01 August 2009

Philly 2009: Film festival highlights

The 2009 Film Festival at the conference offers these highlights:

- Sunday afternoon: "The House of Life: The Old Jewish Cemetery of Prague," (2.50pm) with filmmaker/artist, Mark Podwal, followed by "The Tree of Life" (4.20pm) dealing with the magical and mystical history of the Jews of Italy with documentarian, Hava Volterra. (repeated 5.15pm Monday with Volterra)

- Join us for the hilarious, short film "My Nose," about the standards of "beauty" in the Jewish world, with Gayle Kirschenbaum (accompanied by her mother, the impetus for this documentary). 11.50am.

- Tuesday, 5.35pm - Composer Jeff Hamburg, now living in Amsterdam, will discuss his film, "Terpe Kind Mains, Terpe," in which he returns to his Ukrainian ancestral village, and also travels to Uman.

- John Kovacs, a child survivor of the Abonyi Street Jewish School in Budapest, which is the topic of this new Hungarian film, "Captain Laszlo Ocskay: The Forgotten Hero," will discuss events in Budapest during WWII. 5pm Wednesday.

- Sharon Rennert - Tuvia Bielski's granddaughter - will introduce "Defiance" at 8.30pm Wednesday and "present her own full-length program: "The Bielski Partisans: A Granddaughter's Story" at 11.15am Thursday.

- Gabriella Bohm will discuss her film "The Longing: The Forgotten Jews of South America" at 9.45am Wednesday, and her film "Passages," on her Argentinian, Hungarian, and Israeli life-changing sojourn at 3.25pm.

- Richard Kollins takes us along on his surprising shtetl trip to Ukraine in "Bashert," at 2pm Thursday. If you've ever thought of undertaking a trip like this, this is a film worth seeing.

- No genealogical film festival would be complete without a screening of the hit UK program: "Who Do You Think You Are?"The festival will screen two episodes: Zoe Wanamaker, (11:15am Wednesday), covers UK, Chicago and Nikolayev, Ukraine research; and Esther Rantzen's (2.45pm Thursday) shocking discoveries in London's East End and Warsaw. Two Rantzen researchers - Hadassah Lipsius and Laurence Harris - will answer questions. after the screening.

- To view the complete film program, click on "film festival" on the program page. Click on the film title to see a complete synopsis.

All films and discussions are scheduled for Salon 3/4.

Popcorn, anyone?

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