Student Film Award Funds several awards per year to educational institutions and artists alike. There are several others on the list which you can find located on the link to the website for the festival.
Talent such as emerging directors and fine actors get one step closer to securing their dreams and having exposure to some of the world’s most impressive people filmmakers both locally and globally. Many talented actors and actresses emerged from the early stages of film festivals. Talent like Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence had some of their bigger breaks by way of working the film festival circuits.
If you’ve never been to the Jewish Film Festival, then you’re in for a treat. There are several times and locations allowing you to view more than one film. The other opportunity you get here is to check out several venues, adding to your list of “yeas” or “nahs” for Boca Raton must see locations.
The theaters participating this year are Kravis Center for Performing Arts Cohen Pavilion, Cobb Theater at Downtown Palm Gardens, Frank Cinebowl and Grille of Delray, Cinemark Boynton Beach 14, Cinemark Palace 20 and Duncan Theater in Lake Worth.
The Kravis Center for Performing Arts in Cohen Pavilion was built by the same architectural firm as the World Trade Center and Liberty Place One.
This venue is a tremendous asset to the West Palm Beach Area and will be hosting the opening ceremonies for the festival on Wednesday January 20th, 2016. The movie “Dough” directed by John Goldschmidt starts promptly at 7 p.m.
The remainder of January’s showings are hosted by The Cobb Theater at Downtown in Palm Beach Gardens. This is a copy of the schedule for the rest of this month. Click the link to find more information for other theaters and showings.
7:30 pm - Short:The Walk • Feature:The Last Mentsch
Saturday, January 23
7:30 pm - Wedding Doll
Sunday, January 24
11:00 am - Short: Dear God • Feature: Vice Versa
1:30 pm - To Life!
4:00 pm - Very Semi Serious
7:30 pm - Blind Hero: The Love of Otto Weidt
Monday, January 25
1:00 pm - Look At Us Now, Mother
4:00 pm - Firebirds
7:30 pm - Chagall- Malevich
Tuesday, January 26
1:00 pm - The Law 3:30 pm - Colliding Dreams
7:30 pm - Remember
Wednesday, January 27
1:30 pm - Carvalho’s Journey
4:00 pm - Anita B
7:30 pm - Once in A Lifetime
Thursday, January 28
1:30 pm - Apples in the Desert
4:00 pm - The Duchess of Warsaw
7:30 pm - Rabin: In His Own Words
Friday, January 29
1:00 pm - Frank vs God
Saturday, January 30
7:30 pm - Short: Kapunka • Feature: Rock in the Red Zone
All the theater locations are within minutes of Boca Raton and make an ideal night out. Many of the films are hand selected and come from the larger festivals like Tribeca and Sundance as well as Cannes. By supporting the arts raising awareness to the craft of film making we enrich our communities. We also give the talent a chance to let the world know their art exists and is here for us to enjoy and ponder.
With over 100,000 Jewish households across the Palm Beach and Martin Counties, it’s not a wonder that this would be the perfect location for such an eloquent film festival. Of course the Donald M Ephraim Palm Beach Film Festival is a part of the tapestry of entertainment woven in these neighboring towns. Yet another reason that this makes a great area to live!
You can visit the website at palmbeachjewishfilm.org for the schedule. Check with your country club concierge for any group events going to the event.
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