Friday, August 2, 2013

Washington DCJCC Unveils Fall Film Season

Willa Holland stars in Tiger Eyes

From our friends at the Washington DCJCC...

Weekly screenings include Hatufim -- the Israeli inspiration for U.S. hit Homeland – and the much- anticipated full-length feature Tiger Eyes based on the Judy Blume novel

Transport yourself to Israel, to a family vacation in 1976, or into the mind of a young teenager who moves far from home for the first time, all as part of the first-ever Washington DCJCC fall film season. The line-up of narrative and documentary films are part of an extended season beginning August 13 and ending December 24 and several of the screenings offer opportunities to mingle with filmmakers.

“Washingtonians already know and love the Washington Jewish Film Festival, now in its 23rd year, but many don’t realize the DCJCC also offers high-quality film programming year round,” said Ilya Tovbis, director of the Washington Jewish Film Festival. “The announcement of our first-ever fall film season is an exciting way for us to reach new audiences with our unique brand of Jewish-inspired film offerings.”

Highlights of the season include the once-weekly screening of the first season of Prisoners of War (Hatufim), the riveting Israeli TV show that inspired the American hit Homeland. In the show, three Israeli Defense Force reservists are captured behind enemy lines in Lebanon with their fate unknown until seventeen years later, when they mysteriously return -- two of them alive, and the third in a coffin.

Also featured is Tiger Eyes, the first film based on a book from celebrated author Judy Blume. The film stars Willa Holland as Davey, a teenager grappling with the sudden loss of her father. Following the her father’s death, Davey and her mom move to New Mexico where she befriends a wise, sexy Native American young man who helps her through this difficult time. The film will be followed by a discussion with the film’s Director, and the author’s son, Lawrence Blume.

In addition to Tiger Eyes, the DCJCC fall film season has several opportunities to engage in conversation with filmmakers and documentary subjects. The documentary Brave Miss World will feature a post-screening discussion with a survivor of sexual assault who is featured in the film. The director and producer of the comedy Sleeping with the Fishes will attend the film’s screening and speak with attendees.

The DCJCC is offering three different passes for the season: a full season pass that includes everything but Hatufim for $45, a pass for Hatufim only for $65, and a combo pass for $100. Tickets for single screenings are $11.

For more information about the fall film season or to purchase tickets call (202) 777-3247 or visit The full schedule is below.


Tuesday, August 13, 7:30 pm

ISRAEL: A HOME MOVIE - Tuesday, August 13, 7:30 pm (DCJCC) & repeat screening on Tuesday, December 17, 7:30pm at Adas Israel

Dir. Eliav Lilti (93min, Israel, 2012). Go2Films.

In Hebrew w/English Subtitles


An impressive assemblage of home movies shot from the 1930s through the 1970s are strung together to form a mesmerizing history that documents a living memory of Palestine and Israel's formation. Rescued from oblivion in drawers, basements and attics, the 8mm, 16mm, and Super 8 footage chronicles daily family life unfolding alongside major historical events. Producer Arik Bernstein notes, “This is no official history. It’s not a left-wing look at history, or a right-wing look. These are personal histories — little moments that make up a whole and show something of who we are.”

A truly unique, nostalgic, and emotional journey, this film is a must for anyone interested in Israel's past and future.


Aug 20-Oct 31, 7:30 pm

PRISONERS OF WAR (HATUFIM) - SEASON 1 - Aug 20-Oct 31 (see schedule details below)

Dir. Gideon Raff (10 episodes x 60min each, Israel, 2010). Keshet.

TV Narrative

Hebrew and Arabic with English Subtitles

Catch up on the riveting Israeli TV show that inspired the American hit Homeland. When three Israeli Defense Force reservists are captured behind enemy lines in Lebanon their fate is unknown – that is until seventeen years later, when they mysteriously return, two of them alive, and the third in a coffin. The nuanced, edge-of-your-seat thriller proceeds along three timelines that cover their days before capture; their life in captivity; and the present day, as they attempt to reintegrate into society. Dealing with the duel challenges of a blinding national spotlight and the shadows of an unhinged home life, the soldiers’ greatest struggle lies in the dark secrets of their time in captivity.

We screen a single one-hour episode each week, working our way through the full first season:

Tuesdays, August 20-September 24, 7:30pm
Thursdays, October 3-31 (no show on Oct 10), 7:30pm


Tuesday, Oct 1, 7:30 pm

THE WORLD IS FUNNY - Tuesday, Oct 1, 7:30 pm

Dir. Haolam Mats-hik (127 min, Israel, 2012). IsraeliFilms.

In Hebrew with English Subtitles


The world is wondrously strange in this tender new drama from Israeli fabulist Shemi Zarhin (Aviva My Love, Noodle). An ambitious multi-strand tale about storytelling—and a fractured family—unfolds in a friendly Tiberias, where reality and fantasy intertwine. Told with precision, the connections between the characters and stories grow in richness and complexity as the film progresses. A sharp sense of humor enriches this melancholy yet inspiring film that is a gigantic box office hit in Israel. Featuring an ensemble cast led by Asi Levi, Eli Finish, Danny Shteg, Yehezkel Lazarov, and Moshe Ivgy, the film earned a record-setting 15 Israeli Academy Awards nominations.

A joint presentation of the Embassy of Israel and the Washington Jewish Film Festival


Tuesday, Oct 15, 7:30 pm

TIGER EYES - Tuesday, Oct 15, 7:30 pm

Dir. Lawrence Blume (92min, USA, 2012)


Judy Blume has written (so far) 28 books, sold over 85 million copies, and won more than 90 writing awards, including in 2000 the Library of Congress Living Legends award. The first of Judy Blume’s books to be translated to film, Tiger Eyes stars Willa Holland (Gossip Girl, The O.C.) as a teenager grappling with the sudden loss of her father. Crippled by grief, her mom moves the family to New Mexico to stay with her sister. Shell-shocked and culture-shocked, Davey befriends a wise, sexy Native American young man who helps her through this difficult time.

