Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Academy Award-Winning Filmmaker Barry Levinson to Receive WJFF 2017 Visionary Award

Academy Award winner Barry Levinson

From our friends at the Washington Jewish Film Festival...

Academy Award-Winning Filmmaker Barry Levinson to Receive Washington Jewish Film Festival 2017 Visionary Award

Levinson and esteemed Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland will be recognized for their career achievements

The Washington Jewish Film Festival announced today Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barry Levinson will receive a 2017 WJFF Visionary Award, which recognizes creativity and insight in presenting the Jewish experience through film and television. The Festival will honor Levinson on Thursday, May 18 at AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland with a screening of LIBERTY HEIGHTS, followed by a Q&A. LIBERTY HEIGHTS is one of four films by Levinson set in Baltimore during the 1940s, 50s and 60s. AVALON, the second in the series, nods to Levinson’s Russian-Jewish roots and was screened during the Festival in 2016.

In a first, the Festival will be presenting two Visionary Awards this year. As previously announced, master filmmaker Agnieszka Holland will be honored on Saturday, May 27 with a screening of ANGRY HARVEST and Q&A.

“It is a pleasure to celebrate two of cinema’s most distinctive voices with the Festival’s highest honor, the WJFF Visionary Award,” said WJFF director Ilya Tovbis. “Levinson was in the vanguard of the entertainment industry, creating singular portraits of modern Jewish life in America at a time when the subject was rarely explored on the big screen. Holland’s politically charged human dramas burn from the friction of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances. It is a distinguished privilege for the Festival to present two artists of this caliber in one year and a genuine treat for any cinephile.”

Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Levinson has enjoyed a long career in film and television as a writer, director and producer.  Levinson spent his early days in comedy collaborating with legends such as Carol Burnett and Mel Brooks. His directorial debut, DINER (1982), earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay. He went on to direct some of the most beloved American films like THE NATURAL (1984), GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM (1987), BUGSY (1991) and RAIN MAN (1988), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director.

Tickets for all festival events go on sale April 19. A full Festival schedule can be found at www.wjff.org.

The Washington Jewish Film Festival (WJFF) is the centerpiece of the Edlavitch DCJCC's comprehensive year-round film program. One of the largest and most respected Jewish film festivals in North America, WJFF is an international exhibition of cinema that celebrates the diversity of Jewish history, culture and experience through the moving image.

The WJFF serves over 18,000 people annually through 180+ screenings, nearly all of which are world, U.S. or regional premieres.

Follow the Washington Jewish Film Festival on Twitter (@wjff) for updates with the latest information about the festival and filmmakers who will participate in the WJFF. Join the conversation using #wjff on social media.

The Edlavitch DCJCC - the vibrant home and cultural heart of Jewish Washington - works to preserve and strengthen Jewish identity, tradition and values through a wide variety of social, cultural, recreational and educational programs and services. The EDCJCC is a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

The EDCJCC embraces inclusion in all its programs and activities. We welcome and encourage the participation of all people, regardless of their background, sexual orientation, abilities, or religion, including interfaith couples and families.

The Edlavitch DCJCC is located at 1529 16th Street, NW in Washington, DC, four blocks east of Dupont Circle.