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What is the Columbus Jewish Film Festival?

By the time it ends on Thursday, the 7th Annual Columbus Jewish Film Festival will have presented six days of comedy, drama and documentaries, as well as intriguing discussions and unforgettable events. This year’s festival features nine films and documentaries from the United States, Great Britain, France and Israel, to be shown at four venues throughout the city – including the JCC, Drexel Theater, Gateway Film Center and the Arena Grand.

“We have a fantastic lineup of feature films and documentaries for everyone – complex love stories, dysfunctional families, and pressing political topics…each reflecting the broadest range of Jewish values and experience,” said June Frankel, who is co-chairing this year’s event with Carole Genshaft.

“We’ve chosen films that will engage and keep you talking long after you leave the theater,” said Genshaft. “And don’t forget that many of our films come with programs including filmmakers, experts on the topics, and delicious receptions to enrich and enhance your Film Festival experience.”

Columbus Jewish Film Festival Director Emily Schuss, noted that the films, many of which have been produced independently outside of the U.S., do not adhere to the movie rating system as we know it. “However, the majority of the films we show would be the equivalent of a PG-13 movie, with a few exceptions. We have tried to determine what these films would be rated, had they been produced in the U.S., and then made sure to let our filmgoers know – either through print publicity or on our website,” she said.

Two events remain in this fall’s Film Festival. They are:

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the JCC of Greater Columbus, 1125 College Ave.

  • Between Two Worlds – This documentary is a groundbreaking personal exploration of the community and family divisions that are redefining American Jewish identity and politics. The filmmakers’ own families are battlegrounds over loyalty to Israel, interpretations of the Holocaust, intermarriage, and a secret communist past. Filmed in the United States and Israel, this first-person documentary begins with a near riot at a Jewish Film Festival in San Francisco, reveals the agonizing battle over divestment from Israel on a university campus, and shows the crackdown on dissent in Israel itself. Directed by Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman, the film was produced in the U.S. in 2011. The 70-minute documentary is in English and is rated PG-13. Film starts at 7 p.m.
  • Prior to the film, Chinese Kosher Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Ticket options are for Film Only ($8 for JCC members, $10 for non-members), and Dinner and a Film ($28 members, $30 non-members). Reservations are required (as seating is limited to 75) by calling (614) 559-6258.
  • A panel discussion on the imprint of Israel on young Jews will take place after the film at approximately 8:30 p.m.

Closing Night – Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Arena Grand, 175 W. Nationwide Blvd., downtown

  • Mabul (The Flood) – This award-winning drama is a coming-of-age story that centers on Yoni, a boy about to have a Bar Mitzvah, and on Tomer, his severely autistic older brother, who unexpectedly arrives home after years of living in an institution. The two find common ground through the story of Noah and the flood. Directed by Guy Nattiv, the feature was produced in Israel in 2011. The 100-minute feature is in Hebrew with English subtitles. Rating equivalency is PG-13. Film starts at 6 p.m., and is presented in partnership with Jewish Family Services.
  • The Infidel – This comedy centers on Mahmud, a loving husband, doting father and an admittedly “relaxed” Muslim – a normal guy living an everyday life. That is until a chance discovery turns his life upside down, throwing him into a full-scale identity crisis. It turns out he’s adopted, and was actually born Jewish! Directed by Josh Appignanesi, the feature was produced in Great Britain in 2011. The 105-minute film is in English. Rating equivalency is PG-13. Film starts at 8 p.m.

To see a complete film and event schedule, order tickets, or view film trailers, visit the film festival website at www.cjfilmfest.org or contact Sue Vail at (614) 559-6251 or svail@columbusjcc.org.


2 Responses to “What is the Columbus Jewish Film Festival?”


  1. November 16, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    I really like this new blog! Well done, Emily!

  2. 2 Carole Genshaft
    November 18, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    A big thanks to everyone who supported the 2011 Festival and to all who filled our seats. We hope you enjoyed the lineup. Please let us know what films you liked best, least, and what you would like to see in the future.
    Carole and June


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