While many college football teams are looking to the spread offense to achieve victory, the Nashville Jewish Film Festival is looking to score by spreading its offerings out.
Now in its 15th year, the festival previously showed 15 films in an 11-day period. Managing Director Fran Brumlik said survey results showed that such an intense schedule was too much and “movie fatigue” was setting in. Now, the 15 films will be spread out over 26 days, from Oct. 13 to Nov. 7.
There will be several special guests during the festival. Ziggy Gruber of Kenny & Ziggy’s Deli in Houston will be at a screening of “Deli Man,” which prominently features him, on Nov. 7 at the Gordon Jewish Community Center. The film starts at 8 p.m. and is preceded by a deli dinner at 6:30 p.m. Dinner reservations are $35 and required by Nov. 3.
On Oct. 27 at 7 p.m., Assi Azar, host of Israel’s version of “Big Brother,” will lead a question and answer session after the screening of “Mom and Dad: I Have Something to Tell You.” Azar narrates the film, which explores the journey parents take when they learn their children are gay.
In Hebrew with English subtitles, the film includes a first heart-to-heart conversation between Azar and his parents, who he told that he was gay when he was 24. The screening at Belcourt Theatre, where most of the films will be viewed, is co-sponsored by Vanderbilt Hillel.
The festival’s opening night features a cocktail supper on Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. at Nashville Children’s Theatre, followed by a screening of “Dough,” the story of a widowed Jewish baker in London whose bakery is past its prime and of no interest to his sons. He hires a Muslim teen from Darfur, who sells marijuana on the side. One day some of it accidentally finds its way into the challah dough, leading to a new appreciation for the bakery.
On Oct. 14, “Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not Be Silent” will include talks by Adam Meyer, Vanderbilt Jewish Studies professor, and Frank Dobson, director of the Black Cultural Center at Vanderbilt. Rabbi Prinz was expelled from Germany in 1937, and upon arriving in the United States was horrified to see racism against African-Americans. He spoke at the March on Washington just before Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech in 1963.
The Oct. 19 screening of “Look At Us Now, Mother” is the Monday Matinee Box Lunch from Jason’s Deli at 11:30 a.m., followed by the film at 12:15 p.m.
“Very Semi-Serious” on Oct. 20 chronicles The New Yorker cartoonist Bob Mankoff, and editorial cartoonist Daryl Cagle will be a guest at the screening.
On Oct. 22, “The Outrageous Sophie Tucker” will be screened at the GJCC at noon, and “Felix et Meira” will be at Belcourt at 7 p.m.
A double feature on Oct. 24 starts at 7 p.m. with a French film noir thriller, “The Art Dealer,” who seeks paintings stolen from her family during World War II. “Hill Start” at 9:15 p.m. is a mature dark comedy from Israel.
A biographical film about Mark Chagall, “Chagall-Malevich,” will be at the Franklin Theatre on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Nominated for three Israeli Academy Awards, “Apples from the Desert” will be on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m.
The Temple will host a screening of “Once in a Lifetime” on Nov. 1 at 9 a.m. In it, a teacher of rebellious inner city students is met with resistance over an assignment about child survivors of concentration camps, until they meet a Holocaust survivor.
The real-life thriller “24 Days” will be on Nov. 2, based on the abduction of a Jewish clerk in a Paris store in 2006. “My Italian Story,” about a secret Italian resistance movement that saved Jews during the Holocaust, will be on Nov. 5.
Tickets are $10, $7 for students and $8 for seniors. A festival pass is $100. More information is available here.
The festival began in 2001 as a location of Jewish Cinema South, a project of the Institute of Southern Jewish Life to coordinate Jewish film festivals in the region. Nashville was one of the first venues to spin it off into its own festival.
Each year, there is also a student film competition, drawing entries from around the world.