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2016-01-29 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


January 29, 2016  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

Fest’s opening credits boast star power

Martin Landau, left, and Christopher Plummer in the film ‘Remember.’ Martin Landau, left, and Christopher Plummer in the film ‘Remember.’ The Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival kicks off its 20th anniversary March 2 with the Tampa premiere of the new Canadian film, Remember with Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau.

The opening night celebration at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts will also honor three of the festival’s longtime supporters with the STARR Award – Cathy Gardner, Susan Heyman and Michael White – and there will be a champagne dessert reception after the film’s showing.

In all, this year’s festival, co-sponsored by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco County, will once again screen an eclectic selection of Jewish and Israeli themed movies. Eleven films – with genres including drama, comedy, the Holocaust, Israeli and Arab relations, biography and documentary – will be shown over eight days in locations around the Tampa Bay area. The filmmakers represent 11 countries with all the foreign language movies having subtitles.

From the documentary, “Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict,” which will be shown at the special Film Festival preview event at the Tampa Museum of Art on Feb. 28. From the documentary, “Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict,” which will be shown at the special Film Festival preview event at the Tampa Museum of Art on Feb. 28. The opening night film, Remember, which garnered a 10-minute standing ovation at its premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September, follows the elderly Zev Guttman (Plummer) who is encouraged by his friend Max (Landau) to track down the man responsible for the sentencing of their families to death in Auschwitz years before. Max manages to whittle the list down to only four men that live scattered across the country.

Zev has to plan his escape from their shared nursing home and travel by train to visit each one of these men, in hopes he will be able to find, confirm the identity of and kill the man who destroyed his family. Not only must Zev hunt for his family’s executioner, who now lives under an alias, he must do it while fighting his own failing memory and health.

To get the community psyched up for the film festival, a bonus Peek-a-Boo event is planned at the Tampa Museum of Art, on Sunday, Feb. 28. In keeping with the venue theme, the festival will also be showing the New York Times Critic’s Choice film, Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict. The documentary relives the travels of the heiress as she collected art and artists alike, inspiring the modern art movement in Europe and beyond. After the screening, an advance look at the upcoming festival’s films will be shown.

The other films in this year’s festival are:

To Life – an aging and suicidal cabaret singer and a young man with an incurable disease help each other find a way back to life.

Once in a Lifetime – a teacher enters a group of troubled, teenage students into a competition where the subject matter is “children in Nazi concentration camps.” Based on a true story.

The Kind Words – After their mother’s death, three Jewish Israeli siblings discover their biological father was Muslim and set out across Europe to find him.

Wedding Doll – Hagit, who suffers from a mild mental deficiency, and her mother Sarah deal with love, sacrifice and the closing of the factory where they both work.

Rock in the Red Zone – The city of Sderot was once the site of the burgeoning rock music scene in Israel, but now is under heavy rocket fire from the Gaza strip.

Bulgarian Rhapsody – During the summer of 1943, two young men fall in love with a young Jewish girl, all while being forced to live under German law.

In Search of Israeli Cuisine – A documentary that highlights the cuisine and food traditions of the more than 70 cultures that make up Israel.

• Secrets of War – Young lifelong best friends compete for the affections of a mysterious girl while the local families choose to either align with Nazi sympathizers or the join the resistance.

• Dough - an old, Jewish baker struggles with his business until his young, Muslim apprentice accidentally drops cannabis into his dough, sending his profits skyhigh.

Rabin in His Own Words – The story of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is told entirely in his own voice 20 years after his assassination through use of archival footage, personal letters and home videos.

Tickets for the Peek-a-Boo Event are $5 for members of the Tampa Museum of Art and $12 for non-members. Admission includes entry into the museum, viewing of the feature film and the sneak peek for the upcoming film festival. Doors open at 11 a.m. and the film with sneak peak to follow starts at 3 p.m.

Tickets for the opening night festivities are $18 and include admission to Remember, the award ceremony and the champagne dessert reception. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center.

Tickets to most of the other films are $10, except the Rabin movie, which is free. A Platinum Anniversary Pass to see all the movies is $75. To purchase tickets or to get more information on films and showtimes, go to or call (813) 264 -9000.

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