2019 GPJFF Films
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    A BAG OF MARBLES***

    Left to fend for themselves in Nazi-occupied France, two Jewish brothers must rely on their courage and cunning to escape Nazi barbarism and avoid capture in the lavish, family-friendly adventure A BAG OF MARBLES. 

    In 1941 Paris, with the merciless persecution of Jews underway, young Joseph and Maurice are forced to flee their home and make their way south to the demilitarized zone, their best hope of survival. Aided only by their own ingenuity and the occasional kindness of others, the boys set off on a dangerous mission, overcoming extraordinary odds in hopes of one day reuniting with their family in the "safe zone". This suspenseful and heartwarming adaptation of the classic novel is based on a true story of Joseph Josso and features stunning scenery, immaculate period detail, and an ensemble of outstanding performances. A BAG OF MARBLES is a heart-rending tale of the incredible power of brotherly love.

    ***suitable for ages 10 years and older

    FRANCE • 2017

    Run Time:

    110 MINUTES

    Language:

    French, German, Russian and Yiddish w/English subtitles

    Genre:

    DRAMA

    Director:

    Christian Duguay

    Speaker:

    Janice Friebaum has a master’s degree in Jewish and Holocaust Studies.  She is the immediate past chair of Generations After – Descendants of Holocaust Survivors in Greater Phoenix, and presently serves as Vice President of the Phoenix Holocaust Association.  Janice is a member of the Coordinating Council of Generations of the Shoah, International, and recently served as a member of the Advisory Council of the Martin Springer Institute at NAU.  She conducts speaker trainings for survivor descendants' groups and trainings for frontline health care workers and others who assist aging Holocaust survivors. Janice gives presentations related to the Holocaust at academic conferences, colleges, secondary schools, religious congregations, and at various public, private and non-profit events.

    Shea 14 & Tempe Marketplace 16

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    BROADWAY MUSICALS: A JEWISH LEGACY

    BROADWAY MUSICALS: A JEWISH LEGACY explores the unique role of Jewish composers and lyricists in the creation of the modern American musical and many of the songs that comprise the "American Songbook". 

    Over the fifty-year period of its development, the songs of the Broadway musicals were created almost exclusively by Jewish Americans. These are the popular songs that our nation took to war, sang to its children at bedtime, and whistled while waiting for the bus. A virtual behind-the-scenes-of-Broadway, the documentary is an engaging, humorous and provocative film, mixing and mingling ethnic cultural history with entertaining perspectives on the origins and meaning of some of Broadway's most beloved songs, stories and shows. Historically fascinating and grandly entertaining, BROADWAY MUSICALS: A JEWISH LEGACY is a tune-filled dissertation on the incalculable influence of Jewish composers, from Irving Berlin to Stephen Sondheim to Stephen Schwartz, and Jewish musical idioms shaping the evolution of this great American art form.

    USA • 2013

    Run Time:

    90 MINUTES

    Language:

    ENGLISH

    Genre:

    DOCUMENTARY

    Director:

    Michael Kantor

    Speaker:

    Baruch Koritan has served as Cantor at Temple Beth Shalom in Sun City since 1992.  He studied at the Philadelphia Institute of Music, Temple University, and the University of Madrid. He has sung in Israel, Austria, and Canada, performing in numerous operas, concerts, and musicals, including the title role in the AZ premiere of Sweeney Todd and the role of Lancelot in Camelot.  He is on the faculty of the Bureau of Jewish Education and teaches various courses related to Broadway and Hollywood musicals.

    Cantor Koritan is a voice teacher, coaching students both privately and in classes  He composes liturgical music and served as the president of the Arizona Composers’ Forum. In addition, he was pianist  for seven years at  the Phoenician in Scottsdale. 

    Peoria 14 and Tempe Marketplace

    Short Film:

    CALL ME ALVY — A boy’s obsession with Woody Allen sends his mother to desperate measures before his bar mitzvah day arrives.

    Showing at PEORIA PARK WEST 16 and TEMPE MARKETPLACE 16

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    BUDAPEST NOIR

    When a young Jewish prostitute is found beaten to death in BUDAPEST NOIR, no one is interested in solving the bizarre crime except the cynical but inquisitive crime reporter, Zsigmond Gordon, who feels things are not what they seem. Murky clues eventually lead to a shadowy world of pornographers and brothels, crime syndicates and communist cells, and the highest echelons of power, just as Hungary's fascist-leaning government prepares to align with Hitler. The more people try to scare him away, the deeper Zsigmond digs in, not knowing who to trust, or what ulterior motives are working against him and the truth.

