"

GPJFF 2020 Season Films
Please scroll down to see all films


NOTE: SECURITY WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE AT ALL 2020 GPJFF SCREENINGS


IMPORTANT: Website "Will Call" sales will not be available after midnight Friday, February 7. Tickets ordered online will be Print at Home or show on your phone only. Tickets for all films will be available at the Festival desk prior to show time at any of the three Harkins theaters.

  • Watch Trailer

    Crescendo

    When a world famous conductor tries to create an Israeli-Palestinian orchestra, it takes all his skill and resources to overcome the discord and get them to play in harmony in CRESCENDO.

    When conductor Eduard Sporck accepts the job to create an Israeli-Palestinian youth orchestra, he is quickly drawn into a tempest of sheer unsolvable problems. Having grown up in a state of war, suppression or constant risk of terrorist attacks, the young musicians from both sides as are far from able to form a team, much less an orchestra. The students who have taken part in his world-class ensemble grasp that they are reaching for something impossible, but they still believe it is important to try. Lined up behind the two best violinists – the emancipated Palestinian Layla and the handsome Israeli Ron – they form two parties who deeply mistrust each other, on and off-stage alike. Will Sporck succeed and make the young musicians forget their hatred at least for the three weeks until the concert? CRESCENDO is a film about the power of music, acceptance, and reconciliation that will strike a chord with audiences, young and old alike.

     


    GERMANY • 2019

    Run Time:

    112 MINUTES

    Language:

    ARABIC, ENGLISH, GERMAN & HEBREW W/ENGLISH SUBTITLES

    Genre:

    DRAMA

    Director:

    DROR ZAHAVI

    Speaker:

    Shea 14 Only

    Dannah Rubinstein joined Congregation Or Tzion in 2016 as their full-time Cantor. As a youth, Cantor Rubinstein devoted her time to musical pursuits, studying violin, guitar, piano, as well as voice and theory. She also read Torah and led prayer often. Cantor Rubinstein attended Brandeis University where she received her B.A. in Music, with a minor in Film and Judaic Studies in 2002 and studied at Gratz College in Philadelphia, where she received her M.A. in Cantorial Studies and Jewish Music in 2008. Following experiences as a Torah reader, B’nai Mitzvah Program Coordinator, tutor, and prayer leader with congregations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, she spent six years as the Cantor of Temple Beth Shalom in Vero Beach, Florida. Cantor Rubinstein continues to expand her musical repertoire and deepen her understanding of spirituality in worship. She lives in Phoenix, with her husband Keith, and their fur baby, Mattie.

    Short Film:

    SUSHI, MEATBALLS & EVERYTHING (PEORIA) - A young woman decides to stand up to her loving in-laws, once and for all.

    Israel •  2019  •  11 minutes  •  Language: Hebrew w/ English subtitles  • Director:  Liel Gur

    (Second Place Winner of the Israel Student Filmmaker Contest)

    Select a showing:

    $11.00
    There are only tickets left for this showing.
  • Watch Trailer

    Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles

    Revealing how Sholom Aleichem’s story of Tevye the Milkman became an unlikely Broadway classic, FIDDLER: A MIRACLE OF MIRACLES is a sweeping and joyous look back at the creative origins and long-lasting cultural impact of a musical masterpiece. 

    When it first opened on Broadway in 1964, Fiddler on the Roof seemed poised to be a massive flop, only to become one of the most popular shows in the American theater canon, holding the record as the longest-running Broadway musical for almost 10 years. Touching audiences with its humor and heart, the show’s universal tale of tradition cuts across barriers of race, class, nationality and religion. Bringing Fiddler to life through rare archival materials, performance footage, and clips from the Oscar-winning 1971 film adaptation, filmmaker Max Lewkowicz chronicles the show’s back story, from its early New York roots to the enduring themes that inspire theatergoers across the generations. Insights from the musical's creators and cast are paired with lively commentary from luminaries Stephen Sondheim, Itzhak Perlman and Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda, who are among the interviewees included in FIDDLER: A MIRACLE OF MIRACLES, a definitive look at a musical phenomenon that continues to resonate with audiences worldwide.

    USA • 2019

    Run Time:

    90 MINUTES

    Language:

    ENGLISH

    Genre:

    DOCUMENTARY

    Director:

    MAX LEWCOWICZ

    Speaker:

    Peoria

    Baruch Koritan has served as Cantor at Temple Beth Shalom in Sun City since 1992.  He studied at 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 Arizona premiere of Sweeney Todd and the role of Lancelot in Camelot. In 2019, he performed, “If I were a Rich Man,” with The Violins of Hope, restored Holocaust instruments.

