JCC Chicago presents the first Chicago Jewish Film Festival (CJFF), ‘THROUGH A JEWISH LENS” on June 19th-29th, 2014, held at The Music Box Theatre, the Cinemark/Century in Evanston, and the Illinois Holocaust Museum; with other performance events at Victory Gardens in Lincoln Park and at the Mayer Kaplan JCC in Skokie. Films from around the world will be showcased exploring Jewish identity and experience. Ultimately the festival will bring people together sharing a love for film and an excitement, interest or connection to the
multiplicity of Jewish culture. By sharing stories through film, CJFF will also create experiences that inspire us for the future.
“Film is a reflection of society, and we want to look back and forward, so people can further reflect on themselves, their families and communities,” says David Chack, Artistic Director of CJFF, who is also adjunct professor at The Theatre School at DePaul University. “Memory is an inherent part of who we are.“
Featured films will include: “The Pin” (2013), a magical, realistic view of Holocaust survival; “Before The Revolution” (2013), the untold story of the Israeli paradise in Iran; and “A Precious Life” (2010, the story of an Israeli doctor, a Palestinian woman and a journalist seeking treatment for her baby, with journalist/filmmaker Shlomi Eldar as speaking after the film – winner of the Ophir Award (Israeli Academy Award) for Best Documentary.
Since Chicago is one of the only major U.S. cities yet to produce a Jewish film festival, when approached, JCC Chicago was quick to recognize the significance of this opportunity. This underscores the JCC’s commitment to building community through culture and the arts, across Chicago.
“Judaism is not just a religion,” Chack said. “It’s a civilization, encompassing every aspect of life for thousands of years. I truly believe that Jewish culture is the glue that brings us all together.”
Ilene Uhlman, Director of Adult Programs at JCC Chicago added, “Beyond entertainment, the Chicago Jewish Film Festival has the capacity to inspire, enrich and inform Jewish identity for the entire community, strengthening the bonds that connect us all. The schedule for CJFF screenings are:
June 19th, 5:00-11:00 pm; June 21st, 1:00-11:00pm, and June 22nd, 1-11:00 pm, Music Box, 3733 N. Southport, Chicago.
June 23, 7 pm – Victory Gardens Theatre, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago. Play reading of “A Place in The Heart,” by Michal Aharoni.
June 24th, 7pm. Mayer Kaplan JCC Chicago, 5050 Church Street. Collateral play reading of, ”A Place in the Heart,” by Michal Aharoni.
June 26th – Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie. Films and Times – TBD.
June 28th & 29th, Cinemark/Century Evanston, 1715 Maple Avenue, Evanston. Films and Times – TBD
Sponsor partners for CJFF include: Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema; Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center (IHMEC); YIVO; Music Box Theatre; Big Tent Judaism/Jewish Outreach Institute; ShPIeL-Performing Identity Theatre; Victory Gardens Theater. Generous support provided by The Mrs. Zollie Frank Fund.
Tickets are $12/adults; $10/seniors & students, or $60 for an 8-film festival pass.
JCC Chicago is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring a strong and vibrant Jewish life and community for generations to come. JCC’s core offerings include Early Childhood Services, Children and Teen Programs, Family Programs and Events, Adult Programs, Recreation and Wellness, and Day and Residential Camping. Bringing Jewish values to life to more than 24,000 participants, more than 1.4 million times each year, JCC enriches lives and builds community across metropolitan Chicago. JCC is a partner in serving our community supported by the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation. Gojcc.org
Artistic Director, Chicago Jewish Film Festival