6 p.m. Monday, July 11: Hill Start
Colorful characters abound in this lighthearted dramedy centered on a wealthy Jerusalem family. This box office comic sensation in Israel brings new meaning to the word dysfunctional.
8:30 p.m. Monday, July 11: Once in a Lifetime
This award-winning film provides a potent and moving antidote to the devaluation of education in an age of ignorance. Anne Gueguen, a dedicated history teacher at a French high school, is determined to give the best education she can to her underprivileged inner-city pupils. Overcoming their apathy, however, is proving to be more difficult than expected.
6 p.m. Tuesday, July 12: How to Win Enemies
In this comic caper, Lucas, a shy young lawyer, meets the beautiful Barbara by chance at a café, and he is instantly enamored. She is smart, sexy, and has great taste in literature. But things aren't always what they seem. After Barbara goes home with Lucas, he wakes up to find his financial savings, and Barbara, gone. A great fan of detective novels, Lucas is convinced he was set up and begins to investigate the case like one of the heroes in his beloved books. With no shortage of suspects but just a few clues, Lucas must rely on his legal training and wits to crack the case.
8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 12: Wounded Land
In this award-winning, action-packed thriller, police officer Kobi Amar and the regional commander Yehuda Neumann have been partners for years. Suddenly, they are faced with a life changing conflict as they are plunged into a rollercoaster-like night in which they are required to keep their city safe while watching over a terrorist at a city hospital. The nailbiting events of the night challenge Kobi and Neumann's moral and professional values, as well as their long dedicated friendship.
6 p.m. Wednesday, July 13: Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You
Now in his nineties, Lear is as sharp and witty as ever - as is evidenced in this insightful profile. Oscar-nominated filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady draw upon stories from Lear's memoir Even This I Get to Experience and conduct lively interviews with Lear and colleagues such as George Clooney, Rob Reiner, and Russell Simmons and sample clips from his classic shows, featuring brilliant comic actors like Carroll O'Connor, Beatrice Arthur, and Sherman Hemsley, while tracing the struggles and triumphs of this singular career.
8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 13: The Kind Words
Three Jerusalem siblings take a life-changing trip to uncover the truth of their parentage in this insightful story that taps heart and humor in its exploration of a family in crisis. Spiky-tempered Dorona and her two brothers - the older, an unsettled Orthodox father Netanel, and the younger, a bisexual bar owner Shai - come together following the death of their mother. They receive bombshell news when they learn the man who raised them is not their biological father. This shock sets them on a quest across France to explore their origins rooted in their mother's native Algiers. As they piece together the inscrutable secrets of their past, Dorona and her brothers grapple with issues of marriage, family, and religious and ethnic identity.
6 p.m. Thursday, July 14: On the Map, with special guest writer/director/producer Dani Menkin
On the Map, a fast-moving, emotional, and awe-inspiring documentary, recounts the story of how the 1977 Maccabee Tel-Aviv basketball team that no one thought could win toppled the four-time defending Soviet team and put Israel firmly on the map. Featuring interviews with the Jewish-American athletes who made history, combined with the pulse-pounding action of a high-stakes game with an incendiary political situation at the height of the Cold War, director Dani Menkin delivers a film that honors Israeli heroes, mesmerizes fans of the game and captures the spirit of a nation triumphant and victorious against all odds.
8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 14: Fever at Dawn
This beautifully filmed, true story is inspired by award-winning Hungarian director Peter Gardos's parents. It's July 1945 and Miklos, a 25-year-old Hungarian, is looking for love. Having amazingly survived the Nazi death camps and now living in a hospital in Sweden, he has been diagnosed with tuberculosis and is given only six months to live. But rather than accept his fate, Miklos has other plans.
He sets out on a mission to find a wife, and acquires the names of the 117 Hungarian women also recovering in Sweden. He writes a letter to each of them in his beautiful cursive hand. One of these women, he is sure, will become his wife. Gardos's movie has been compared by critics to the award-winning filmLife is Beautiful with its full range of emotion and cinematography.
More: The JCC of Greater Rochester established the Rochester Jewish Film Festival in 2001 to present the best contemporary Jewish themed films from around the world to the Rochester community. RJFF exists to promote awareness and pride in the diversity of the Jewish people; to strengthen community consciousness of Jewish identity, history and culture; to provide a forum for community gatherings that allows valuable dialogue; and to create an international showcase for filmmakers whose work explores Jewish themes.