Saturday, February 22, 2014

Avi Nesher to Receive WJFF Visionary Award

Filmmaker Avi Nesher

Courage. Creativity. Insight. Three pivotal aspects of relaying the Jewish experience through film. Master all three, and you might win the coveted WJFF Visionary Award. The 24th annual Washington Jewish Film Festival has found such a filmmaker, and all I can say is... it's about time! Avi Nesher, the gifted director who brought us The TaxmanTurn Left at the End of the World and my personal favorite The Matchmaker has been selected as this year's recipient of the Visionary Award. He joins past honorees Katriel and Noemi Schory (2012) Aviva Kempner ('11) Daniel Burman ('10) Michael Verhoeven ('09) and inaugural recipients Charles Guggenheim and Grace Guggenheim ('08.)

Nesher will be on hand to introduce his latest film (and Opening Night selection) The Wonders on Thursday, February 27th at the DCJCC (6:30 and 9:30 PM, click here to buy tickets.) In case you can't attend, you'll have two more chances to see him in person. Saturday night, March 1st, Nesher will burn the midnight oil, and be on hand for a late night (11:00 PM) screening of his aforementioned hit The Taxman, starring Joe Pantoliano. If you haven't seen it, you simply must. Great thriller.

Your next (and final) chance to see Nesher will come on Sunday, March 2nd at the WJFF Visionary Award Presentation (3:00 PM.) In addition to Nesher's appearance, you'll have a chance to see his breakout feature Turn Left at the End of the World. Tickets for this special event are only $12, and available here.

Israeli film has seen a huge resurgence in the past 10-15 years; and a great deal of credit is owed to Nesher. No longer dominated by political themes, Jewish cinema now encompasses a wide range of subjects; and with the establishment of the Jewish Film Fund, the sky's the limit for Nesher and his fellow filmmakers. I'm anxious to see The Wonders; and look forward to celebrating the distinguished career of its creator.