The Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival is Back

PALM BEACH GARDENS and BOYNTON BEACH, FLORIDA - The Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival returns for a 32nd season, boasting a lineup of 43 films. The film festival, hosted by the Mandel Jewish Community Center of the Palm Beaches, will be held from January 23 - March 13, 2022. This year's festival continues with virtual showings to keep everyone safe during the pandemic, with select films to be shown on site at each Mandel JCC location.

"We wanted to bring back the on-site watch parties, while keeping in mind that everyone's comfort level around in-person events is different," said Samantha Klein, Mandel JCC Managing Director. "This year's combination of virtual and on-site showings allows us to regain a sense of normalcy, while still protecting the community and offering the meaningful experiences that have come to be expected after 32 years of this event."

The festival opens on January 23 with Tiger Within, featuring the late Ed Asner. It is about the unlikely friendship between Samuel, a lonely Holocaust survivor, and Casey, an angry 14-year-old runaway. As the story unfolds, Samuel and Casey form a powerful bond, which gradually blossoms into a new family unit - sparking larger questions about family, love, and our divided world at large. The in-person watch party begins at 3 pm with a live musical performance by the Klezmer Company Jazz Orchestra, followed by a showing of the film at 3:45 pm.

Other films include:

  • Dirty Tricks - Bridge is the most popular game in history, and the best player is Israeli Lotan Fisher. Known as "the Michael Jordan of bridge," he became an unstoppable international superstar - until he was accused of serial cheating. Lotan vehemently denied the accusations, which quickly spiraled into a massive international controversy threatening to bring the entire competitive bridge world down. With millions of dollars and lucrative careers at stake, this film reveals the truth behind one of the world's most bizarre blood feuds.
  • Reflection - Roy is suffering from a social phobia that makes it difficult for him to interact with people, especially girls. Every time he goes out on a date, his anxiety takes over and after a few minutes, he runs away - until one day, he meets a mannequin in a shop window who changes his life.
  • Truus' Children - The late Dutch resistance fighter, Truus Wijsmuller, did not have children of her own, but she was responsible for saving the lives of thousands from the Nazis. She met with Adolf Eichmann in 1938 to negotiate a deal to let 10,000 Jewish children flee to England, and personally ensured that many of them boarded the trains and boats that led them to safety. Featuring interviews with a few of those saved by Wijsmuller, this incredibly moving documentary tells their stories, as well as that of the remarkable woman to whom they owe their lives.
  • Over My Dead Body - When a young Jewish Persian-American woman, Isfahan, tells her parents she is finally engaged, they are relieved - until they learn that he is Muslim. Her father immediately vetoes the marriage and kicks the fiance out of the house. As she defends her love, the family defends their traditions, demanding she honor religion and old-world values. The intergenerational battle that ensues forces Isfahan to make a decision that will define the rest of her life.
  • Queen Shoshana - Israel's first diva, Shoshana, graced local and international stages, stirring millions with her beguiling voice and spectacular performance. Yet behind the larger-than-life persona and her memorable songs was a very private woman. Shoshana lived a life of fame and loneliness, acclaim and loss, daring and compromise. For the first time, the woman behind the crown, the cloack, and the palace will come to light.
  • Persian Lessons - A young Jewish Belgian man is arrested by the SS and sent to a concentration camp in Germany. He narrowly avoids execution by swearing to the guards that he is not Jewish, but Persian. This lie temporarily saves him, until he is assigned a seemingly untenable mission: to teach Persian to the officer in charge of the camp's kitchen.
  • Dodging Death - A true story in the words of Otto Salamon, an 87-year-old Holocaust survivor. It is only through his ability to run, the intelligence to hide, and the tenacity to keep moving forward that he is still alive and telling his powerful story. Deadly bombs, virulent anti-Semitism, and familial drama create the backdrop to this riveting documentary. (In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Mandel JCC will be hosting a special virtual watch party of this film. This event will take place over Zoom on January 27 at 7 pm and includes a Q&A with Erika Lupo, director, and Otto Salamon, who is featured in the film.)

Tickets, film descriptions, trailers, and a full schedule and lineup are available now at www.PBJFF.org.

About the Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival
The Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival was founded in 1990 as an effort to bring the finest examples of cinema from around the world to Palm Beach. A lawyer from Chicago, Mr. Ephraim represented some of the city's biggest and brightest celebrities (including famous film critics Siskel and Ebert), and is a lifelong supporter of the arts. Since moving the area in the 1990s, he has dedicated himself to the growth of the county's arts and culture scene, which has included serving on the Cultural Council's board of directors and his ongoing commitment to the Mandel JCC.

About the Mandel JCC of the Palm Beaches
The mission of the Mandel JCC is to build community and enhance connection to Jewish life. The organization's top priorities include: connecting families to Jewish life; healthy living; high-quality Jewish cultural arts; connecting people to Israel; and reaching out to the broader community. The Mandel JCC of the Palm Beaches has two locations: Palm Beach Gardens and Boynton Beach. Learn more by visiting www.JCConline.com.

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