    Driven by one thing, finding the girl's killer, the increasingly endangered journalist is the only one who seems to care in a world gone mad, with Hitler looming on Hungary's horizon. Based on the internationally best-selling novel by the same name and drawing on the complexities of Hungarian life in pre-war Europe, BUDAPEST NOIR is a richly atmospheric murder mystery and politically-charged tale of corruption and betrayal which will leave rapt audiences guessing until its surprising climax.

    Hungary • 2018

    Run Time:

    95 MINUTES

    Language:

    HUNGARIAN W/ENGLISH SUBTITLES

    Genre:

    DRAMA

    Director:

    Eva Gardos

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    GOLDA'S BALCONY, THE FILM

    GOLDA'S BALCONY, THE FILM is a rare multi-camera shoot from the original Broadway run of the play about Golda Meir, Israel's only female Prime Minister.  

    GOLDA'S BALCONY, THE FILM defies categorization — it's a film of a play that plays like a film. The original Broadway performance was riveting and won every award in New York, but no one who saw it ever got right up close and personal to it — until now. Stage and television actress Tovah Feldshuh recreates her award-winning performance as Golda Meir in the final masterpiece by William Gibson, the author of "The Miracle Worker." The play follows the trajectory of the life of Golda Meir from Russian immigrant to American schoolteacher to a leader of international politics as the fourth Prime Minister of Israel. As a play on Broadway and off, the work sold out over 500 performances, becoming not only the longest-running, one-woman show in Broadway history, but earning accolades from the likes of luminaries including Elie Wiesel. Where else can you see an award winning hit Broadway show — GOLDA'S BALCONY, THE FILM — for the price of a movie ticket, than at the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival?

    USA • 2019

    Run Time:

    85 MINUTES

    Language:

    ENGLISH

    Genre:

    DOCUMENTARY

    Director:

    SCOTT SCHWARTZ

    Speaker:

    David J. "Dave" Fishelson  is an American producer, playwright, and director for film, theatre, television and radio, based in Manhattan since 1982. He is best known for being the lead producer of Golda's Balcony, the longest-running one-woman show in Broadway history (2003–05); and for being the founder/producer of Manhattan Ensemble Theatre ("MET"), an award-winning Off-Broadway theatre company located in SoHo, New York City. As a filmmaker, his work has been broadcast on PBS, exhibited theatrically, and selected for 12 international film festivals (winning at 3). As a theatre producer and playwright (both on Broadway and off), his work has garnered 31 nominations from the various awards organizations and winning 11. As producer of Golda’s Balcony, The Film, it was my proudest moment as a producer, to hear these words from Elie Weisel: "The hardest thing to do is combine ART and HISTORY to tell the truth. You and your GOLDA team have done it, with "GOLDA'S BALCONY."

    Shea 14

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    RESCUE BUS 300

    RESCUE BUS 300 is an intense cinematic ride based on the true story of armed Palestinian terrorists who hijack an Israeli bus and lead the passengers not only towards the refugee camps in Gaza, but, possibly to oblivion. 

    Four terrorists board a night-time bus in 1984 heading from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon, and 41 innocent passengers and a bus driver find themselves thrust into a nightmarish ride reminiscent of an action movie. Police, military and even civilians give chase and shoot out its tires as the bus continues its insane drive towards the Israeli border with Egypt, crashing through makeshift barriers before grinding to a halt in the Gaza Strip. The terrorists then barricade themselves and the passengers inside as tense negotiations, including the demand for 500 prisoners to be released, continue through the night. Events culminate in the Israeli commando unit's daring pre-dawn rescue mission. 

    RESCUE BUS 300 brings the incident to life from multiple perspectives: real people hurled into the midst of a terrifying ordeal, nervous armed terrorists, desperate families, young soldiers placing themselves in mortal danger, politicians faced with an impossible choice, and the commanders making the call on life-or-death decisions. After the successful rescue there was significant negative political and moral fallout.

    ISRAEL • 2017

    Run Time:

    75 MINUTES

    Language:

    Hebrew w/English subtitles

    Genre:

    THRILLER

    Director:

    Rotem Shamir

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    SHOELACES

    SHOELACES tells the story of a complicated relationship between an aging father and his special-needs son, whom he abandoned while the boy was still very young. 

