Jewish Film Festival 2014

We are very pleased to be presenting the Sarasota premieres of six outstanding and highly diverse films. These films provide a unique window into Jewish history and Jewish values—and make us think about the experiences, good and bad, that have shaped us as individuals and as a people. The Jewish Film Festival is one of many programs sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee in pursuit of its mission: To enhance Jewish life in our local community, in Israel, and around the world. We sincerely hope that your “Jewish life” will be enhanced by viewing and discussing these films, and we welcome your participation. Thank you to the Sarasota Film Festival for its cooperation in bringing this event to the Sarasota-Manatee community. We look forward to seeing you at the Festival!

WATCH: 'INFINITE POSSIBILITIES' A video introduction about the Sarasota Film Festival from The Jewish Film Festival chair, Roz Goldberg, at the bottom of the page.

A post film discussion will take place after most screenings. These appearances are offered at no additional cost and are subject to change based on guest availability and scheduling.

SUNDAY, MARCH 16, 2014 @ 6:00 PM - Please join us for the Opening Reception in the lobby of the Beatrice Friedman Theater between the 4:00 PM matinee of the Return of the Violin and the 7:00 PM showing of Disobedience: The Sousa Mendes Story.

Beatrice Friedman Theater, Jewish Federation Campus, 582 McIntosh Rd, Sarasota
Kobernick House, 1951 N. Honore Ave, Sarasota
Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, 10715 Rodeo Drive, Lakewood Ranch
Temple Beth Israel, 567 Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key
Temple Sinai, 4631 S. Lockwood Ridge Rd, Sarasota

Single Ticket: $10
Festival Pass: $54 - Includes one screening of each film
Patron Pass: $72 - Includes one screening of each film with reserved seating

Sarasota Film Festival 2014SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL
The Jewish Film Festival 2014 is presented in partnership with the Sarasota Film Festival, which will show additional Jewish-themed films on Monday and Tuesday, April 7 and 8, during its 10-day Festival, which runs from April 4 to 13. As a proud Sponsor of the Sarasota Film Festival, the Jewish Federation urges its supporters to attend as many SFF presentations as possible, in addition to the Jewish-themed films. Visit for complete information.


Israel Advocacy Initiative


Jewish Club at Lakewood Ranch

Kobernick Anchin Benderson


Return of the ViolinTHE RETURN OF THE VIOLIN
65 minutes
English and Hebrew & Polish with English Subtitles

*A gourmet salad or sandwich will be available after the film for purchase, cash only, $10.00 - provided by Kobernick House Bistro.

A thrilling documentary about the fate of the Stradivarius violin that was stolen from the brilliant, celebrated violinist, Bronislaw Huberman, while he was performing on stage at Carnegie Hall in 1936. This concert was one of many that Huberman performed around the world to raise the money needed to create a world-class orchestra in Palestine—that became the Israel Philharmonic—and, in the process, to save one thousand outstanding Jewish musicians and their families from the Nazis, and preserve the cultural achievement of the Jewish people. If you loved Orchestra of Exiles last year, you will be enthralled with Return of the Violin.

WINNER: Best Script for a Documentary, Israel Film Center, Division of the of Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor



99 minutes
Hebrew and Arabic with English Subtitles

An engrossing, award-winning drama that reflects the conflicts and pressures that both Israelis and Palestinians confront within their respective societies—and how the best of intentions and motivations can become muddled and distorted by the ever-evolving circumstances at play in the region. The film highlights the complex relationship between 17-year old Bethlehem native, Sanfur, a Palestinian informant whose older brother is being sought for terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, and Israeli military intelligence officer Razi. The film was directed by Israel’s Yuval Adler, who co-wrote the script with Arab journalist Ali Waked.

• Israel’s official entry for the Foreign Language Oscar®
• WINNER: FEEDORA Award, Venice Film Festival
• WINNER: 6 Ophir Awards, Israel



God's NeighborsGOD’S NEIGHBORS
102 minutes
Hebrew and Arabic with English Subtitles

A powerful, provocative, yet surprisingly tender feature film about the conflict between Orthodox and secular in one Israeli community, Bat
Yam, south of Tel Aviv. Three young men from the Breslov Chassidic sect take it upon themselves to police their neighborhood and protect it from the scourge of immodestly dressed women, stores that are open on the Sabbath, and purveyors of pornographic material. Yet, one of the three, Avi, struggles to find balance between religious vigor and tolerance for others. It is the dichotomy between his aggressive persona and his gentle, emotional side that make this film so touching and powerful. It raises difficult questions while allowing audience members to come to their own conclusions.

• Shown at the Israeli Film Festival in New York, the Jewish International
Film Festival, Australia, and many other venues around the world
• WINNER: Society of Authors, Directors and Composers Award, Cannes



Disobedience: The Sousa Mendes StoryDISOBEDIENCE
104 minutes
French with English Subtitles

A gripping drama about Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese Consul in Bordeaux at the time of Hitler’s invasion of France. Although he had been given specific instructions by Salazar, Prime Minister of Portugal, to deny all entrance visa requests from “undesirable” refugees fleeing Hitler, de Sousa Mendes found himself engulfed in a moral dilemma when he tried to obey these orders. This is a thrilling, little-known true story of the courageous man who saved almost ten times as many Jews as Schindler did, and 20,000 non-Jews as well. His heroic operation has been described by historians as “the largest rescue action by a single individual during the Holocaust.”

WINNER: Best Narrative Feature Award, Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival





90 minutes
French with English Subtitles

An award-winning feature about the amazing life of Jean-Marie Lustiger, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, who maintained his cultural identity as a Jew even after converting to Catholicism at a young age, and later joining the priesthood. Quickly rising within the ranks of the Church, Lustiger was appointed Archbishop of Paris by Pope Jean Paul II—and found a new platform to celebrate his dual identity as a Catholic Jew, earning him both friends and enemies within each group. When Carmelite nuns decide to build a convent within the cursed, but sacred, walls of Auschwitz, Lustiger finds himself a mediator between the two communities, and is forced to choose his side.

• Official Selection at the New York, Cleveland and
Philadelphia Jewish Film Festivals
• WINNER: Audience Award, Boston Jewish Film Festival




An Article of HopeAN ARTICLE OF HOPE
54 minutes
English and Hebrew with English Subtitles

A moving documentary about the untold story of Colonel Ilan Ramon, a fighter pilot and son of Holocaust survivors who became the first and only astronaut from Israel. Embarking on a mission with the most diverse shuttle crew ever to explore space, the seven-person crew of the illfated Shuttle Columbia, Colonel Ramon realized the significance of being the first, and his journey became a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. He carried into space a miniature Torah scroll that had survived the horrors of Bergen-Belsen, and tells the story of this scroll from the flight deck of Columbia. “This story takes you on a journey of the human spirit—an extraordinary story of hope for the future, in the face of tragedy.” This movie was produced to mark the 10th anniversary of the Shuttle Columbia disaster.

• WINNER: Jury Award - Best Documentary Feature, Washington West Film Festival