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RIIFF 2007 Presents the 6th Annual Providence Jewish Film Festival

 

 

tovarichThe 11th Annual Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) once again presents its acclaimed Providence Jewish Film Festival sidebar that showcases and illuminates the Jewish experience. This year the sidebar will be held in collaboration with the Rhode Island Jewish Film Festival and centers on the themes of forgiveness and acceptance in modern Jewish culture.

 

Among the highlights of this year’s sidebar- which includes films from Israel and the Jewish Diaspora are:

 

The World Premiere of Matt Schramer’s film “Bubbie”.  The story of two adolescent brothers is told as they learn the meaning of tolerance and forgiveness when their Jewish grandmother moves in, but not without a price.  The film will premiere on Friday, August 10th at the Feinstein IMAX Theatre Providence Place at 10 Am.

 

• In the film “The Violin” the story of love breaking through in the most horrific place imaginable—a concentration camp—is told as a teenage boy is reunited with an old flame.  The screening will be Wednesday, August 8th at Cinematheque at 2:45 PM.

 

• Tiffany Shlain’s “The Tribe” is an unorthodox, unauthorized history of the Jewish people and the Barbie doll…told in about 15 minutes.  As one of the selections of the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival, “The Tribe” has been picking up speed throughout the festival circuit and was called “smart and funny” by the New York Times.

 

“Jewish culture has such a profound impact on films and filmmaking. Our audiences will be moved by these warm and engaging stories,” commented George T. Marshall, Executive Director of RIIFF. “Our sidebar is designed to not only connect with the Jewish community in Rhode Island, but also to connect Jewish culture with the different communities throughout the state.”

 

The 11th Annual Rhode Island International Film Festival will run from August 7th-12th with a wide range of films being screened during the week, at venues across the state.  Recognized as the largest film festival in New England, RIIFF prides itself in celebrating the art of independent filmmaking.The 2007 Festival will screen over 300 films that reflect a variety of styles, perspectives and genres: documentaries, features, animation, and shorts.  Many of the filmmakers are expected to attend the Festival making for a lively audience experience and an opportunity for interactions, questions, and discussions.

 

The Rhode Island International Film Festival is supported in part by the City of Providence, the Providence Tourism Council, the Providence Department of Arts, Culture & Tourism, WJAR TV10, Motif magazine, Clear Channel Communications, Sony, SAG/INDIE, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Amtrak, URI's College of Arts and Sciences, URI's Feinstein College of Continuing Education, the URI Film Media Program, Rule Broadcast Systems, Radio Disney and contributions from members and community supporters.

 

The Rhode Island International Film Festival is produced by the Flickers Arts Collaborative- an organization with 25 years of experience presenting major artistic events and independent and foreign films to the public.

 

Advance ticket sales for screenings and special events are available through the RIIFF website <www.RIFilmFest.org>.  Student, group, and senior discounts are also available with advance booking.  To purchase tickets or obtain more information about RIIFF, call 401-861-4445

 

2007 Providence Jewish Film Festival Presentations


Wed, August 8th, 2:45 pm; Columbus Theatre Cinémathèque
TRACES
M Pasanen, director
32 min, Poland, 2006
The Jewish community of Ciechocinek, Poland, was entirely annihilated in the Holocaust.  Two generations later, the filmmaker sets out to re-establish a family connection.  She seeks information on her grandfather's vanished family and tries to locate the descendants of his aunt, known to have left Poland before the war.  This search takes her to Ciechocinek, where all traces of any Jewish presence have been erased.

 

The Tribe
Tiffany Schlain, director
18 min. USA, 2006
An unorthodox, unauthorized history of the Jewish people and the Barbie doll… in about 15 minutes.

 

The Violin
Inbar Gilboa, director
22 min. USA, 2006
Love is greater than survival.  A teenage boy rediscovers his courage and love of life after being reunited with an old flame in the most horrific place imaginable - a concentration camp.

 

Forgiving Dr. Mengle
Bob Hercules, director
80 min. USA, 2006
Forgiving Dr. Mengele tells the remarkable story of Auschwitz survivor and former 'Mengele twin' Eva Mozes Kor and the transformation that led her to forgive the Nazi perpetrators as an act of self-healing.  The core of the film explores her concept of forgiveness and the firestorm of criticism it has provoked.  Eva's story becomes a window to a larger discussion of the many ways people define forgiveness.