Followed by a conversation with Director Lawrence Blume


Tuesday, Nov 5, 7:30 pm

AKA DOC POMUS - Tuesday, Nov 5, 7:30 pm

Dir. Peter Miller and Will Hechter (98min, USA, 2012)


Doc Pomus' dramatic life is one of American music's great untold stories. Paralyzed with polio as a child, the Jewish, Brooklyn-born Jerome Felder (A.K.A Doc Pomus) reinvented himself first as blues shouter, then as one of the most prolific songwriters of the early rock and roll era.

For most of his life Doc was confined to crutches or a wheelchair, but he lived more during his sixty-five years than others could experience in several lifetimes. A.K.A. Doc Pomus brings to life Doc's joyous, romantic, heartbreaking, and eventful journey. In his later years, Doc was a mentor to generations of younger songwriters, and a fierce advocate for downtrodden musicians. He wrote a thousand songs - including some of the most recorded songs in the history of popular music - but his most lasting gift may have been his uniquely generous spirit. "If the music industry had a heart," the record producer Jerry Wexler remembered, "it would be Doc Pomus."

Packed with incomparable music and rare archival imagery, A.K.A. Doc Pomus features interviews with Doc's collaborators and friends, including Dr. John, Ben E. King, Joan Osborne, Shawn Colvin, Dion, and B.B. King. Passages from his private journals are read by his close friend, Lou Reed. Doc Pomus' gripping life story makes for a powerful and lively film that introduces this unique American character to a new, much wider circle of admirers.


Tuesday, Nov 19, 7:30 pm

BRAVE MISS WORLD - Tuesday, Nov 19, 7:30 pm

Dir. Cecilia Peck (90min, Israel/USA, 2013)

In Hebrew, English and Italian with English Subtitles


Linor Abargil, an Israeli beauty queen, was raped two months before being crowned Miss World. Twelve years later, she’s ready to talk about it – and to encourage others to speak out. Now a globe-trotting victims’ advocate, Linor encourages people to stand against sexual violence by putting an end to their silence. She travels to speak with teens in South Africa, where girls are statistically more likely to be raped than educated.  She visits Princeton and UC Santa Barbara, where women describe a campus culture that fails to take assaults seriously. From Cleveland’s Rape Crisis Center to Hollywood’s living rooms, Linor is met with emotional support. Yet when she attends a celebrity rape trial that hits too close to home, she suffers a breakdown. In searching for something to ease her pain, Linor turns to Orthodox Judaism.  (In English and Hebrew and Italian with subtitles)

Followed by a conversation with one of the survivors featured in the film


Wednesday, November 13, 7:30 pm

OMA & BELLA - Wednesday, November 13, 7:30 pm at Adas Israel

Dir. Alexa Karolinski (75min, Germany/USA, 2011)
German with English Subtitles

Regina Karolinski (Oma) and Bella Katz have been friends since childhood. They share recipes, an apartment in Berlin and a common past as Holocaust survivors. Remaining in Germany after the war, it is the food they cook—remembered from their shared childhood—that bonds them. Filmmaker Alexa Karolinski, Oma’s granddaughter, creates a loving portrait of two octogenarians: their stories of survival, their lively sense of humor, and their undying fondness for a good Jewish meal.


Tuesday, Dec 10, 7:30 pm

SLEEPING WITH THE FISHES - Tuesday, Dec 10, 7:30 pm

Dir. Nicole Gomez Fisher (95min, USA, 2013)


A zany comedy with its fair share of "ay dios mio" and "oy vey" moments, Sleeping With Fishes charts one woman’s journey of self-discovery in a Latino Jewish home in Brooklyn. It’s safe to say Alexis Rodriguez Fish (Gina Rodriguez) has seen better days. The recent death of her cheating husband has left her both broke and broken-hearted. Trying to climb out of debt, Alexis has been reduced to juggling humiliating odd end jobs including a walking meatball hero. When she is forced to go back home by a distant aunt's funeral, Alexis realizes her life might just get worse before it gets any better.

Once home, Alexis is confronted by her overbearing mother (Priscilla Lopez) the string of questionable choices she’s made since her husband's death. Suddenly re-immersed in her Latin and Jewish roots, Alexis feels like a fish out of water, and matters don’t get any easier when her sister signs Alexis up to coordinate a superhero-themed Bat Mitzvah. A comic slice-of-life adventure, Sleeping With Fishes features an incredible Latino cast of established and rising talent.

Director Nicole Gomez Fisher and Producer Courtney Andrialis in person


Tuesday, Dec 24, 7:30 pm

MY BEST HOLIDAYS - Tuesday, Dec 24, 7:30 pm

Dir. Phillipe Lellouche (93min, France, 2012)

In French with English Subtitles


During the heat wave of July 1976, Claude and Isabelle spend their summer vacations with their two young sons, Simon (12) and Bibou (8), Isabelle’s mother, and two couples who are dear friends. Isabelle is originally from Brittany. She is the one who has chosen the small village of her birth, Rocher Abraham, as their summer destination. Claude is Jewish, originally from Algeria. Locals whose accent is as rough as their manners greet the group with suspicion. The coexistence is not easy between Parisians and country-folk, Jews and Bretons. But, gradually, old resentments, past hatred and prejudices are swept away to make room for friendship, emotions, puppy-loves and rekindled romances. These are precious moments, never to be forgotten. In Rocher Abraham, twenty miles away from the sea, Bibou and Simon carve out for themselves an unforgettable summer. Their most memorable vacation!