The 9th annual Central Florida Jewish Film Festival came to a rousing conclusion on Monday night with a virtually sold-out Enzian for the Florida Premiere of Stefan Schaefer and Diane Crespo’s ARRANGED. This intelligent and heartfelt romantic comedy-drama about an unconventional friendship between two young Brooklyn women–one an Orthodox Jew, the other a devout Muslim, both teaching 4th grade at the same school and expected by their families to be married off soon–was made all the sweeter by the attendance of its two lead actresses, Zoe Lister-Jones and Francis Benhamou.
The charming and talented women stuck around for a generous Q & A session, and fielded a variety of questions from the enthusiastic audience and their many new fans. Everything from their educational and religious backgrounds to their acting experience (this was their first lead roles) to the reaction to the film from different ethnic groups came up, and all-in-all it was a real treat to have both of both of them here in Orlando with us. Nice job, ladies–hopefully this terrific little NY indie will lead to bigger and better things. I’m sure a lot of us will be watching.