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Jacob Burns Film Center Announces Lineup for the 2019 Westchester Jewish Film Festival



Golda’s Balcony, the Film, a cinematic event about Golda Meir’s extraordinary life and legacy, will be followed by a post-screening Q&A with the production’s star, Tovah Feldshuh, via Skype on April 6. Photo Credit: Jacob Burns Film Center

From April 2-17, 2019, the 18th annual festival features numerous highlights, including a special tribute to and two Skype interviews with actor-writer-director Carl Reiner

The Westchester Jewish Film Festival (WJFF) presented by the Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) is pleased to announce a compelling lineup comprised of a robust mix of 42 documentaries and narrative films, as well as 12 episodes of the hit comedy series The New Black (Shababniks), plus all five episodes of the dystopian drama Autonomies.

The festival spans two and half weeks from April 2-17, 2019, with all screenings and events taking place at JBFC, a nonprofit cultural arts center and one of the most successful suburban film houses in the country located in Pleasantville, NY. Presale tickets are available for members starting on March 5 at noon, while tickets will be available to the general public on March 8 at noon.

On Tuesday, April 2, the festival will kick off with not one but two unique programs. In one theater, they’ll present the New York premiere of award-winning Israeli filmmaker Yair Lev’s You Only Die Twice, an astonishing and suspenseful documentary thriller with splashes of humor at just the right moments. At the same time, the JBFC will show the first four episodes of The New Black (Shababniks). Following the screenings, everyone will come together to toast the series at a celebratory reception in the JBFC’s Jane Peck Gallery.

Festival highlights from Israel and around the globe (including France and Hungary):

  • 93Queen (set in Borough Park, Brooklyn) follows a group of tenacious religious women—including the one-of-a-kind Rachel “Ruchie” Freier, a no-nonsense lawyer and mother of six—who shakes up the Hasidic “boys club” by creating Ezras Nashim, the first all-female ambulance corps in New York City.
  • Shoah: Four Sisters, by the late Claude Lanzmann, reveals stunning footage he was unable to use in his epic 1985 masterpiece Shoah.
  • Eva Gardos’ Budapest Noir, which tracks a post-WWII crime reporter investigating the mysterious death of a woman, as deceit and lies lurk around every shadowy corner.
  • Acclaimed director Emmanuel Finkiel (Voyages) brings Memoir of War, a stirring drama based on the diary of Marguerite Duras, to the JBFC

In addition to the lengthy slate of engaging, thought-provoking films, there will be a variety of compelling filmmaker Q&As, including:

  • Golda’s Balcony, the Film, a cinematic event about Golda Meir’s extraordinary life and legacy, will be followed by a post-screening Q&A with the production’s star, Tovah Feldshuh, via Skype on April 6.
  • Writer/producer/director Robert Grossman’s (Above and Beyond) engrossing and potent documentary, Who Will Write Our History, draws from the writings of historian Emanuel Ringelblum (codename Oyneg Shabes), who, in November 1940, led a clandestine group of scholars, journalists, and community leaders committed to fighting back just days after the Nazis sealed 450,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. A reception and Q&A with Ambassador Maciej Golubiewski, the Polish Consul General in New York, will follow the presentation on Apr. 3, while producer Nancy Spielberg joins us for a Q&A following the screening on Apr. 17.
  • The Museum is Ran Tal’s (Children of the Sun) superb, lyrical new film, which provides an unprecedented look behind the scenes at the great Israel Museum in Jerusalem. After the film, JBFC will host a Q&A with James S. Snyder, Director Emeritus of the Israel Museum, who served as Anne and Jerome Fisher Director (1997–2016) and then International President for worldwide activities (through 2018).
  • Actor/writer/director Carl Reiner receives a proper tribute as the JBFC revisits a select number of classic movies from one of America’s great comedic minds. An evening of laughs with the legend will include two Skype Q&As with Carl Reiner after the screenings of Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid on Apr. 3 and The Man With Two Brains on Apr. 14.

The Westchester Jewish Film Festival is sponsored by the AJC of Westchester/Fairfield, The David Berg Foundation, Roberta & Joseph Rosenblum, and Harriet Blumencranz & Paul Willensky. The series is presented in association with The Jewish Week Media Group, with support from Cuddy & Feder LLP, Downtown Investment Advisory LLC, and Ganer + Ganer PLLC.

The 2019 Westchester Jewish Film Festival is curated by Bruni Burres, who has worked for over 20 years at the intersection of arts, culture, and human rights as a festival director and curator, media educator, creative producer, and social media strategist. Burres is currently a senior consultant with the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Program and the cowriter and associate producer of Beyond My Grandfather Allende, which won Best Documentary at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. From 1991 to 2008, she was the director of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

Please visit for the full lineup and program for this year’s festival.

For more information, visit, @JacobBurnsFilmCenter on Facebook, @JBFC_ny on Twitter, and @JBFC_pville on Instagram.

Jacob Burns Film Center is a nonprofit arts and education hub located on a three-building campus in the New York Metro area. The JBFC brings the transformative power of film to the surrounding community through unique programming and discussion, shared experiences, and educational initiatives. Since opening in 2001, over 3,000,000 people have enjoyed the best of current American and foreign cinema, unique film series, and special events at the five screen theater complex. A pioneer in visual literacy education, the Jacob Burns Film Center offers courses in filmmaking, screenwriting, and animation for students of all ages at our state-of-the-art Media Arts Lab and develops curriculums for schools throughout the region.


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