is a proud sponsor of the 9th Annual International Jewish Film Festival, organized by , scheduled to kick off on March 11.
“The overriding theme of this year’s films is ‘the power of good,’” said Micki Leader, chairperson of the renowned annual film showcase. “Why do some people risk their lives and careers to help others? That’s the central message in many of this year’s films – the great good that people who give unselfishly of themselves and the difference that can make in the world."
Leader said several of the films featured in this year’s Jewish Film Festival will have their New York State premiers here in Rockland beginning March 11 through April 1, 2012. Many will feature exclusive Q&A sessions after the screenings with the stars, directors, writers and producers of the films.
This year’s film festival will screen 20 films from 10 countries over 18 days in three locations around Rockland County. The AMC Theaters at the , the Lafayette Theater in Suffern, and the Cultural Arts Center at in Ramapo will host the films, which are chosen by the JCC based on the quality of the film, its inherent cultural value and the central message contained within.
“The film festival is about building bridges of understanding and reaching out to neighbors through extraordinary films and documentaries that will stimulate discussion and conversation about historic and current events, social issues and most of all, family,” Leader said.
Highlights include a special preview of renowned writer, director and producer Aviva Kempner’s latest work in progress, “The Rosenwald Schools,” which details Sears Roebuck founder Julius Rosenwald’s journey to build schools for African American children in the rural south in the 1800s. The short film will be screened at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20, at the Palisades Center AMC Theaters as part of a double feature including “Dressing America: Tales from the Garment Center,” a look at the history of Manhattan’s garment district.
Other highlights of the 2012 JCC Film Festival include the Rockland premier at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 11 at the Lafayette Theater of “Remembrance,” the tale of two lovers, survivors of a concentration camp in World War 2 Germany, who were separated by war and search for each other 30 years later in New York City. And the moving “Nicky’s Family,” the story of the valiant rescue of nearly 700 Jewish children from Nazi persecution by English nobleman Sir Nicholas Winton. More than 5,000 known descendants of “Nicky’s Family” owe their lives to Winton, who, at 103, is still alive today.
A free Filmmakers Panel discussion will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 18, with some of the writers, directors, actors and producers whose films are featured in the 2012 JCC Jewish Film Festival at the JCC Rockland in West Nyack. Seating is limited and reservations are required.
Editor's Note: CJ Miller is head of Rockland Tourism and Local Development for Rockland County.