Film festivals are an important view into the many cultures that make America great – and in a city as diverse as Houston (actually, THE most diverse in the country!), it’s no surprise that films from around the world are shown on a regular basis. This month marks the annual Houston Jewish Film Festival (www.erjcchouston.org/houston- jewish-film-festival-schedule), landing here March 5–19 with 27 Israeli and Jewish films. A special feature will be a screening of the newly Academy Award®-nominated film, “Life Animated,” which will be shown at 4pm on March 19, followed by the closing film (at 7:30pm), the romantic comedy “Mr. Predictable.”
The festival opens with “Harmonia” on March 5, which is a contemporary adaptation of the spicy biblical tale of Abraham, his wife Sarah and their slave Hagar, who gave birth to a child with Abraham. Interestingly, it’s set in the world of the Jerusalem Philharmonic Orchestra. Two filmmakers will attend the Festival: Director DANI MENKIN will introduce his film “On the Map” and will be available for a post-screening Q&A on March 7. The documentary is about Israel’s 1977 basketball team, who won the European Cup just a few years after the Yom Kippur War, and is told through the eyes of six American basketball players who joined the team. Director SHIMON DOTAN will speak about his film, “The Settlers,” on March 16 at 7:30pm. This documentary provides a comprehensive view of the Jewish settlers in the West Bank and an intimate look at the people at the core of one of the most daunting challenges facing Israel and the international community today. Other films shown are from Israel, Europe and South America; and there is a children’s screening of “Guavas” on March 5 at 2pm and “Duck Soup” on March 15.
Venues for the Festival have expanded, with this year’s screenings being held at the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH), Landmark’s River Oaks Theatre, Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (MATCH), The Emery/Weiner School and Premiere Cinema in Galveston.
WANT TO SEE MORE ART FILMS?
CHECK OUT THESE VENUES
14 Pews (www.14pews.org)
Alamo Drafthouse (www.drafthouse.com)
Asia Society (www.asiasociety.org/texas)
Aurora Picture Show (www.aurorapictureshow.org)
Blaffer Art Museum (www.blafferartmuseum.org)
Café Brasil (www.cafe-brasil.net)
Contemporary Arts Museum (www.camh.org)
Discovery Green (www.discoverygreen.com)
Holocaust Museum (www.hmh.org)
Jewish Community Center (www.erjcchouston.org)
Landmark River Oaks Theatre (www.landmarktheatres.com)
Menil Collection (www.menil.org)
Miller Outdoor Theatre (www.milleroutdoortheatre.com)
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (www.mfah.org/films)
Orange Show (www.orangeshow.org)
Rice Cinema (www.ricecinema.rice.edu)
Sundance Cinemas (www.sundancecinemas.com)