Celebrities Crop Up in Latest Jewish Films; the 23rd Annual JFilm Festival Tends to Interpret Its Mission Broadly: To "Deepen Both Jewish and General Audiences' Understanding of Jewish Culture, Tolerance and Our Common Humanity." [Derived Headline]

By Machosky, Michael | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 5, 2016 | Go to article overview

Celebrities Crop Up in Latest Jewish Films; the 23rd Annual JFilm Festival Tends to Interpret Its Mission Broadly: To "Deepen Both Jewish and General Audiences' Understanding of Jewish Culture, Tolerance and Our Common Humanity." [Derived Headline]


Machosky, Michael, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


The 23rd annual JFilm Festival tends to interpret its mission broadly: to "deepen both Jewish and general audiences' understanding of Jewish culture, tolerance and our common humanity."

This year is no different in that respect. There are 28 films from eight countries, from Poland to Israel to the United States. There's everything from documentaries such as "In Search of Israeli Cuisine" and "Cartoonists: Foot Soldiers of Democracy" to slapstick comedies such as "Atomic Falafel" to a short film competition. The festival goes from April 7 to 17 at the Manor Theater in Squirrel Hill and Carmike 10 in South Hills Village.

There is one thing that's different this year, though, and JFilm Executive Director Kathryn Spitz Cohan didn't even really notice it until after the program was pretty much set.

"Lots of celebrities this year," Spitz Cohan says. "Many of the films we (usually) have feature stars from their original countries. It just so happens that there's a lot of celebrities this year that (American) audiences know."

That includes the opening night film, a documentary about television icon Norman Lear, which was also the opening night film at Sundance. "Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You," at 7 p.m. April 7 at the Manor, investigates the career of the guy who created some of the most popular and important television of all time -- "All in the Family," "The Jeffersons," "Good Times," "Sanford and Sons" -- and who proved that sitcoms could take on difficult issues and have a social conscience. …

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Celebrities Crop Up in Latest Jewish Films; the 23rd Annual JFilm Festival Tends to Interpret Its Mission Broadly: To "Deepen Both Jewish and General Audiences' Understanding of Jewish Culture, Tolerance and Our Common Humanity." [Derived Headline]
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