Dear Festival Friends,
The Mandell JCC Hartford Jewish Film Festival is back for our 18th – CHAI – season. We’re celebrating with 18 feature and documentary films and 5 shorts from 13 countries, screening in 5 venues over 10 days. You’ll see Hollywood legends including Woody Allen, Susie Essman, Isabella Rossellini and Sir Patrick Stewart; Oscar nominees, and award-winning films that will entertain, engage and enrage. We’ll welcome guest directors, authors and film subjects and present live concerts and fun receptions.
Thank You to our lead funders, the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford and the Mandell JCC Pillars Society, whose significant support have helped us become one of the most admired Jewish film fests in the country. The generosity of the Mandell JCC Pacesetter donors; our venue and media sponsors and in-kind supporters ensure the gold standard quality of our films and the festival experience. We are grateful to our community partners, agencies, synagogues, volunteers, our dedicated committee members and the Mandell JCC staff.
Life is better with music and five titles feature musical themes. West Hartford’s Dr. Alby Hurwit composes a symphony in The Gambling Man. In When Day Breaks a piano professor discovers an unfinished score and his true identity. Israel’s Cupcakes is a frothy, feel-good musical comedy about love, life and friends. Violin virtuoso Philip Quint and singer Nellie McKay shine in Downtown Express, set in the Big Apple. Mama Doni Zasloff electrifies our stage in a live song-and-dance concert for young families following Mama Doni’s Jewish Holiday Party – It’s Passover!
When the world turned its back on Europe’s Jews, one Philadelphia couple dared to rescue fifty Jewish children from the Nazis. Our sixth annual Tribute – Observations on Survival and Spirit program sponsored by the Kirstein family, in collaboration with the Maurice Greenberg Center, will introduce you to one of these children, Dr. Robert Braun of Fairfield. Filmmaker/journalist Steven Pressman, whose wife Liz discovered her grandmother’s diary, the inspiration for 50 Children- The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus will speak.
Dr. Benson Monastersky & Ronny Siegel, Co-Chairs
Harriet J. Dobin, Director
18th Annual Mandell JCC Hartford Jewish Film Festival