    On the faculty of Bureau of Jewish Education, Scottsdale, he teaches courses related to Broadway and Hollywood musicals, material he also offered at Scottsdale Community College’s Extension Division for many years.

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

    -----------------

    Shea 14

    Shaina Hammerman is the author of Silver Screen, Hasidic Jews: The Story of an Image from Indiana University Press. She teaches Jewish cultural history for the Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice at the University of San Francisco. Hammerman holds a PhD in Jewish History and Culture and an MA in Jewish Studies from the Graduate Theological Union. She has published widely on Jews, race, and gender on film and television.  


    Entertainment:

    Tempe Marketplace

    Rural Street Klezmer Band finds its home at Temple Emanuel of Tempe. Born in 2002 as an elective class in the Hebrew high school program, the group has grown to include members from throughout the Valley’s Jewish community. Audiences from across the Phoenix metro area and beyond have experienced the joy of the Rural Street Klezmer Band’s unique brand of Jewish soul music at various performances and cultural festivals.

    Short Film:

    THE FIDDLE (DER FIDL) (TEMPE & PEORIA) - The story of Sholom, the boy who was destined to become The Fiddler On The Roof.

    Israel •  2018     9 minutes    Language: Yiddish w/ English subtitles   • Director:  Asher Schwartz


    Select a showing:

    $11.00
    There are only tickets left for this showing.
  • Watch Trailer

    Love in Suspenders

    An encounter between two people with vastly different personalities logically has to result in a nightmarish outcome, but as LOVE IN SUSPENDERS proves, love plays by its own inexplicable rules.

    Tammy, a bubbly, energetic 64-year-old widow constantly dealing with the memory of her loving late husband, “meets” Beno, a 70-year-old sarcastic lone wolf widower, when she hits him with her car. From this a relationship blossoms, and Tammy and Beno experience all types of emotional and funny struggles along their winding romantic path. Notwithstanding their differences in lifestyle and personality, and especially their interfering offspring and neighbors, they eventually fall in love. They get closer, break up, get back together and fight again as LOVE IN SUSPENDERS travels with them to the finish line

    ISRAEL • 2019

    Run Time:

    102 MINUTES

    Language:

    HEBREW W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES

    Genre:

    COMEDY

    Director:

    JORGE WELLER

    Short Film:

    YIDLIFE CRISIS: The Double Date (SHEA 14) - A blind date for Leizer with the perfect woman (played by Mayim Bialik) turns into a battle of nebbish proportions.

    Canada •  2016    7 minutes    Language:English & Yiddish w/ English subtitles   • Director:  Jamie Elman 

    SUSHI, MEATBALLS & EVERYTHING (TEMPE) - A young woman decides to stand up to her loving in-laws, once and for all.

    Israel •  2019  •  11 minutes  •  Language: Hebrew w/ English subtitles  • Director:  Liel Gur

    (Second Place Winner of the Israel Student Filmmaker Contest)

    AN AVERAGE STORY (PEORIA) - An ordinary husband becomes an instant celebrity after being officially designated Israel’s most average man.

    Israel •  2016  •   18 minutes  •  Language: Hebrew w/English subtitles  •  Director: Yaniv Segalovich

    Select a showing:

    $11.00
    There are only tickets left for this showing.
  • Watch Trailer

    My Name Is Sara

    Based on the true-life story of a 13-year-old Polish Jew whose entire family was killed by Nazis, MY NAME IS SARA recounts the girl’s grueling escape and attempt at survival. 

    Prior to World War II, Koretz, Poland was home to a thriving Jewish community whose history went back over 1000 years. But after witnessing her entire family’s execution at the hands of the Nazis in 1942, Sara Góralnik  escapes to the Ukrainian countryside. Sara steals her Christian best friend’s identity and finds refuge in a small village, where she is taken in by a farmer and his young wife. She soon discovers the dark secrets of her employer's marriage, compounding the greatest secret she must strive to protect, her true identity. MY NAME IS SARA provides fascinating insight into Ukrainian identity and society, and pays testament to the bravery of a single young woman.

