21st Annual Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival returns

‘On the Map’ premieres on Feb. 12. (submitted photo)

The film slate for the 21st Annual Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival is preparing to touchdown and hit movie screens across the Valley, including Harkins Shea 14 in Scottsdale, from Feb. 12-26, 2017, and it’s just in time for those people burnt out by football and politics.

Eighteen feature-length films and seven short films from seven different countries make this year’s festival the biggest one in its history, according to a press release.

To kick it off, writer and director Dani Menkin, a two-time Israeli Academy Award winner, will appear at the Valley premiere of his new film, “On the Map” at Harkins Theatre Shea 14 in Scottsdale on Feb. 12.

The Israeli Oscar-nominated filmmaker will take audience questions about his documentary about the David-and-Goliath European basketball championship between the tiny Israeli Maccabi team and the dominating Russian team in 1977.

Mr. Menkin’s appearance is just one highlight of the film festival, whose lineup can be found at www.gpjff.org. Featuring a rich assortment of independent Jewish cinema that travels from the cobblestone streets of Paris to the dusty hillside of Jerusalem; from a conservative Midwestern college town to a chicken farm in the Israeli desert; from the segregated towns in the Deep South to a cruising altitude 40,000 feet above, the GPJFF takes filmgoers all around the world without ever leaving their seats.

Films will screen at three theaters valley wide in Scottsdale, Chandler and Peoria.

“The scope and quality of our film slate keeps growing bigger and better,” said GPJFF Executive Director Bob Segelbaum, in the press release.

“I’m very excited that during this time of heightened tension around the world, especially in the Middle East and even in our own country, we can present films reflective of the rich and diverse Jewish people, culture, and faith. The Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival stands as a point of pride for the Jewish Community and as a point of understanding, awareness and acceptance for the community at large.”

Several of the confirmed guest speakers at Harkins Shea 14 this year will be:

  • 3 p.m.  Feb. 12 — On the Map — Dani Menkin, Israeli Oscar-nominated writer and director of ON THE MAP
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 13 — The Law — Rabbi Pinchas Allouch, Congregation Beth Tefillah of Scottsdale
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 14 — Second Time Around — Sherry Soules, cowriter & producer for SECOND TIME AROUND
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 15 — Kapo in Jerusalem — Dr. Murray Henner, Professor of International Law and Intelligence at Embry Riddle University
  • 3 p.m. Feb. 19 — Rosenwald — Rev. Warren Stuart Jr., Pastor of Church of the Revnant
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 19 — Wunderkinder — Janice Friebaum, member the Governing Board of the World Federation of Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust and Descendant
  • 3 p.m. Feb. 23 — Remember — Prof. Darrell Copp, Chairperson of Dept. of Humanities & Film Studies at Scottsdale Community College

In addition to screening at Harkins Shea 14, the festival also shows films at Harkins Arrowhead Fountains 18 in Peoria and Harkins Chandler Fashion 20 in Chandler. The full slate of films is only available at the Scottsdale location.

For more information on films or to purchase tickets, call 602-753-9366 or visit www.gpjff.org

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