Tickets are now on sale for the 8th Annual Charlotte Jewish Film Festival which will take place from February 25th through March 11th 2012 in a variety of venues. The CJFF was started in 2005 by the Charlotte chapter of Hadassah (in conjunction with The Light Factory), with just two films shown to a crowd of one-hundred and forty. Having grown exponentially, an audience of 2,000 viewed nine films during the 2011 festival and this year promises to be even larger with eleven films shown.
More than 80 Jewish film festivals now exist nationwide and the growing popularity of The Charlotte Jewish Film Festival puts us on the map among major US cities with these diverse cultural offerings. According to a February 3rd article in The San Diego Union-Tribune, notable in order of their size are The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, followed by the Atlanta and Boston Jewish Film Festivals. Poised for it’s 22nd season this year, San Diego comes in only 4th, with 48 films offered at five venues.
In keeping with the mission of The Charlotte Jewish Film Festival, “To illuminate the Jewish experience through film-including history, language, people, and the land of Israel and welcome all who strive for a better understanding of themselves and others”, 2012 will prove to be another inspiring year for viewing Jewish films here in Charlotte.
An opening night dessert reception will take place on Saturday, February 25th at 7:30 PM, before the presentation of La Rafle, which will be shown at the Regal Ballantyne Village Stadium 5 at 7:30 PM. Throughout the festival’s 2 week span, many of the eleven films will be sponsored by community agencies like Jewish Family Services of Charlotte, which underwrote the February 26th screeening of Anita, a film about a special needs girl from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Additionally, several films will be accompanied by live performances and lectures, including a recital by Pianist Ethan Uslan during the March 3rd screening of Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in Darkness.
Sunday March 11th, four-time Emmy winner Mike Reiss, a writer and producer for the Simpsons will present Jews in Toons: An Animated Evening of Entertainment. In contrast to the poignant Holocaust-genre films within this years CJFF, the Mike Reiss event offers a chance to linger for a humorous moment on the final evening of the festival.
Please note that due to possible strong language, Jews in Toons is not suitable for attendance by young children. The CJFF’s highlighted family-friendly choice is David the Movie, an inspiring story about the friendship between two 11 year old boys – one Muslim, one Jewish. It will be shown at 7PM on Tuesday, February 28th at the Levine JCC, in Shalom Park. A panel discussion will follow. The film is sponsored by Mecklenberg Ministries, a non-profit that promotes interfaith relationships.
Review the extensive CJFF list of corporate and community sponsors on the festival website to fully comprehend what a wonderful big city Charlotte has become, while still retaining it’s small town heart.
WHEN: February 25th – March 11th 2012
WHERE: Regal Ballantyne Village, Levine JCC, Temple Israel, or Temple Beth-El
An all-festival pass can be purchased on the CJFF website for $80.00 per person, offering a $30.00 savings on the eleven film package. If purchased individually, film prices range from $5.00 -$10.00.
Just don’t delay getting your tickets, as last year events were sold out. (Available online only until midnight of the evening before each film). The Charlotte Jewish Film Festival is an all-volunteer event.
INFO: Call 704-554-2059 (voice-mail only) or check out The Charlotte Jewish Film Festival.