     

    USA • 2019

    Run Time:

    90 MINUTES

    Language:

    ENGLISH

    Genre:

    DRAMA

    Director:

    STEVEN ORITT

    Speaker:

    Tempe Marketplace Only

    Dr. Anna Cichopek-Gajraj, a native of Kraków, Poland, joined Arizona State University’s School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies in 2011. She is also affiliated with ASU’s Center for Jewish Studies and the Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies. Her research focuses on Polish-Jewish relations, anti-Semitism, ethnic violence in Poland, and Polish-Jewish diaspora after the Holocaust. 

    Dr. Cichopek-Gajraj has authored two books on postwar Polish-Jewish history, including "Beyond Violence: Jewish Survivors in Poland and Slovakia in 1944-1948.  In 2016, she received the Shofar Zakhor Award from the Phoenix Holocaust Survivors' Association.  She served as director for John J. Hartman's Foundation of Remembrance and Reconciliation for the restoration of Jewish heritage in Poland, and has received numerous grants and fellowships from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, YIVO Institute, and Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture in New York.

    ---------------

    Shea 14 Only

    Dr. Ettie Zilber earned a master’s degree in second language acquisition, a doctorate in international school administration and served as an educator and school director at international schools in Israel, Singapore, Spain, Guatemala, China and Arizona. While in Israel, she worked as a docent and workshop facilitator at the Diaspora Museum. She is an active member of the Phoenix Holocaust Association.

    Born in a DP camp in Germany to survivor parents from Lithuania, she has taught students about the Holocaust. Pursuant to the publication of her book A Holocaust Memoir of Love & Resilience: Mama’s Survival from Lithuania to America*, she continues to present at schools, universities, and conferences in the U.S. and other countries. 

    https://amsterdampublishers.com/books/holocaust-memoir-of-love-resilience/

    Select a showing:

    $11.00
    There are only tickets left for this showing.
  • Watch Trailer

    The Rabbi from Hezbollah

    THE RABBI FROM HEZBOLLAH explores the incredible story of a Lebanese Muslim member of Hezbollah who transformed into an ultra-Orthodox Jew, living in Israel, and one of the country’s top international agents and spies.

    Ibrahim Yassin was born in a small village in Lebanon and destiny had him following in his father’s footsteps as a farmer and shepherd. But fate had something else in store for Ibrahim. As the course of his life turns against him, death becomes his only wish. Just when it seems as if his story’s over, a new one begins that sounds like a work of suspense fiction, placing Yassin at the heart of some of the most daring, dangerous and secret operations Israel attempted in Lebanon in the 1980s and ’90s. THE RABBI FROM HEZBOLLAH challenges you to believe that transformation out of despair is quite possible.

     

    ISRAEL • 2019

    Run Time:

    64 MINUTES

    Language:

    HEBREW W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES

    Genre:

    DOCUMENTARY

    Director:

    ITMAR CHEN

    Short Film:

    MAMAN - Amos runs to the aid of her 90-year-old neighbor, whose husband dies just before Shabbat sets in, but before calling for help, they light the traditional Shabbat candles together. 

    Israel •  2018     13 minutes    Language: Hebrew w/ English subtitles   • Director:  Hila Cohen

    (Winner of the Israel Student Filmmaker Contest)

     

    Showtime and location:

    $11.00
    There are only tickets left for this showing.
  • Watch Trailer

    SHEPHERD: The Story of a Jewish Dog

    The timeless, unbreakable bond between a boy and his faithful dog is put to the ultimate test in wartime Berlin, in the heartwarming family drama SHEPHERD: THE STORY OF A JEWISH DOG. 

    When the Nuremberg Laws are adopted in the 1930s, Kaleb, a German Shepherd, is separated from his Jewish family. Adopted by an SS officer at a concentration camp, the dog is retrained to help round up and terrorize Jewish prisoners. Kaleb is well cared for and good at his job until one day when he is distracted by a familiar scent. Kaleb's former master, young Josh, has arrived at the camp, and the dog rediscovers his unwavering loyalty. Together the pair attempts to escape the camp and begin the perilous journey to freedom. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Lynn Roth and based on the bestselling Israeli novel by Asher Kravitz, SHEPHERD: THE STORY OF A JEWISH DOG is a sensitively told story of love, loyalty and courage that offers a way to learn about the Holocaust accessible by children of all ages.

