WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The 7th Annual Wilmington Jewish Film Festival kicks off this weekend featuring seven film programs.
Due to the pandemic, the month-long festival will be a virtual event this year consisting of seven feature films and four shorts, all online.
“We are showing a diverse group of films which will include a balance of dramas, comedies and documentaries,” said festival organizer Debbie Smith.
The first film program begins Saturday, May 1, at 7 p.m. Each film program will be available to stream for a 72-hour period beginning on the designated day at 7 pm. Streaming can take place at any time during this 72-hour period.
- The Crossing with short The Tattooed Torah – Saturday, May 1, 7:00 pm – Tuesday, May 4, 7:00 pm. The story of Gerda and her brother Otto, who are left alone when their parents who are in the Norwegian resistance during WWII have been arrested. The children find two Jewish children hidden in their basement. The four children set out on an adventure to flee the Nazis and cross the border to neutral Sweden to reunite Daniel and Sarah with their parents. Norwegian language with English subtitles. Genre: Family Drama.
- Here We Are with short Inner Flame – Tuesday, May 4, 7:00 pm – Friday, May 7, 7:00 pm. Aharon has devoted his life to raising his son Uri. They live together in a gentle routine, away from the real world. But Uri is autistic, and now as a young adult it might be time for him to live in a specialized home. While on their way to the institution, Aharon decides to run away with his son and hits the road, knowing that Uri is not ready for this separation. Or is it, in fact, his father who is not ready? Hebrew language with English subtitles. Genre: Drama.
- Shepherd: A Story of a Jewish Dog – Saturday, May 8, 7:00 pm – Tuesday, May 11, 7:00 pm. SHEPHERD is based on the award-winning and bestselling novel, “The Jewish Dog,” by Asher Kravitz. Kaleb, a beloved German Shepherd, is separated from his Jewish family when the Nuremberg Laws are enacted in WWII Berlin. He is adopted by an SS Officer who trains him to attack and round up Jews at a concentration camp. Kaleb is well cared for and good at his job until one day when he is distracted by a familiar scent. His original master, a young boy named Joshua, has arrived as a prisoner of the camp. Kaleb has not lost his loyalty to Joshua who finds solace when he gets a job feeding the animals and can spend time with Kaleb. Joshua’s life is at risk. Together they escape the camp and after months of near-death experiences, they are found by partisans who help Joshua make safe passage. English language Genre: Drama, not suitable for young children.
- Tango Shalom – Tuesday, May 11, 7:00 pm – Friday, May 14, 7:00 pm. Moshe Yehuda, a Hasidic Rabbi and amateur Hora dancer, played by Jos Laniado, enters a televised Tango competition to save his Hebrew school from bankruptcy. There is only one problem: due to his orthodox religious beliefs, he is not allowed to touch a woman! At odds with his wife and five kids, the Grand Rabbi of his orthodox sect and his entire Hasidic community, Moshe seeks advise from a Catholic priest, a Muslim Imam, and a Sikh holy man. Together, they hash out a plan to help Moshe dance in the Tango contest “without sacrificing his sacred beliefs” setting in motion a fun, passionate dance movie. Tango Shalom tests the bonds of family and community as well as the bounds of tolerance and faith. From the maker of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Tango Shalom is a multi-awarded comedy/dance film starring Lainie Kazan and Karina Smirnoff from Dancing With The Stars. Genre: Family Comedy
- Box For Life with short, A Father’s Kaddish – Saturday, May 15, 7:00 pm -Tuesday, May 18, 7:00 pm. Story of Noah Klieger, who was a French Jewish teenager during WWII. He lay on the beach of Dunkirk when hundreds of thousands of British soldiers were evacuated to Britain. He smuggled Jewish children from Belgium to Switzerland. He was captured by the Germans and was sent to the Auschwitz death camp. When he arrived at the camp, he claimed himself as a boxer which saved his life. He was the last remnant of the boxing team of Auschwitz death camp, the oldest active journalist in the world, A crew member of the Ship “Exodus – 1947”. In the film, Noah returns for the first time to the places that marked his life. Noah Klieger is an example of courage, optimism and resilience. Genre: Documentary.
- A Starry Sky Above The Roman Ghetto with short Moon Drops – Tuesday, May 18, 7:00 pm – Friday, May 21, 7:00 pm. Past and present meet upon the discovery of an old, mysterious photograph that will end up tying together Christian and Jewish students in search of the truth. Trying to unravel the mystery behind the portrait, the boys embark on a journey through a night of horror that cannot be forgotten: the raid of the Roman Ghetto. Retracing these painful events will give them the chance to take a collective stance towards personal, existential, and cultural commitment. Italian language with English Subtitles. Genre: Drama.
- Breaking Bread – Saturday, May 22, 7:00 pm – Tuesday, May 25, 7:00 pm. Dr. Nof Atamna-Ismaeel – the first Muslim Arab to win Israel’s MasterChef – is on a quest to make social change through food. And so, she founded the A-sham Arabic Food Festival, where pairs of Arab and Jewish chefs collaborate on exotic dishes like kishek (a Syrian yogurt soup), and qatayef (a dessert typically served during Ramadan). A film about hope, synergy and mouthwatering fare, Breaking Bread illustrates what happens when people focus on the person, rather than her religion; on the public, rather than the politicians. Genre: Documentary.
Each film program is $10 and an All Festival Pass is $50. Click here for more information on the films and learn how to purchase the tickets or the all festival pass.