By Laurel Fairworth
This year the Israeli Film Festival of Philadelphia is all over the map in a theatrical way. Now in its 21st year, the festival kicked off on Saturday, March 4. The month-long film extravaganza, which runs through April 2, 2017, takes place in venues around the Philadelphia area including the Perelman at the Kimmel Center, the Ritz, the International House, Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy and the Bryn Mawr Film Institute.
Mindy Chriqui, Artistic Director of the Israeli Film Festival (IFF) of Philadelphia says, “We are always excited about each year’s festival, but we feel this is the best, most diverse and most controversial yet. The films run the gamut from historical documentaries to searing dramas to laugh out loud comedies from points all over the world.”
For the first time, the 2017 lineup features a picture geared for kids, with free admission to those dressing up for the Purim holiday. “My Special Brother” is a poignant and timely look at siblings born with disabilities. Other featured films are “David Ben-Gurion,” a documentary about one of history’s greatest leaders, with never heard before audio from the Prime Minister himself, “Operation Wedding,” a daring escape plot hatched 45 years ago by a group of Soviet Jewish dissidents, “Aida’s Secret,” dealing with a 70 year old mystery starting in a displaced person’s camp following the Holocaust, and Nancy Speilberg’s latest masterpiece “On the Map.” The movie is an inspiring look inside the 1977 Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team that took on the heavily favored Russian Red Army squad and won. Similar to the American’s “Miracle on Ice,” this film will tickle sports fan and those who root for the underdog. Nurit Yaron, IFF Executive Director, commented, “This movie is a grabber. Well-known players including Bill Walton and former Commissioner Daniel Stern give their perspective on the team and the atmosphere in the aftermath of the 1972 massacre at the Munich Olympics.”
Former All-American and All-Big Ten star and Maccabi guard Tal Brody once again steals the show. Nicknamed Mr. Basketball and drafted 12th, the Trenton, NJ native passed up the opportunity to play in the NBA. Instead, he chose to compete for the new Jewish homeland. He will be in Philadelphia to talk about that once-in-a-lifetime experience and the making of this movie.
Closing out the Israeli Film Festival of Philadelphia on Sunday, April 2, 2017, is fan favorite “Past Life,” a moving drama about the haunting power of the past and the healing power of the truth.
You may call 484 904 5421 to get more information, or get a complete schedule, and purchase tickets.