Nashville Jewish Film Festival schedules 15 features over four weeks

Fifteen new films have been selected for the 16th annual Nashville Jewish Film Festival, which will be held from Oct. 19 to Nov. 12.

A program of the Gordon Jewish Community Center, the festival aims to bring “educational, entertaining and thought-provoking Jewish-themed films to the Nashville community” and “create a forum for the wider Nashville community to understand the complexity of issues surrounding Jewish life in contemporary society.”

In 2005, the festival also began an annual world-wide Kathryn H. Gutow Student Film Competition. Finalists are screened during the festival, with the winner receiving a $1,000 prize and a showing at the Nashville Film Festival in April.

The opening evening begins with a 5:30 p.m. cocktail dinner at Cabana, followed by the screening of “To Life!” at 7:30 p.m. at the Belcourt Theatre.

Most of the screenings will be at Belcourt.

Several films will include post-show discussions. Mark Schiff, actor, comedian and writer, will follow the screening of “Last Laugh” on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. with a discussion as to whether it is possible to joke about the Holocaust.

Alice Zimmerman, noted Nashville art dealer and collector, will talk about Peggy Guggenheim following the 12:15 p.m. matinee of “Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict” on Nov. 7.

Eli Adler, the producer of “Surviving Skokie,” a documentary about the impact of a proposed march through Skokie, Ill., by the American Nazi party and how it changed the lives of the 8000 Holocaust survivors who lived in the suburban Chicago village, will speak after the 7 p.m. screening on Nov. 2.

David Blu, professional basketball player and member of the Maccabi Tel Aviv team, will speak following the screening of “On the Map” on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. Blu appears in the film.

Michael A. Newton, professor of the practice of law at Vanderbilt University, will talk about the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials of 1963 to 1965, in which 750 of 789 SS officers charged were convicted, following the showing of “Labyrinth of Lies” on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. The trials were significant because the charges were brought under the West German criminal code.

“Fever at Dawn” will be on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. and “Moos” will be shown on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. On Oct. 27 at 7 p.m., Atom Egoyan’s “Remember,” starring Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau, will screen.

The family-friendly “Rock in the Red Zone” will be shown on Oct. 30 at 9:15 a.m. at the Gordon JCC. On Nov. 3 at noon, the JCC will also host “Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem.”

“Cloudy Sunday,” based on the book and music of George Skarbodonis, will be on Nov. 3 at 7 p.m., and on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. “Frank vs. God,” starring Henry Ian Cusack, will be screened.

The Israeli film “The Nemtwich Syndrome” will be on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m., and the festival will conclude on Nov. 12 with “The Pickle Recipe” at 8 p.m. at the JCC. A deli dinner and pickle bar will be available starting at 6:30 p.m.

There will also be a Holocaust lecture series address on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at Vanderbilt University’s Langford Auditorium. Father Patrick Desbois, head of the Commission for Relations with Judaism of the French Bishops’ Conference, and consultant to the Vatican, will speak about Yahad-In Unum, an organization he founded to locate the sites of mass graves of Holocaust victims. Desbois’ grandfather was a French soldier deported to the Nazi prison camp Rava-Ruska on the Ukrainian border with Poland.

Reservations for the opening night dinner are $75. A box lunch for the Nov. 7 matinee is $25, and the deli dinner on closing night is $40. All prices include admission to the film.

Film tickets are $12, or $8 for students and seniors. A festival films-only pass is $150.

More information about each film and the festival can be found here.