Thursday night, May 5th, 2011, the Writer's Guild Theatre on Doheny was privileged to present the 6th annual Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival. Running through May 12th, the festival will be showing films at a variety of venues from theatres to synagogues all across the city. Co-sponsored by the Westside Jewish Community Center, the opening night reception was provided by Takosher (kosher tacos), and Wholly Rollers with the dessert reception presented by Hansen's Cakes, Bean Crazy and Mickey Fine Pharmacy & Grill.
The elegant festival director, Hilary Helstein welcomed us and introduced John Fishel, the honorary festival chair. Both were ably assisted by the co-chairs, Kim Cavallo and Michelle Kaufman.
Tonight's opening film, An Article of Hope directed by Dan Cohen told the story of the ill fated Columbia's Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, who brought up a small Holocaust Torah to space with him as a reminder of things precious. The discussion afterward, led by David Suissa of OLAM and the Jewish Journal, included Christopher Cowan and Peter Diamandis.
Also present this night were Israel Korn (teen idol of Vampire Diaries) screenwriter Warren Lewis, Mark Herzog (producer), David Atkins (actor), John Woldenberg (producer Exporting Raymond) Tim Urban (American Idol), Lorielle New, Willie Ames (songwriter), Marabina Jaimes (Latina Emmy winning actress), Elizabeth Friedman (actress), Corey Sevier and Saye Yabandeh (actors from 5th and Alameda.)
In addition, the evening was graced with congressional candidate Dan Adler, Buzz and Lois Aldrin, David Andrews, Moran Atia (Israeli actress), Antowne Fisher, Jacob Diamond, Nik Kai (guitar prodigy), Rob Lotterstein (Disney producer), Councilman Paul Koretz, and Gabe Kapler (baseball player.)
The films weren't just selected. They were chosen. Reflecting the multi cultural life of the Jews of Los Angeles and around the world, the films depict honest and raw emotions. These are programs the whole family can enjoy. The men, especially will want to see Jews and Baseball (4:30 pm on Sunday at Laemmle's Town Center in Encino.)
Monday's showing of A Delicious Peace tells the story of the Uganda coffee co op farmer - Jews, Muslims, and Christians working together to not only bring peace to their small community but around the world. This fascinating story of multiculturalism and a reaching out for peace was produced and directed by Curt Fissell with Ed O'Neal narrating.
Many of the films are premiering world wide here. The selection included many documentaries as well as many narratives. There were such films The Tailor, Polish Bar, La Rafale, Inglore, Precious Life, Shalom Sesame, The Decision Maker, Lenin in October, Strangers No More, Surviving Hitler, He's My Girl, and the SoCalled Movie with Canadian's Jewish Gay Klezmer- Rapper Josh Dolgin. Closing Night on May 12, Who Do You Love, will be at the Laemmle's Town Center in Encino.
There are so many films to chose from that it's impossible, given the many locations, to see them all, but hopefully you'll catch more than a few of these gems.
Other sponsors included Kim and Rob Cavallo, Diane and Guilford Glazer, Clear Channel (KFI, KOST, KISS, 92.3, KLAC, 98.7, 104.3, 105.1, 126o AM), Marilyn Ziering, Velodea, The Goldrich Family Foundation Cori, Larry, Alanna and Dani Drasin, The Dodgers Dream Foundation, Consulate General of Israel, Janine and Peter Lowry, Mitch and Michelle Kaufman, Karlene and Charles Boxerbaum, Milken Family Foundation, Schoenbergs, LA Museum of the Holocaust, Audrey and Sidney Irmas Charitable Foundation, Theodore and Rnee Weiler Foundation, CSUN, Ellie and Mark Lainer, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater, Cantor Judith Sofer, Stephen S Wise Temple, Temple Beth Am, Dora Wasserman's Yiddish Theatre, ATID.LA, Mishkon Tephilo,Dave and Lill's McGrath, Bradley Snudernanm J.Mom.com, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, Dimalanta Photographym Itzak HaGadol Grill Encino, Shomeri Torah Synagogue, and Dr and Mrs. David Auerbach among others.
For more information or to purchase tickets go to www.LAJFilmFest.org or call 800 838 3006. Thiose interested in volunteering for next year can find information at info@LAJFilmFest.org