    Reuben's kidneys are failing and his son, Gadi, wants to donate one of his own kidneys to help save his father's life. However, the transplant committee objects to the procedure claiming that Rueben, acting as Gadi's sole legal guardian, does not have the right to authorize such an invasive procedure. Gadi, who recently lost his mother, is afraid of losing his father as well. He feels that he finally has the chance to do something meaningful, to become a man, and to stand on his own. He's furious with the committee's decision and sets out to fight for his right to save his father's life. Through the film’s portrayal of a relationship full of love, rejection and co-dependency, SHOELACES manages to shed some light and question the importance of human life, human connection and whether or not life is even possible without either one of them.

    Israel • 2018

    Run Time:

    98 MINUTES

    Language:

    HEBREW W/ENGLISH SUBTITLES

    Genre:

    DRAMA

    Director:

    Jacob Goldwasser

    Speaker:

    Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz is the President and Dean of Valley Beit Midrash. He holds Masters Degrees from both Harvard and Yeshiva University, as well as a doctorate from Columbia.  He has also received three rabbinic ordinations.   As a global social justice activist and educator, Rabbi Yanklowitz has taken part in missions on five continents.  Also a noted author, he was named one of the top 50 rabbis in America by Newsweek.   www.valleybeitmidrash.org

    Shea 14

    Short Film:

    A THOUSAND KISSES — Separated by the fear of persecution in the Nazi Germany of 1933, a young Jewish couple in Berlin makes loose plans to reunite on the safe tropical shores of Brazil.

    Showing at PEORIA PARK WEST 14

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    THE CAKEMAKER

    Unwittingly united in grief by a closeted affair, a gay German baker and weary Israeli widow seek mutual catharsis in THE CAKEMAKER, a compassionate meditation on the human urge for connection.

    The emotionally distant Tomas leads a lonely life as a Berlin coffee shop pastry chef, until starting a passionate tryst with Oren, a married Israeli businessman. When his lover is killed in an accident, Tomas seeks solace in Oren's hometown of Jerusalem, taking a job at a struggling café run by his dead lover’s unsuspecting wife, Anat. As business flourishes with Tomas' kitchen talents, the bereaved pair forge a bond that blurs lines of nationality, religion and sexuality. Through Anat, Tomas glimpses a life he never could have imagined for himself, a life filled with companionship, love, and family. As the grieving pair continues to grow closer, the lines dividing longing and loneliness and of right and wrong, begin to soften. Complex, torrid, and expertly acted, THE CAKEMAKER is a suspenseful and emotionally charged roller coaster ride from start to finish.

    Israel • 2017

    Run Time:

    105 MINUTES

    Language:

    GERMAN & HEBREW W/ENGLISH SUBTITLES

    Genre:

    DRAMA

    Director:

    OFIR RAUL GRAZIER

    Short Film:

    THE SEDER — Leo is Jewish and gay. He finally brings his boyfriend to meet the family, at THE SEDER dinner!

    Showing at all three venues.

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    THE LAST SUIT

    An aging Jewish tailor leaves his life in Argentina to embark on a journey back through time and halfway around the world in the bittersweet road movie THE LAST SUIT. 

    Eighty-eight-year-old Holocaust survivor Abraham Bursztein is about to be put out to pasture by his children, who have sold his house in the suburbs of Buenos Aires and booked him into a retirement home. Refusing to bow to family pressure, he sets off on an adventure from which he doesn’t expect to return. Fueled by a sense of duty, and a quest for closure and fulfillment, Abraham decides that the moment has come to fulfill a promise and seek out an old friend. With assistance from a cast of kindly strangers, the sharply-dressed suit maker travels by train across Europe from Spain to Poland, in search of the man who saved him from certain death at Auschwitz. Undeterred by a series of travel mishaps, family foibles, and geographical obstacles along the way, the hard edges of the cantankerous Abraham gradually soften. Heartfelt and charming, THE LAST SUIT exudes a poignant message of the enduring importance of family, friends and honor.