    ***recommended for ages 11 yrs and older

     

    USA/HUNGARY • 2019

    Run Time:

    93 MINUTES

    Language:

    ENGLISH

    Genre:

    DRAMA

    Director:

    LYNN ROTH

    Speaker:

    TEMPE MARKETPLACE

    Wendy Ratner is a retired middle school teacher from Long Island, NY and currently resides in Prescott, AZ with her husband Rob and their faithful German Shepherd, Takoda.  She and Rob have raised several German shepherds, including Sheena, a highly intelligent and loyal friend who "found" Wendy many years ago on a cold winter day.  Sheena served as a therapy dog helping countless children and adults throughout her remarkable life.

    Wendy honored Sheena in her beautifully illustrated children's book, Sheena's Kiss (available through prescottwolfproductions@gmail.com). Wendy continues to write children's books, is a master gardener, wildlife enthusiast and lover of all animals, most especially German Shepherds.

    Short Film:

    EGG CREAM (PEORIA)The beloved chocolate soda drink is extolled in this nostalgic and tasty reminder of a simple but culturally significant ingredient in the Jewish-American experience.

    USA  •  2018     15 minutes    Language: English   • Director:  Nora Clair Miller & Peter Miller


    Select a showing:

    $11.00
    There are only tickets left for this showing.
  • Watch Trailer

    The Spy Behind Home Plate

    From the streets of Newark to five major league teams to his secret life spying for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, Morris “Moe” Berg’s improbable life story is captured in THE SPY BEHIND HOME PLATE.

    Berg, a son of Ukrainian-Jewish immigrants, grew up in New York City and Newark. After graduating from Princeton he played baseball professionally for 15 seasons while earning a law degree at Columbia University and passing the bar exam. He spoke at least 10 languages and befriended several famous figures of his time, including Albert Einstein and Babe Ruth. And somewhere along the way, Berg managed to become a spy for the Office of Strategic Services and spy for the United States on the Nazis’ atomic bomb program. Berg’s extraordinary, improbable story is told with rare historical footage and revealing interviews with an All-Star roster of commentators drawn from the worlds of history, sports and spy craft. Though THE SPY BEHIND HOME PLATE hit only .243 during his 15 years as a professional ballplayer, he proved to be an MVP when it came to America’s security.

    USA • 2019

    Run Time:

    100 MINUTES

    Language:

    ENGLISH

    Genre:

    DOCUMENTARY

    Director:

    AVIVA KEMPNER

    Speaker:

    All Three Venues

    Washington DC based filmmaker Aviva Kempner makes award winning documentaries about little known Jewish heroes for 40 years. The Spy Behind Home Plate was released in May, 2019. She wrote, directed and produced Rosenwald, a documentary about how philanthropist Julius Rosenwald partnered with Booker T. Washington in establishing over 5,000 schools for African Americans in the Jim Crow South. She also made Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, about Gertrude Berg who created the first television sitcom and the Emmy nominated and Peabody awarded The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, about the Hall of Famer who faced anti-Semitism during the 30s. She also produced the award-winning Partisans of Vilna, about Jews fighting the Nazis. 

    She is presently making a film on screenwriter, playwright, journalist, and novelist Ben Hecht, who was a dedicated activist for the cause of exposing the horrors of the Holocaust to the American public and in the quest for survivors to find a permanent home in Palestine.

    Select a showing:

    $11.00
    There are only tickets left for this showing.
  • Watch Trailer

    Upside Down Tree

    UPSIDE DOWN TREE is a fascinating family-friendly psychological thriller about the question of identity and relationship in times of war.

    Eva is a Jewish girl orphaned during World War II and raised by a Ukrainian peasant in the early 1950’s. One day, a mysterious woman appears at their house and presents herself as Eva’s real mother; she wants to take the girl to Israel. Torn between her adoptive mother and her biological mother, Eva eventually decides to join her biological mother in their joint journey to Israel. A series of strange events makes her wonder whether the woman is really her mother— and if not, then who is she and why did she take Eva away from the family that raised her. UPSIDE DOWN TREE, based on the bestselling autobiography book “As Long As I Live” by Aharon Margalit, is both a geographical journey and an expedition into the meaning of identity

    USA • 2019
    Run Time:

    82 MINUTES

    Language:

    HEBREW W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES

    Genre:

    DRAMA

    Director:

    ARIEL COHEN

    Short Film:

    I HAVE A MESSAGE FOR YOU - An unfathomable decision by an Auschwitz survivor leaves a huge burden on her conscience in this uplifting and extraordinary story of love and survival.

    Israel / Italy / United Kingdom  •  2018  •   14 minutes  •  Language: French w/ English subtitles   • Director:  Matan Rochlitz

    Showtime and location:

    $11.00
    There are only tickets left for this showing.