The Rehoboth Beach Film Society (RBFS) is pleased to partner with Seaside Jewish Community to present the 8th anniversary of the Rehoboth Beach Jewish Film Festival (JFF). The five-day festival is confirmed for March 15 - 19, 2023 at Cinema Art Theater (CAT) in Lewes (behind the Wawa). Tickets are $12/film and with much thanks to an anonymous donor, we will provide a limited number of FREE admission tickets to students (with valid ID). Students should reach-out to email@example.com to request free festival film passes. Thank you to Premiere Sponsors Jewish Federation of Delaware and Bob & Carol Simon. The festival serves to deepen awareness of Jewish culture and experiences, and to explore community differences and commonalities through the art of cinema. A special thanks to our 2023 Premier Sponsor, the Jewish Federation of Delaware.
A FEW FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS:
At the conclusion of Saturday’s 7:00 PM screening of HAUTE COUTURE, the Society will host an after-party gathering post-screening in the CAT Lobby. The evening will be hosted by Fran Saltzman, Seaside Community and Festival Planning Committee member. To close out the Festival, on Sunday at 5:00 PM, DEDICATION, a narrative film will include a post-panel discussion with featured artist, director and producer, Roger Peltzman. This will truly be a celebration of Jewish culture here in Sussex County as the Society continue its efforts to reunite community around the art of film.
> LOST TRANSPORT (narrative) > Wed., March 15 at 3 pm Hosted by Marty Rosensweig
Lost Transport is an inspiring drama that takes place in the spring of 1945. A train deporting hundreds of Jewish prisoners gets stranded near a small German village occupied by the Red Army. Condemned to each other and in a context of deep mistrust, desperation and revenge, an unexpected friendship emerges between Russian sniper Vera, village girl Winnie and Jewish-Dutch woman Simone. [2022, Netherlands, 100 min, Rated: NR, in Dutch with English subtitles].
AMERICA (narrative) > Wed., March 15 at 6 pm
America is the engrossing story of an Israeli man who returns to Israel after 10 years in America. An encounter with a childhood friend and his future-wife will change everyone’s lives. A story set between a flower shop and an ancient monastery, a swimming pool and the Mediterranean Sea, life and death - and somewhere in the middle. After the success of "The Cakemaker", writer/director Ofir Raul Graizer returns with an affectionate tribute to 60s and 70s cinema in a film full of emotion, color and fragrance that pays homage to values such as friendship, love and moral responsibility. [2022, Israel, 127 min, Rated: NR].
THE NARROW BRIDGE (narrative) > Thu., March 16 at 3 pm
The Narrow Bridge is a compassionate documentary that explores the journeys of four people who, after searing pain, develop strengths they never had before. Despite fierce opposition these Israelis and Palestinians, who lost a child in the conflict, are building a grassroots movement and transforming their grief into a bridge for understanding and reconciliation. [2022, Australia, 76 min, Rated: NR].
FAREWELL, MR. HAFFMANN (narrative) > Thu., March 16 at 6 pm
Farewell, Mr Haffmann is a compelling drama that takes place in 1941 Occupied Paris. All members of the Jewish community are instructed to come forward and identify themselves to authorities. Dedicated jeweler Joseph Haffmann (Daniel Auteuil), fearing the worst, arranges for his family to flee the city and offers his employee François Mercier (Gilles Lellouche) the chance to take over his store until the conflict subsides. But his own attempts to escape are thwarted, and Haffmann is forced to seek his assistant’s protection. It’s a risky proposition for both men, and one that Mercier’s wife Blanche (Sara Giraudeau) is skeptical of. As the couple move into the Haffmann home, the agreement turns into a Faustian bargain, one that will forever change the fate of all. [2022, France/Belgium, 115 min, Rated: NR, in French with English subtitles].
WHERE LIFE BEGINS (narrative) > Fri., March 17 at 3 pm
Where Life Begins is a captivating drama about an ultra-orthodox Jewish family from Aix-les-Bains who goes to a farm in Calabria for a brief stay every year to carry out a sacred mission: harvesting citrons. Elio, the farm owner, meets Esther, the rabbi’s daughter, who is tired of the constraints imposed by her religion. Through this relationship, Esther will understand the importance of freedom and find her path, and, in the same way, Elio will find the peace he had lost for a long time. [2020, Italy, 100 min, Rated: NR, in Italian with English subtitles].