 

Thu, Aug 9 2007, 12:00 pm; Columbus Theatre Cinémathèque
THE RED FRONT
World Premiere
Adam Goudchaux, director
20 min, 2006
Terror. Confusion. Upheaval. Three words that describe the chaotic times gripping Germany in 1933. Sides are being chosen and forced upon Germany’s citizens. Hitler has risen to power in a dubious manner and has begun eliminating all his perceived enemies. His top priorities are the Jews and the Communists. The introverted Werner Stein, son of prominent underground Communist leader Sigmund Stein, has no aspirations to follow in his father’s footsteps.  Werner has a more peaceful artistic temperament with no political aspirations.  But, when he and his father are arrested by the Nazis, an SS Officer, Ernst Von Rapp, forces Werner to make an unspeakable choice. Shattered by the experience, Werner is recruited by a member of the Red Front, his father’s underground organization, to exact revenge on Von Rapp. But revenge is never simple.

 

Thu, Aug 9 2007, 3:00 pm; University of Rhode Island Feinstein Providence Campus
Fri, Aug 10 2007, 2:00 pm; Columbus Theatre Cinémathèque

THE BATTLE OF CABLE STREET
Yoav Segal, director
8 min. UK, 2006
In 1936 Oswald Mosley requested to march through the East End with his army of ‘Blackshirts’ in a display fascist power.  However Jews, Irish, dockworkers and Communists joined the people of the East End in a multi cultural stand against fascism and intolerance. Through their commitment, organisation and shear strength in numbers they succeeded in stopping the march. This is a seminal event in British history as it loudly declared Britain’s refusal to accept fascism.  The Battle of Cable Street brings to life vivid memories told through the eyes of a child through the use of cutting edge rotoscoped and frame-by-frame animation side by side HiDef cinemtaic liveaction.

 

Thu, August 9th at 3 PM; URI Providence Campus
Storm of Emotions
US Premiere
Yael Kloppman, director
106 min, Israel, 2006
A documentary on Israel's disengagement from Gaza from the point of view of several Israeli Army officers and members of the police border unit.

 

Thu, August 9th at 5 PM; URI Providence Campus
Sat, August 11th at 8 PM; URI Providence Campus

Unattached
World Premiere
J.J. Adler, director
25 min, USA, 2007
An expanding community of unmarried Orthodox Jews bears the brunt of a deep-seated 'Singles' Crisis.'

 

Thu, Aug 9 2007, 5:00 pm; URI Providence Campus
TOVARISCH I AM NOT DEAD
Stuart Urban, director
83 min, 2006
Garri Urban was a survivor - not a victim - of both the Holocaust and Gulag.  He overcame adversity through charm, aggression, and chutzpah.  His 1980 autobiographical book took its title from when he was shot during his attempt to swim across an icy river from Soviet territory.  He told the snipers who lifted his apparently lifeless body, “No, tovarisch [comrade], I'm not dead” before striking their officer.  In 1992, his son, filmmaker Stuart Urban, follows Garri into the former Soviet Union as soon as Communism disintegrates.  The revelations begin almost at once, when Garri finds he is still as listed as an 'international spy' on the wanted list!  Eventually Garri tracks down his KGB file.  But the KGB keep back details about Garri which, they tell Stuart, 'would make his hair stand on end' if only he knew this about his father.  As Stuart closely questions his father while he is alive, and then goes in search of answers he could not get until his father was dead, the film takes the form of a probing analysis of an identity, a rolling narrative whose chapters bring fresh surprises as we come into the 21st century.

 

Fri, August 10th at 10 AM; IMAX Providence Place
Bubbie
World Premiere
Matthew Schramer, director
19 min, USA, 2006
Two adolosecent brothers learn the meaning of tolerance and forgiveness when their Jewish grandmother moves in, but not without a price.

 

Fri, Aug 10 2007 at 2:00 pm; Columbus Theatre Cinémathèque
(Hate) Machine
Phil Caron, director
4 min, 2005
Innocent words, beautiful children, transparent direction, unexpected results: these are the elements of (Hate) Machine, a short video that explores the subjective process of creating media. Produced in reaction to media inspired xenophobia, this video explores the boundaries of what can be extracted and constructed from harmless raw footage.  With our society's growing reliance on mediated, secondhand experience, this dialogue is more important than ever.

 

Fri, Aug 10 2007, 1:00 pm; Providence Public Library
BYSTANDER
World Premiere
John Reilly, director
31 min, 2006
Why have there been so many bystanders to genocides and war crimes? “Bystander” illustrates that when it comes to saving others, we have learned very little from the Holocaust. It examines why most fail to act, portrays three rare individuals who did act to save others, and presents a psychological framework for why this horrific inability to help others continues to exist in people.  Even if it is happening half a world away, advances in technology have made us all bystanders--pictures and reliable reports are keystrokes away, but what, ultimately, has this newfound awareness changed in us?

 

 

 

Our Presenting Partner for this Event:

 

bjeri