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#AnneFrank. Parallel Stories

About the Film 
Anne Frank’s immortal words are revived for the hashtag generation via social media, as Oscar-winning Helen Mirren breathes new life into the famous diary. This modern retelling of Anne’s story carries the gifted diarist’s legacy forward in powerful new ways.
Genre 
Documentary
Running Time 
90 minutes

Abe

About the Film 
In this lighthearted Sundance dramedy, Noah Schnapp (Stranger Things) is a Brooklyn kid and son of an Israeli mother and Palestinian father. With the aid of a Brazilian chef and food blogger who believes mixing flavors can connect people, Abe hopes to unify his politically fraught, mixed-heritage family over a Thanksgiving feast.
Genre 
Narrative
Running Time 
85 minutes

Advocate

About the Film 
In this DocAviv best film winner, a controversial Jewish lawyer pushes Israeli courts to the limit in an unwavering defense of Palestinian rights. For nearly 50 years, Lea Tsemel has represented Palestinian prisoners in what she views as a rigged legal system. High-profile court cases are juxtaposed with flashbacks to her leftist awakening and attempts to raise a family, as this outspoken anti-establishment figure is astutely examined.
Genre 
Documentary
Running Time 
114 minutes

Africa

About the Film 
An Israeli retiree seeks to restore his sense of purpose in this tender, lovingly observed Haifa Film Festival top prize winner. Slipping into the sunset of life isn’t easy for crusty but softhearted Meir, a former engineer who now toils away crafting a bed for his grandson, and devastated when a younger cohort takes over organizing a traditional community ceremony. This low-key gem proves a profound contemplation on aging and transition.
Genre 
Narrative
Running Time 
82 minutes

After Class

About the Film 
Justin Long leads an all-star cast in this edgy, Big Apple dysfunctional family dramedy about a 30-something college professor forced to defend his reputation. Josh is also beset with multiple family issues—divorcing parents and bickering siblings, among them—in this millennial urban tale that tackles changing social attitudes with humor, candor and compassion. With Lynn Cohen, Fran Drescher and Richard Schiff.
Genre 
Narrative
Running Time 
94 minutes

AJFF In Conversation: What Makes a Film Jewish?

About the Program: 

Join us for this conversation, open to questions from our audience, featuring both local and national film industry experts, including members of the 2020 AJFF Jury. Our discussion will examine one of the most frequently asked questions, What Makes a Film Jewish? Seemingly obvious, yet open to interpretation, the answer can be complex and rich, and often varies from film to film. Join our experts as they define and explore fundamental criteria for any Jewish film festival.

Though FREE to the public, RSVPs are still required via AJFF.org as space is limited.

Alan Pakula: Going for Truth

About the Film 
In this eulogy to a brilliant life tragically cut short, Hollywood remembers the visionary behind many of the 20th century’s most provocative films, including All the President’s Men, Sophie’s Choice and To Kill a Mockingbird. Of Polish-Jewish descent, Pakula’s ethos is manifest in stories of heart and suspense, and themes of moral malfeasance. Interviews with cinema luminaries, and copious movie clips, confirm his exceptional reputation and give the reclusive filmmaker his due.
Genre 
Documentary
Running Time 
110 minutes

The Art of Waiting

About the Film 
In this sweetly funny romance-dramedy, a 30-something Israeli couple has baby fever, putting their marriage to the test in a frenzy to get pregnant. The biological clock ticks as they begin protracted fertility treatments, a physical and emotional rollercoaster of medical procedures and regimented lovemaking. It’s soon clear the road to parenthood is not easy, in this frank portrayal of modern pregnancy.
Genre 
Narrative
Running Time 
91 minutes

Aulcie

About the Film 
One of Israel’s top athletes captures the nation’s spirit while prevailing against the odds, in this exciting bio of a basketball icon. From Harlem’s courts to Maccabi Tel Aviv ‘76, Aulcie Perry helped Israel win its first European Championship. But fame led to a dramatic downfall, then ultimate redemption, for this superstar who put Israeli basketball on the map.
Genre 
Documentary
Running Time 
72 minutes

Back to Maracanã

About the Film 

Three generations seek to reconcile on a hasty trip to Brazil, in this heartfelt dramedy. Divorced, his business failing, Roberto—a Brazilian expat in Israel—takes his anxious son and impetuous father to Rio to watch Brazil’s World Cup quest. While mending their fraught relationships, the trio’s rocky journey reveals vital life lessons and long-buried secrets.

