The Mobile Jewish Film festival is celebrating its 11th year with an expanded lineup of contemporary Jewish films. The festival, sponsored by the Mobile Area Jewish Federation and the University of South Alabama will show six films at four different venues during its regular festival from Jan. 8 to 29.
In addition, the festival will present a student film at three area high schools.
The festival kickoff on Jan. 8 at Springhill Avenue Temple is “Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray,” about Jewish soldiers during the Civil War. Anthony Smith will be guest speaker at the 7 p.m. screening. He is great-great-nephew of Adolph Proskauer, who is prominently featured in the film and was a member of Springhill Avenue Temple.
Films on Jan. 10 to 12 will be screened at 7 p.m. at Laidlaw Performing Arts Center at USA.
The Jan. 10 film is “La Rafle (The Roundup)”, about Jewish trust in the Vichy government. The film has been named best feature film in at least 14 Jewish film festivals around the country.
“Unmasked Judeophobia — The Threat to Civilization” will be screened Jan. 11. Mobile is one of the first cities to show this compelling film, with filmmaker Gloria Greenfield as guest speaker.
The Jan. 12 film is “For My Father”, nominated for 7 Israeli Academy Awards. It is about a Palestinian on a suicide bombing whose explosive vest needs repairs, while waiting he connects with several Israelis, including a young girl.
On Jan. 15 at 7 p.m., the festival moves to Ahavas Chesed for “The Yankles,” a comedy/drama about an upstart Orthodox Yeshiva baseball team whose coach is an ex-major league center fielder who is desperate to fulfill his community service requirements for multiple DUIs. The movie is preceded by a hot dog dinner at 6 p.m. at the synagogue.
The final film will be on Jan. 29 at Bernheim Hall, Ben May Library, at 2 p.m. “Ahead of Time” is a documentary on the remarkable life of Ruth Gruber, who at 99 years old still has that same sharp intellect and moxie that propelled her to become the world’s youngest Ph.D. at age 20.
The student film, “Inside Hana’s Suitcase,” will be shown to more than 2,000 students. Guest speaker Fumiko Ishioka is also leading a Holocaust educator workshop on Jan. 5.
Festival tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors, online at mobilejewishfederation.org or at the box office before each performance subject to availability.