THE JEWS AND THE BLUES (documentary)* > Fri., March 17 at 7 pm
The Jews and the Blues a musical and spiritual journey that along the way becomes something much more. Join Drew Stone, a documentary filmmaker, musician and talk show host as he follows his passion for music and adventure. In this film he travels to Israel and discovers how the blues ties into this incredible mix of cultures. Arab, Ethiopian, Moroccan, all Jewish, all Israeli, united through the universal tie that binds us together.... Music. Experience the sights, sounds and the unexpected on this musical expedition into uncharted territory. [2022, US, 67 min, Rated: NR].
A STARRY SKY ABOVE THE ROMAN GHETTO (narrative)* > Sat., March 18 at 3 pm
A Starry Sky Above the Roman Ghetto is a riveting drama that takes us to the past and present where Christian and Jewish students will meet upon the discovery of an old, mysterious photograph that will end up tying them together in search of the truth. Trying to unravel the mystery behind the portrait, the boys embark on a journey through a night of horror that cannot be forgotten: the raid of the Roman Ghetto. Retracing these painful events will give them the chance to take a collective stance towards personal, existential, and cultural commitment. [2022, Italy, 100 min, Rated: NR, in Italian with English subtitles].
HAUTE COUTURE (narrative) > Sat., March 18 at 7 pm
Haute Couture is an irresistible drama about Esther who is at the end of her career as Head Seamstress at Dior Avenue Montaigne workshop. One day, she gets her handbag stolen in the metro by a 20-year-old woman, Jade. Instead of calling the police she decides to take care of Jade. She sees in her the opportunity to pass on her skills, the craft of dressmaking, her only wealth. In the frenetic world of Haute Couture, Esther will give Jade la beauté du geste, a way to reach beyond herself. [2022, France, 122 min, Rated: NR, in French with English subtitles]. Haute Couture ticketholders post-party reception will be held in the CAT Lobby
FILM SHORTS – 93 minutes > Sun., March 19 at 12:30 pm
The Tattooed Torah (Short #1) Over the last three decades, the beloved children's book by Marvell Ginsburg, The Tattooed Torah, has been a powerful resource for Holocaust education for children. The book recounts the true story of the rescue and restoration of a small Torah from Brno, Czechoslovakia, and teaches the Holocaust not only as a period of destruction but also as an opportunity for redemption. Narrated by the late-actor, Ed Asner, the film brings illustrator Martin Lemelman's rich artwork to life, and will allow this story to reach a much broader audience all over the world. Now more than ever, it is essential to continue teaching the lessons of the Holocaust to young children in an impactful and palatable way, so that such horrific events are never forgotten and never repeated.
A Kaddish for Selim (Short #2) London 1912: A young Jew must change his name in order to join the British army. When war breaks out in 1914, he is sent to Egypt and then Gallipoli to fight for King and Empire. Assembled from recently discovered family photographs and a handful of letters, this short film tells the story of a child of immigrants who died for their adopted country. A story that is still familiar today: for what clearer sign of assimilation and loyalty is there than to volunteer to fight for one's country? The challenges Jews faced in Britain a century ago were a friction point in the First World War, yet many did serve loyally, and A Kaddish for Selim tells the story of one of the two thousand three hundred who died.
Ismael’s Dilemma (Short #3) In Nazi occupied Albania, Ismail, a poor peasant, is torn between upholding Besa - the national code of honor and protecting his family or saving the two Jewish men he has been hiding for a year, as the Nazis arrive in his village.
Crumbs (Short #4) Based on the true story of the last Passover Seder in the Warsaw Ghetto on April 19, 1943, the film is told from a perspective of a member of the hated "Judenrat," (Jewish Police), the audience will witness the intimate and volatile confrontations between Jews of different religious backgrounds, spanning three generations, as they try to find meaning in the Holiday of Freedom as their inevitable doom approaches.
The Shabbos Goy (Short #5) In this delightful comedic short. God forbids she turn off a vibrator gone rogue on Shabbos! So an Orthodox Jew sets out on a quest to find someone who can.
DEDICATION (narrative) > Sun., March 19 at 5 pm
Roger Peltzman transforms his one - man play, Dedication, into a deeply poetic, musical, and cinematic journey. Peltzman’s family fled Berlin for Brussels in 1933, and his story centers on his uncle Norbert — the finest pianist in Belgium, until he was murdered in Auschwitz at 21 years of age. A singular tale from the Shoah that is at once extraordinary and relatable, Dedication is also a coming to terms with second generation survivor trauma and the role of music in helping to manage wounds that will never fully heal. [2022, US, 67 min, Rated: NR]. Patrons will be joined by Roger Peltzman for a post-screening discussion.
*Note: To respect the Jewish Sabbath, Seaside Jewish Community is not hosting the films on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.