The 21st annual Boston Jewish Film Festival will present a wide range of films exploring themes pertaining to “home,” organizers said. The festival, taking place November 15 – 21, will complement its roster of work with panels, discussions with directors and actors as well as musical events. . The festival program explores what it means to be Jewish – in the U.S., Israel, and around the world. Highlights for 2009, in addition to the theme of home, include films from Latin America and comedies.
BJFF will open with “Eli & Ben,” Ori Ravid’s debut feature film, preceded by a musical performance by Berklee College of Music. Lior Ashkenazi plays father and husband Ben, the city architect of the wealthy Tel Aviv suburb of Herzliya. Ben’s father, a noted architect, is about to win the Israel Prize, while his son, 12 year-old Eli, watches the police take his father into custody, which throws his life into turmoil. When the police question him about his father’s actions, Eli begins to feel like a double agent. The festival is New England’s largest Jewish cultural event, with last year’s attendance at over 12,000 people. For more information, visit their website. [Brian Brooks]