    ARGENTINA • 2017

    Run Time:

    86 MINUTES

    Language:

    SPANISH W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES

    Genre:

    DRAMA

    Director:

    PABLO SOLARZ

    Speaker:

    Rabbi Nate Crane is the Associate Rabbi of Congregation Or Tzion in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the founder of the nonprofit Hagigah which provides accessible and fun Jewish holiday celebrations for local families with special needs.Rabbi Crane is the author of the teshuvah (Jewish legal ruling) “Adoption," approved by the Conservative movement's central authority on Jewish law and practices, in 2018 which explores the halakhic status of people who have been adopted,  and offers a Jewish ritual and accompanying documents to celebrate and mark adoption.

    He is the recipient of the NewCAJE Young Professional Fellowship, The Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago’s Best Practices in Jewish Education Grant, the only rabbi thus far to receive the PJ Library Grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, participated in the inaugural cohort of the AIPAC-Lefell Fellowship, and serves as a rabbinic advisor to the VOS JCC’s Early Childhood Center. He was most recently awarded the Valley Bet Midrash Start Me Up! Fellowship.

    Shea 14

    Short Film:

    JANEK / BASTARD — JANEK / BASTARD explores the intricate relationship between a Christian and a Jew in 1942 Poland.

    Showing at SHEA 14 and PEORIA PARK WEST 14

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    WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY

    A secret band of journalists, scholars and community leaders fight and resist after being sealed inside the Warsaw Ghetto in WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY.  

    In November, 1940, merely days after the Nazis shut 450,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, Polish historian Emanuel Ringelblum leads a clandestine group vowing to defeat Nazi lies and propaganda, not with guns or fists, but with pen and paper. Known by the code name Oyneg Shabes, these scholarly resistors detailed life in the Ghetto from the Jewish perspective. They commissioned diaries, essays, jokes, poems and songs. They documented Nazi atrocities with eyewitness accounts and sent reports of mass murders to London via the Polish underground. Even as trains deported them to the gas chambers of Treblinka and the Ghetto burned to the ground, they buried 60,000 pages of documentation in the hopes that the archive would survive the war, even if they did not. 

    With narration by Academy Award-winning actor, Adrien Brody, and Academy Award-nominated actress, Joan Allen, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY mixes the writings of the Oyneg Shabes archive with new interviews, rarely seen footage, and stunning dramatizations to transport the viewer inside the Ghetto and witness the lives of these important and courageous resistance fighters and of life inside the Ghetto.

    USA • 2018

    Run Time:

    90 MINUTES

    Language:

    ENGLISH

    Genre:

    DOCUMENTARY

    Director:

    ROBERTA GROSSMAN

    Speaker:

    VICKI CABOT is a writer and editor, whose byline has appeared for more than 30 years in Jewish News of Greater Phoenix and a variety of other publications. She holds a masters in mass communication and a doctorate in religious studies from Arizona State University. An adjunct professor in religion, she has taught World Religion for nearly a decade at Glendale Community College and is currently teaching at ASU’s Osher Life Long Learning Institute. She also blogs at Times of Israel.

    Shea 14

    Short Film:

    A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN — Six months before the start of World War II, Madison Square Garden plays host to 20,000 American Nazis.

    Showing at all three venues.

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    WHY THE JEWS?

    From Moses to Maimonides, to Mahler, Marx, Freud, Einstein and 197 Nobel Prize laureates, the stunning social, scientific and artistic accomplishments of the Jews raise an obvious question: WHY THE JEWS? 

    How do Jews do it? The Jewish peoples' contribution to humanity has been enormous, unique, and exceedingly difficult to explain. The documentary begins with some impressive statistics: 22% of Nobel Prize winners, 33% of Oscar-winning directors,  and 40% of the world’s undisputed chess champions have been Jewish. 

    The thing that makes these numbers even more intriguing is their disproportion in relation to their population: Jews represent but .2%, or 14 million, of the people on this planet. The story of huge overrepresentation at the top is the same wherever you look. Some of the world’s most prominent thinkers tackle a mystery of Jews' stunning accomplishments that is shrouded in ignorance and prejudice. They tear back the curtain on a taboo and draw a startling link between a people's achievements and the darkest hours in its history. 

    WHY THE JEWS? is an illuminating and fascinating look at what may propel so many Jewish people to achieve on so many fronts and examines consequences, both positive and negative.

    CANADA • 2018

    Run Time:

    70 MINUTES

    Language:

    ENGLISH

    Genre:

    DOCUMENTARY

    Director:

    JOHN CURTIN

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