Genre 
Narrative
Running Time 
92 minutes

Black Mercedes

About the Film 

A young woman’s murder leads a police detective into a murky underworld of sex and intrigue, in this twisting thriller set in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. The chief inspector’s ties to the Polish Underground jeopardize his probe, as he seeks to unravel this noir whodunit layered with hidden identities and startling turns.

Genre 
Narrative
Running Time 
123 minutes

Born in Jerusalem and Still Alive

About the Film 
In a deft blend of dark comedy and quirky romance, a loveless, neurotic schlemiel finds emotional healing while gigging as a Jerusalem tour guide. When not caring for his doddering father, Ronen copes by offering free tours of famous terror attack sites along Jaffa Road…until he meets high-spirited Asia, an architecture student. Suddenly more alive, Ronen faces a worrying choice, in this droll take on the absurdity of everyday life in Israel.
Genre 
Narrative
Running Time 
83 minutes

The Bronx, USA

About the Film 
Seinfeld producer George Shapiro visits old stomping grounds in this star-studded, funny, nostalgic ode to New York’s northernmost borough. Decades after launching a successful showbiz career, Shapiro returns to the Bronx, kibitzing with friends about the glories of their immigrant neighborhood. The class of ’49 Bronx Boys also endearingly encounter students of today, at their high school alma mater. Notable Bronxites reminiscing include Carl Reiner, Gen. Colin Powell, Robert Klein, and Alan Alda, in this heartwarming walk down memory lane.
Genre 
Documentary
Running Time 
83 minutes

Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn

About the Film 
An unflinching look at one of the country’s most vilified figures, this riveting profile of the closeted, self-loathing power broker reveals the man behind the Machiavellian mask. From McCarthyism’s chief architect to Trump mentor, Cohn’s amoral career stained U.S. politics. Filmmaker Ivy Meeropol, granddaughter of the Rosenbergs, executed as spies, adds a personal prism to this interrogatory account.
Genre 
Documentary
Running Time 
94 minutes

A Cantor's Head

About the Film 
One of the world’s leading cantorial masters departs the bema, prompting questions about the fading tradition of Jewish sacred music. With an outsized Brooklyn persona and phenomenal voice, Cantor Jack Mendelson utterly leaps off the screen. But after 29 years, his synagogue prefers a younger cantor. With emotion, Mendelson and other experts explain a centuries-long art form, and what its loss represents.
Genre 
Documentary
Running Time 
87 minutes

Crescendo

About the Film 
A famous conductor assembling an orchestra of Israeli and Palestinian youth for a Mideast peace summit, finds a tempest of deep discord. Corralling the young artists, sworn enemies from the Arab-Israeli divide, is easier said than done, in this potent drama, with an amazing cast of non-actors, led by veteran Peter Simonischek.
Genre 
Narrative
Running Time 
112 minutes

Dolce Fine Giornata

About the Film 
An impetuous writer recklessly speaks out following a deadly terrorist attack, in this thought-provoking arthouse drama that contemplates the limits of free speech. Polish-Jewish expat Maria lives her golden years in a charming Tuscan villa, while fostering a secret liaison. When she decries Europe’s eroding democratic ideals, she’s unprepared for the hostility she garners, in this superbly crafted, morally complex intersection of artistic license and political discourse.
Genre 
Narrative
Running Time 
96 minutes

Exodus

About the Film 

The birth of modern Israel gets the big-budget, Hollywood treatment in this exhilarating epic featuring an all-star ensemble. Paul Newman is Israeli resistance leader Ari Ben Canaan, who defies a British blockade to smuggle Jewish refugees to Palestine. Once ashore, he falls for an American nurse, Kitty (Eva Marie Saint), as they risk their lives for the Zionist cause. Otto Preminger’s lavish production includes standout supporting performances from Lee J. Cobb and Sal Mineo, as well as Ernest Gold’s Academy Award-winning score.

Genre 
Narrative
Running Time 
208 minutes

Flawless

About the Film 
A sisterhood of outcasts seeks to remake themselves in this provocative, poignant, coming-of-age dramedy, wherein the trio goes to queasy extremes to bankroll cosmetic surgery and prom dresses. This beguiling, cautionary tale of self-discovery and prejudice features a standout performance by the first transgender woman nominated for Israel’s top acting prize.
Genre 
Narrative
Running Time 
97 minutes

The Glass Room

About the Film 
An iconic home (the stunning Villa Tugendhat) takes center stage as secret affairs and history’s shifting tides shatter a Czech marriage, in this mesmerizing, erotic wartime saga. A wealthy Jewish industrialist and his gentile wife see their dream house become home to passionate, dark desires as 1930s idealism gives way to Hitler. Based on Simon Mawer’s hit novel.
Genre 
Narrative
Running Time 
104 minutes

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